And, to make matters worse, Blumenfeld’s former business partner Ron Caplan has threatened to collect on a defaulted loan to the tune of $37 million, though Blumenfeld’s lawyer challenges Caplan’s authority to do so. Still, the legal battle between the two continues on other fronts, a sad turn of events for two men who were once so close.
Remember the Divine Lorraine? That big, beautiful, abandoned building on North Broad Street that Mayor Nutter said was a cornerstone of Philadelphia’s revival and that developer Eric Blumenfeld has such big dreams for? It was featured yesterday on the national website Web Urbanist, and called, “one of Philadelphia’s most intriguing buildings,” “a Victorian beauty” and “an enticing site for urban exploration.”
Of course, it’s not supposed to be “visited” by urban explorers anymore, but given that its conversion remains stalled, it may only be a matter of time before people find their way inside again. The issue seems to be funding. Blumenfeld has applied for a $7.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program matching fund from the state, but didn’t get it in the first round. We put a call in to see if he wants to talk about the latest. Read more »
It was a bit of a shock last year when the National Trust for Historic Preservation chose Joe Frazier’s old gym on North Broad Street for one of the coveted spots on its annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Local residents who valued Frazier’s mentoring and ceaseless community building at the gym were gratified, as were boxing fans. Though the gym didn’t have local or state preservation status–the building’s architectural worth isn’t profound–the National Trust recognized its value as a part of the country’s African-American history.
Here it is, your afternoon neighborhood news fix.
· UCity: Drexel’s New URBN Center Has Stairways That Lead To Stairways [philebrity]
· Center City: Historic Walnut Street Home Undergoing Renovations [Naked Philly]
· Everywhere: 13 weird street names in and around Philadelphia [philly.com]
· Mt. Airy: Lovett Park Revitalization Brings Collaboration [Philadelphia Neighborhoods]
· East Passyunk: First Pics: Oliver & Company Tea Room opening [Passyunk Post]
· North Broad: Transformative Architects Set Eyes On North Broad Street [Hidden City]
· Bridesburg: Henon backs off “Cokie” factory zoning [PhillyDeals]
· Corner of Screaming and Yelling: SEPTA to hold public meetings on proposed fare increases [NewsWorks]
We’re really big saison fans around here so this event at Alla Spina is right in our wheelhouse. Tonight marks the kickoff of Alla Spina’s annual Saisonale, a ten-tap saison beer event to welcome warmer weather.
There will be classics, local farmhouse ales and even L’Olmaia Karkade Zymatore (aged in a gin barrel).
Philly Cooks Week Tasting Tours will be going on sale next week. Find out about them first, exclusively in the Foobooz Newsletter. Tasting Tours are a set of three tours nightly, between February 25th and 27th.
And just to whet your appetite, how does this sound?
Congrats go out to Vetri Restaurants Steve Wildy, who has recently been named general manager at Alla Spina. The organization’s beverage director has added the second title and kicked off what we hope will truly be a series, Weekly Wildy.
Alla Spina is saying thank you to local breweries between now through New Year’s Eve by devoting all 22 of its tap lines to East-coast beers. Look for everything from Alla Spina exclusive, Victory Via Weisse to Yards Brewing’s barleywine, Olde Bartholomew.
Alla Spina [Official Site]
Victory Brewing and Alla Spina have been coming up with collaborative brews since the bar opened earlier this year. And on Monday, Januay 7th, the North Broad bar will be debuting Victory Hundred Horse during a special Alla Spina Industry Night. Joining the Alla Spina crew will be Paul Kahan of One Off Hospitality group (he’s the chef/owner at Chicago’s Blackbird, Avec, Publican, Big Star Tacos, and Publican Quality Meats). Kahan will be joined by Publican chef de cuisine Brian Huston and beer director, Michael McAvena.
Hundred Horse is the collaboration of Alla Spina and the Publican team. It is a chestnut ale brewed with imported English & German malts and hops, and fermented with a German Kolsch yeast. Expect a nutty, light, malt-forward flavor.