Rebirth of the Cool: Heritage Reviewed

Beef tartare with green strawberry | Photo by Neal Santos

Beef tartare with green strawberry | Photo by Neal Santos

On the first day, there were Edison bulbs. Twenty-first-century diners across the land gazed up from rough-hewn farm tables, from their plates of artisanal charcuterie and pork belly with rich-yolked local egg, and beheld the bygone incandescence of the tungsten age.

On the second day, there were Clover Clubs and Aviations. Barmen wearing arm garters and handlebar mustaches shook Prohibition’s elixirs into the Facebook era.

Oh, but on the third day our souls willfinally sing, for the jazz club will rise again! Read more »

This New Strength-Training Gym Makes Being a Newbie Way Less Scary

IGNITE class | Photo via Facebook

IGNITE class | Photo via Facebook

What with all the grunting, bulging muscles and weights that weigh more than you, walking into a barbell gym to strength train on your own when you have little to no experience can be a bit intimidating. But Northern Liberties’ newly opened War Horse Barbell Club has taken the scary factor out of the equation with their strength-training program, designed to get average Joes and Janes — who may or may not be new to the gym world — in the best shape ever.

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Because Some People Just Like To Be Hurt: It’s A Thai Tapout Dinner At Circles

Alex Boonphaya
The heat is ON on Thursday July 16th at Circles Thai.

Here’s the deal: chef Alex Boonphaya is hosting a 5-course Thai Tapout dinner, and he’s so confident that his dishes are too spicy to endure that he’s buying dinner for anybody who finishes the full five course meal. Winners who “beat the heat” will also receive a complimentary t-shirt.

It’ll work like this. Dinner costs $45, but can be made progressively cheaper by finishing the spicier courses. The first course is the most mild (4/10) and the last is the spiciest (10/10). If you make it through three, you pay $30. If you make it through four, you pay $20. If you attempt the fifth, you pay $10, and it’s free if you finish every last bite. Be warned: the fifth course features a ghost pepper concentrate–which is just crazy because concentrating the world’s hottest pepper into one fiery paste sounds just ridiculously dangerous.

But also kind of cool.

Anyway, keep reading, you masochists.

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Adam Erace Ranks Heritage In His Top 10 Philly Restaurants

The bar at Heritage.

The bar at Heritage.

Heritage, a newcomer to Northern Liberties this spring, surprised and impressed City Paper critic Adam Erace. So much so, in fact, that the restaurant now holds a spot in his top 10 Philly favorites despite its relative youth. Lauding the mature and thoughtful cooking, Erace explains:

 “Lately I feel that, spoiled by recent years of plenty, we’ve slid into a period of casual-sex restaurants: They feel good, sure, but do they challenge us? Do they have a point of view? Are they adding something to the conversation? At first glance, Heritage seemed to be just another lemming, offering a couple hours of pleasant distraction with the same ol’ new-American menu of kale salad, crudo and smoked things. Reading through online, the list felt inexplicably wintry. It was 95 degrees. I didn’t want to eat brisket with cabbage, trout in truffled broth or duck confit. I didn’t want to eat at Heritage. Now, thanks to chef Sean Magee, I can’t wait to go back.”

Heritage shines in Northern Liberties [City Paper]
Heritage [f8b8z]

Trinity Tuesday: Yep, This Double-Bedroom in NoLibs Has a Bathroom Deck

TREND photos via RE/MAXX Access

TREND photos via RE/MAXX Access

Remember the Italian Market trinity house with a French balcony in the bathroom? Well, we’ve found a Philadelphia home that takes it a step further: this North Bodine Street home in Northern Liberties has a deck overlooking the street and is solely accessed via the second-floor bathroom. What the what? Has this always been a thing with certain homes?

Bathroom deck or no, the expanded property caught our attention for several reasons, not least for the callback to nature vibe of its current interior design. For one thing, it’s within walking distance to the upcoming SoNo project, which promises to be a creative office “campus of cool” once complete. Notable home features include original hardwood floors, two fireplaces, and a finished basement with a recently renovated laundry area.

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Hip, Horizontal and Creative: Major Office Project to Replace Destination Maternity

SoNo | Renderings and video via Alliance Partners HSP

SoNo | Renderings and video via Alliance Partners HSP

When Destination Maternity decided to sell their headquarters at 5th and Spring Garden Street in Northern Liberties to Alliance Partners HSP in fall 2014, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the new owners. Rich Previdi, founder and managing partner of Alliance Partners HSP, said they were looking at the aerial view of the area prior to the $13 million deal and saw this “big white blotch” on the map. It turned out to be the roof of the Destination Maternity site, and Previdi knew they had the opportunity to develop a transformative project.

Creative office space is all the rage these days. Nearby N.3rd Street from Old City to Fishtown is teeming with creatives and tech-driven companies, East Market is about to enter the fold and even Finnigan’s Wake is looking to transition onto the scene. Everyone these days is going vertical, but the Destination Maternity site–dubbed SoNo for “South Northern Liberties” by HSP–gives them the opportunity to spread out a creative office project chock full of amenities into what they hope will become a campus of cool. They’re going horizontal.

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Eco-Friendly NoLibs Home with Floating Staircase

Updated June 4, 2015, 1:30pm: A Philly Mag staffer came across this amazing, slightly dizzying, video tour of the home on HomeJab. We’ve embedded it for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!


Here’s something that should give you an idea about what this cool Northern Liberties home is all about: t’was a collaboration between the owner and the geniuses over at Re:Vision Architecture. (Seriously, just take a peek at their work.) Born out of this joint effort, the home has been left with a superb eco-friendly status and a Leo Razzi stamp right on its face.

(Not literally on its face, but you’ll see what we mean…)

To begin, there’s its Passive House energy design standard, which includes elements such as its solar panels, Zender ERV ventilation system (controls indoor air quality), and Energy Star appliances. Any excessive water-usage it might have had is now toned down by low-flow fixtures and dual flush toilets, while the property’s GE Geospring water heater works more efficiently than standard water heaters,”the 2nd highest energy users in U.S. households.”

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You Have to Check Out This Neat, Solar-Paneled Home in Northern Liberties

TREND photos via Redfin

TREND photos via Redfin

Is it just us or is there something a tad maze-like about this home (at least by what we can tell from the photos, see gallery below)? It’s interesting because other than that quirk and its über neat details, it’s a fairly unassuming newer construction in Northern Liberties, tucked away on the cobblestoned corner of Reno and Orkney Streets.

Unique features include a glass wall segregating the dining room from the Joanne Hudson-designed kitchen, where there’s custom concrete countertops and dining island (seats four), appliances made by Miele, Liebherr, and Wolf, and Downsview cabinetry; and a split-level second floor with three bedrooms (one of which has a custom steel fireplace) and a walk-in laundry room. Birch hardwood floors are throughout and there’s a custom-crafted wood, steel, and glass central staircase.

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