First Look: Double Knot

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A few weeks ago, Michael Schulson opened the doors of Double Knot in what was once a gay porn theater smack in the middle of Midtown Village. Though the entrance is still a little understated, a diminutive sign hanging next to a windowless wooden door, expect to see many more people going, and coming (get it?), at the address in the weeks ahead.

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A Look at Michael Schulson’s Double Knot

Michael Schulson's Double Knot | Double the concepts in one space.

Michael Schulson’s Double Knot | Double the concepts in one space.

Michael Schulson’s Double Knot is set to open Tuesday, February 2nd next to his Sampan on 13th Street. The two-floored space is a gorgeous coffee focused cafe and bar upstairs, with a sexy izakaya and sushi bar downstairs. The cafe will open at 7 a.m. daily serving coffee under the guidance of Elixr’s Evan Inatome. Schulson has loved Elixr’s coffee since its original location on Sansom Street. So when it was time to get coffee help at the cafe, Schulson sought Inatome out to do the coffee at Double Knot. Inatome has installed a Modbar coffee system with bar top espresso, steam and pour over coffee stations. It is only one of ten such installations in the country. In addition to the Modbar system, one of the beer taps behind the bar will offer cold brewed draft coffee on nitro.

The cafe has seating for 35 along a comfortable banquette, leather armchairs and along a drink rail in the back. In addition to exposed brick, distressed mirrors and exposed tiles and reclaimed wood lath (the strips of wood found behind plaster walls). The front of the cafe includes floor to ceiling walls of knick-knacks and newspaper racks.

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The Porch 2.0 Is Here

The Porch 2.0 | Photo by HughE Dillon

The Porch 2.0 | Photo by HughE Dillon

Michael Schulson’s food truck and booze wagon are now set up at the Porch next to 30th Street Station. Rotisserie at the Porch will serve lunch seven days a week. Wednesday through Saturday, a beverage trailer will offer beer and liquor from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. On those days, the Rotisserie at the Porch will serve food till 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday lunch will be served til 2 p.m.

The Porch 2.0 solidifies an experiment to breathe life into what was a parking lot next to 30th Street Station. The University City District teamed with Groundswell Design Group and Gehl Studio to enhance the space with new planters, seating and lighting. The UCD also partnered with Michael Schulson as the food purveyor.

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Independence Beer Garden Adds Happy Hour, Yards Exclusive

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New beer from Yards at IBG Wheat.

Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden at 6th and Market has added happy hour. The happy hour includes $4 beer, wine and cocktail specials from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. There’s also a $4 happy hour menu of food like corn croquettes, beef sliders and spit roasted chicken wings.

Also new is a new beer offering, IBG Wheat is a summer wheat brewed with Yards Brewing. The flavor is described as “candied sugar, orange peel, banana, clove, pepper, grass, lemon” and comes in at 6.5% alcohol by volume.

Independence Beer Garden has already gotten into our heavy rotation this year, the shuffleboard to the addictive popcorn has made us fans. And a special shoutout to Brooke, a server at IBG who might just be the nicest person in Philadelphia.

Check out the happy hour menu »

Get Ready for The Porch 2.0

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Rendering of the Porch 2.0

When the Porch opened at 30th Street Station in late 2011, it was designed to be a low-cost test run at place-making. Could some colorful chairs, planters, shade, and a rotating cast of food trucks convert what was a blah parking lot, into a gathering place where people would linger? Turns out that the answer was a resounding yes.

And now the Unviersity City District has announced plans for The Porch 2.0. With commitments from Groundswell Design Group (Spruce Street Harbor Park and Independence Beer Garden), Gehl Studio and a new food and beverages partnership with restaurateur Michael Schulson, the new Porch will make permanent the ideas tested over the previous couple of years.

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Three Things That Are Worrying Us

Christina DeSilva at Taproom on 19th | Photo by Lauren Mame Thomas

Christina DeSilva at Taproom on 19th | Photo by Lauren Mame Thomas

Christina DeSilva is the new executive chef at South Philadelphia’s Taproom on 19th. DeSilva is just 21-years of age and promises “upscale stoner food.” Though cool ranch fries with chipotle-lime mayo and a spiked malted brown butter sage milkshake with brûléed figs appeal to us, we can’t help but worry that most 21-year olds we know are much more stoner than executive.

Meal Ticket was the first to report that chef Rob Marzinsky has left Fitler Dining Room. The restaurant was ranked number 11 in Philadelphia magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants list and Marzinsky received much of the praise. Owner Dan Clark says Fitler isn’t announcing a replacement yet and that they’re “staffing from within the company.” That’s at least slightly reassuring, as Fitler, Pub & Kitchen and Avalon’s the Diving Horse are all part of the same organization. Marzinsky tells us he has something planned for February and then will do some travelling. Here’s hoping the restaurant keeps performing at a high level.

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Cheese Curd Redemption at Independence Beer Garden

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Adam Erace reviews the pop-up Independence Beer Garden and offers tips for where and when to hang out but skewers the food, save what comes with cheese curds.

But don’t miss the cheese curds, light little poufs of tempura-fried Vermont goodness served with sweet, smoky tomato jam, the marinara to these new-school mozzarella sticks.

At Independence Beer Garden, a democratic menu of bar fare [City Paper]
Independence Beer Garden [Foobooz]

Schulson To Open Sushi and Robata Concept

Photo by Steve Legato

Photo by Steve Legato

Adam Erace plucks a nugget from an interview with Michael Schulson regarding his Independence Beer Garden. Schulson, who also owns Sampan and Atlantic City’s Izakaya is planning to open another Midtown Village restaurant. No name has been revealed but it will be a sushi and robata (grilled meats on sticks) concept and will have current Izakaya chef, Kevin Yanaga in the kitchen.

Schulson planning second Midtown Village restaurant [Meal Ticket]

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