Restaurant Review: Charlie Was a Sinner

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Just how much sinning do you like to do over dinner?

That’s a good question to chew on at Nicole Marquis’s mysterious new bar on 13th Street, where you can drink bourbon and absinthe beneath a looming hardback edition of In Cold Blood, watch sultry projections of Marilyn Monroe flicker upon the ruffles of a diaphanous wall curtain, and soak up your alcohol with food completely untainted by animal products.

In an era abounding with culinary hobgoblins—gluten for him, fructose for her, GMOs for the guy down the street—veganism still reigns unrivaled as the diet of the ethically upright. But the plant-only jawn feels a little racier at Charlie Was a Sinner, and not just because it’s next door to the last surviving porn shop on this once-seedy strip. Marquis, the woman behind HipCityVeg, named her lounge the way Elmore Leonard started crime novels. Who’s Charlie? Has he—or she—repented? Exactly what sort of sin are we talking about here?

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Pssst! HipCityVeg Has a Secret Menu Item You’ve Never Tried

Hip City Veg | Photo by Christoper Gabello

Hip City Veg | Photo by Christoper Gabello

Just a quick redirect here: The folks over at Zagat Philly have a post this week about secret menu items (i.e. off-menu dishes you have to know to ask for) at 20 Philly restaurants. Color me surprised to find a delicious-sounding item from one of my favorite lunch spots, HipCityVeg: a vegan grilled chick’n club sandwich that apparently only people in the know have been enjoying for who knows how long. I feel robbed.

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Charlie Was a Sinner. Is a Week from Opening

Photo via designer Mike Smith

Photo via designer Mike Smith

Michael Klein has been given inside access to chronicle Nicole Marquis’s Charlie was a sinner. (yes, that’s the official capitalization and punctuation). In his most recent report, Klein has details on what will be on the menu created by the Mildred’s Mike Santoro. What Klein doesn’t have, despite several requests, is the final menu. Inside access doesn’t mean all access. But we all should know what is on the menu when Charlie was a sinner. opens in the next week or so.

The making of Charlie was a sinner.: Menu sampling [The Insider]

HipCityVeg Owner to Open a Vegan Bar

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

I think this pretty much cement’s Philly’s status as a vegan powerhouse: We’re getting a new vegan bar. Our friends at Foobooz are reporting that HipCityVeg owner Nicole Marquis is teaming up with real estate developer Allan Domb to open a bar called Charlie Was a Sinner (Friends: What do we think of the name?) at 131 South 13th Street in Midtown Village.

It’ll serve cocktails made with juices and feature a menu full of plant-based food. They’re pegging March as the rough opening date, with construction beginning tomorrow.

More on the vegan-bar news here.

Nicole Marquis To Open a Vegan Bar

Best Philadelphian Nicole Marquis of HipCityVeg. Photo for Philadelphia magazine by Nell Hoving.

Photo for Philadelphia magazine by Nell Hoving.

Back in April we told you that HipCityVeg’s Nicole Marquis’ name appeared on a liquor license at 131 S 13th Street, the former Full Moon Saloon, next to Vintage Wine Bar, or Danny’s Sex Shop if you prefer. Today Marquis gives us the details.

Marquis and real estate developer Allan Domb are opening Charlie Was a Sinner, a vegan bar in Midtown Village. Marquis tells us that she’s been doing research in and is looking to bring an elevated vegan bar to Philadelphia. Inspired by places like the Ace Hotel and Beauty & Essex in New York, the bar will serve cocktails made with elixrs and juices and serve up satisfying plant-based menu.

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HipCityVeg Is Expanding to University City

hipcityveg-fast-fresh

Nicole Marquis tells Michael Klein that a branch of her uber-popular HipCityVeg is coming to 214 South 40th Street this fall. The 1,775 square foot space will offer significantly more space than Marquis’ original HipCityVeg on 18th Street in Center City. The vegan quick-serve spot will join a strip of businesses that includes Smokey Joe’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Greek Lady and Qdoba.

HipCityVeg is coming to University City [The Insider]
HipCityVeg [Official Site]

HipCityVeg’s Nicole Marquis’ Name Appears on 13th Street Liquor License

marquis-and-co

The 13th Street liquor license that earlier this week listed developer Allan Domb’s name on it, now bares the name of HipCityVeg owner Nicole Marquis. Though, neither Marquis or Domb would fully commit earlier this week that Marquis was going into the former Full Moon Saloon at 131 S 13th Street, Marquis’ name on the liquor license would indicate a second project from the owner of the popular vegan spot off of 18th Street is on its way.

We’ll have more news as the concept is revealed.

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