Morning Headlines: Church to Condo Conversion in Narberth

Side view screenshot via Google Street View.

Side view screenshot via Google Street View.

The proposed adaptive reuse of St. Margaret’s Church, also known as the Gleason Center, made headway this past Wednesday after the Narberth Planning Commission voted to recommend approval for the project.

Developer Ted Moser plans to convert the church to a condo with four two-bedroom units and underground garage with eight parking spaces, while making minimal changes to the building’s exterior. However, certain conditions must be met before the conversion can go through, according to the Main Line Times:

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From the Dept. of If This, Then That: Behold Michael Yelson’s Narberth Home


Before reading any further, a Rorshach test is in order. Examine this image. Were you disgusted? Perhaps you might find something else of interest on Property. Did you shrug your shoulders? Were you entranced by the weirdly dated kitsch of it? Then this is the property for you.

People have many opinions on Yelson Group. There is the weird stripper silhouette thing. There was the time the owner had that beef with Marc Vetri about a mural. The tipster who told Curbed about the stripper silhouette claimed – in a Citysearch review of all places! – that Yelson himself snarked on the woman’s appearance. Her alleged riposte? To tell the man he looked like “Rod Stewart threw up on him,” which she says he took as a compliment. Which brings us to his Narberth home, on the market since this summer.

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Transformation: United Methodist Church of Narberth Goes Condo [PHOTOS]


The massive condo conversion project at the site of the former United Methodist Church of Narberth has a new name and so do its developers. The project is now known as Narberth Place, an umbrella moniker for Elm Hall (the renamed church itself), Barrie House (the old parsonage) and Vauclain Manor (a new townhouse). The project will eventually include 12 units with three in Vauclain, three in Barrie and six in the old church, according to Main Line reBUILD (formerly Main Line Realty Partners).

Developers plan to retain the original architectural details of the parsonage and the church while adapting the interior with modern finishes. In order to preserve the original details, a facade easement was granted for both the church and the parsonage. The new construction building, Vauclain, will use similar materials to those being used in the Barrie conversion. Both Barrie and Vauclain are set to be completed late this summer, at which point construction will begin on Elm Hall. Framing began on the third floor of Barrie just last week.

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Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Carmine’s Creole Cafe, Act II

Shrimp and crawfish etouffee at Carmine's Creole Cafe Act II

With scaled-down ambitions and pumped up flavors, John Mims comes back to Narberth. But is this homecoming what he really wants?

The best place to be is the four=seat kitchen bar, where you can watch [Mims] lob giant knuckles of butter into fry pans already thick with seafood and his tomato-bombed Creole stock, or smother andouille sausage and duck meat with glistening lumps of braised pork shoulder–and top that with bacon gravy.

Two-and-a-half Stars — Very Good

Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Carmine’s Creole Café Act II Turns It Up to 11 [Philadelphia magazine]

Two Bells for Narberth’s Aperto

Craig LaBan visits Aperto in Narberth. The BYO by John Wolferth, a veteran of Main Line fine dining includes enough hits that Lit achieves a two bell rating.

At his best, with the entrées of slow-braised meats, Wolferth conjures dishes I’d crave regularly if I lived closer – in particular his lamb sugo, a rustic bowl of tenderly stewed leg meat pulled to shreds in a brothy lamb gravy over pappardelle noodles with long-stemmed artichokes. The pappardelle reappeared on my second visit beneath a zesty crumble of guanciale-tinged wild boar Bolognese, amped even further with herbs and red wine. A plate of slow-cooked veal cheeks was so impossibly soft the almost feathery meat practically melted into the cauliflower puree at the tap of a fork.

Two Bells – Very Good

Aperto [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Aperto [Official Site]

Two Bells for Gemelli


Craig LaBan certainly has some complaints in his two bell review of Narberth’s Gemelli. But he also has some nice things to say about chef/owner Clark Gilbert’s cooking.

Tops on my list is Gilbert’s inventive take on the classic Italian “vitello tonnato,” a dice of tuna tartare molded atop a cylinder of braised veal cheek meat that’s been cooked into the shredded texture of rillettes. Each ingredient heightens the other, the tuna a ruby spark of raw freshness against the savory intensity of the pâtélike meat, accented with a capery Caesar dressing. A special peekytoe crab salad was equally satisfying, an unbound crab cake whose briny sweetness was tuned up by a lemony herb vinaigrette, then enriched with a silky layer of avocado mousse.

Two Bells – Very Good

Gemelli [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Gemelli [Official Site]

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