515 Layoffs Coming to Montgomery County

(Stephen VanHorn/Shutterstock)

(Stephen VanHorn/Shutterstock)

Two Montgomery County businesses have announced layoffs, and 515 people are set to lose their jobs permanently.

Quad/Graphics is closing its plant in East Greenville, Pa., laying off 422 workers. The facility produces business and consumer magazines and catalogs.

Pointroll Inc., announced 93 layoffs. The company has recently been acquired by Austin, Texas-based Sizmek. Pointroll offers tools that allow users to build, maintain and monitor their digital advertising campaigns. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Villanova’s Harriton Manor House Is a Blend of Past and Present

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

Interspersing historic buildings with new constructions, open space with sensitive site planning, not to mention an innovative stormwater management system atop a 55-acre site, it’s no wonder the Harriton Farm development earned the Montgomery County Planning Commission‘s 2007 Land Development Award.

Developed by Pohlig Builders, LLC, and designed by Michael Visich Architects and Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Harriton Farm is unique in that 7 of the 35 homes that reside within it are preserved structures, such as an 1860 gothic cottage, an 1880 Victorian barn and Queen Anne stable, and Lane’s End, an 18th-century farmhouse. There’s also the Harriton Manor House, which we’ve chosen as our Main Line Monday home for today.

Originally built in 1842, the Harriton Manor House sits on a lush plot overlooking a pond. It’s a country-style residence and as such offers features like plantation shutters and a breakfast room with fireplace and wood-stove insert. It’s newer details are likely to have come about during an extensive renovation in 2003. It was then that it had flagstone decking, a lower-level wine cellar and wet bar, and an apartment above the 3-car detached garage added to its repertoire. (FYI, its terrace is two stories and comes with massive columns.)

Read more »

The Vault Opens This Weekend at Valley Forge Casino

vault logoOpening Halloween weekend, The Vault below-ground bar and music venue adds another new entertainment amenity to the updated Valley Forge Casino Hotel. Bands of all genres will perform in what used to be a country-rock bar, and managers have totally revamped the food and drink menu.

The marketing team is calling it a speakeasy, with black-and-white movies showing and cocktails and light fare reflecting the Prohibition era. HOWEVER. Nothing about the rough-hewn wooden walls, the artfully presented hummus platter or the Smasher muddled drinks says speakeasy. Which doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a fun bar. It’s just not the kind of place you want to don your best flapper dress.

What it does offer is a lot of space, a stage, a dance floor, two bars, 40 bar stools and 60 seats, a VIP area, canned craft beers and tasty modern bites. Particularly notable are the bacon wrapped goat cheese dates, which you order, along with all of the other food, at a side counter. The VIP area has table service.

The Vault will open Fridays 8 pm to 2 am (except the 3rd Friday of the month – 10 pm to 2 am) and Saturdays 8 pm to 2 am. A DJ spins on Fridays and local bands play on Saturdays. Eventually there may be live comedy, burlesque and male revue. Expect to pay a $10 cover on Saturdays after 10 pm.

The Vault [Valley Forge Casino]

Guild Hall Brewing to Close After Just Under Five Months

guild-hall-closing-400Jenkintown’s Guild Hall Brewing Company will close after its Halloween event on Saturday, October 31st. The brewpub opened in mid-June and was open under 5 months. The building, which was a onetime Rolls Royce showroom was completely refurbished in a construction project that saw the brewpub open a good sixteen months beyond what was originally projected.

In a letter posted to Facebook, owners Owen Hutchins and wife Jennifer McGuire hoped people would come out Friday and Saturday for “a proper sendoff.”

Read the Guild Hall’s letter to customers »

Lady in Waiting: Sylvan Edge Gets Sliver Off Its Price Tag

Image courtesy of Dennis Cook

Image courtesy of Dennis Cook

“It was a packed showing,” says Dennis Cook of the open house he had at his home two weeks ago. And how could it not be? Last we checked, Sylvan Edge is as stately as its name.  Here’s a refresher for you:

  • It was built in 1928 by Joseph Greenberg, a Philadelphia real estate developer who was in the biz for more than fifty years. In addition to being the guy behind 1616 Walnut (i.e. the ICON building in Center City), Greenberg served as president of the Board of Realtors of Philadelphia and was member of the Board of Public Education where he oversaw school constructions and site selections.
  • It was designed by Tilden, Register & Pepper, a firm that helped design the massive U.S. Post Office building across from 30th Street Station in University City. They’re also behind the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, Philadelphia’s Sun Oil Building at 1608-14 Walnut,  and homes on the 1900 block of historic Ringgold Place.
  • It received an extensive restoration, courtesy of Cook, that lasted four years and returned to the home much of its original details. Features include hand-carved marble fireplaces (a total of four), custom floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, and a Belgian blocked driveway. The entry courtyard also has a marble Lunette fountain, while just beyond it the three-car garage boasts an artist’s studio with bathroom.
  • Since last writing about it, the Elkins Park manse, which is literally a five minute walk from the regional rail station, has received a sliver of a price cut, bringing the eight-bedroom down to $1,195,000.

Read more »

WATCH: Cosby Featured in Montco Attack Ad

A decision Bruce Castor made almost 10 years ago is the subject of a new attack ad. That decision: Not to prosecute Bill Cosby.

Andrea Constand, who worked at Temple at the time, told prosecutors in 2005 that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Cheltenham home. Castor did not file charges. Constand later sued Cosby and reached a settlement in 2006.

Castor, a Republican and Montgomery County commissioner, was the county district attorney from 2000 to 2008. He’s running again for the seat this year. His opponent, Montco first assistant DA Kevin Steele, this week released an advertisement that attacks Castor for his decision on Cosby. (Cosby, it should be noted, has never been criminally charged nor convicted in any jurisdiction, and has denied the the accusations against him. He faces civil lawsuits from several women across the country, however.)

The ad highlights a quote Castor gave before deciding whether to charge Cosby. “In Pennsylvania, we charge people for criminal conduct,” he said at the time. “We don’t charge people for making a mistake or doing something foolish.”

The ad concludes: “Bruce Castor is not looking out for the victims.” Castor told NBC 10 the attack ad was “predictable craziness from a desperate candidate.” Read more »

Pizzeria Felici Adds Lunch

pizzeria-felici-940Brian Sirhal and chef Tim Spinner have opened Pizzeria Felici in Horsham, PA earlier this month. And now they’ve started serving lunch at their pizzeria and wine bar. . The pair are branching out from their Mexican fare at Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz and Taqueria Feliz, with an Italian pizzeria and wine bar. PA. And starting today, Pizzeria Felici is now open for lunch on weekdays.

In addition to a selection of Neapolitan pizzas, the menu also includes well-crafted starters/antipasti and handmade pastas, large seasonal salads, and generous entrees.

Pizzeria Felici is open daily and lunch is served weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served seven days a week, starting at 4 p.m. Happy hour runs from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm daily with $4 house wines, $3 draft beers and $2 off of sangria and specialty cocktails.

Pizzeria Felici [Foobooz]

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Elkins Park Manse with Trompe L’Oeil, “Hand” Rail

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

It’s one thing for fancy estates in the Greater Philadelphia region to enamor us with their luxe features and history, but it’s quite another when one of these gorgeous homes has a whole other layer of charm by way of distinctive detailing. Behold Fox Muir, one such residence in Elkins Park – designed by native son Robert McGoodwin, mind you – with more than a few charming quirks.

Let’s begin shall we?

Read more »

No Charges for Hatboro Councilman Who Shot Suspected TD Bank Robber


Montgomery County district attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced today that Hatboro Councilman George Forgeng, who shot a suspected bank robber this summer, will not face charges.

Kevin Philip-Johnson Way entered the T.D. Bank on South York Road in Hatboro on July 8th, according to authorities, and showed the teller a note: “Give me $2,500 or I’ll start shooting, don’t make a sound and don’t move.” He got just $468 from a teller, and fled the premises.

While fleeing on foot down South York Road, the dye pack exploded, leaving Way surrounded by a large cloud of red smoke. Forgeng saw the smoke from the dye pack and said he figured Way had just robbed the TD Bank (which had been hit before). Forgeng followed him to a parking lot, armed with a Glock 9mm handgun.

“Go ahead and shoot me,” Way said to Forgeng, according to authorities. Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Radnor Barn Transformed Into Luxury Mansion

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

We’re filing this one under Jaw Dropper – though it would have undoubtedly fit our Main Line and Farmhouse features too – because, well, it’s incredible. Formerly a barn nestled in Radnor Township, the renovated and restored property now functions as a residential piece of eye-candy overlooking “The Willows,” a lush 47-acre township park.

Inside, the home flaunts striking original stone walls accented with distinct millwork and gas fireplaces. Beautiful woodwork is spread throughout, making appearances in the wood-paneled executive office and the wood-ceilinged (and window-surrounded) breakfast room. Other rooms of note include a fitness space, bar, second caterer’s kitchen, gender-segregated bathrooms, billiard area, and in-law suite with office. The kitchen, too, is vaunted as exceptional what with its custom finishes and double Subzero refrigerators and freezers.

Read more »

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