Armenian Restaurant Comes to Northern Liberties

apricotstone 400On Friday, ApricotStone opened on Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties. The restaurant is owned by Ara Ishkhanian and chef Fimy Ishkhanian runs the kitchen. Ishkhanian is turning out a menu of seasonally inspired Mediterranean and Armenian cuisine.

 Ishkhanian grew up in Aleppo, Syria and came to the United States in 1981. In 1993 she opened Fimy’s Kitchen on the Main Line and added a second location in 1995. Now she’s bringing her cooking to Northern Liberties.

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Same Same Debuts Seasonal Soup

SameSameEventually, winter is going to arrive. And when it does, what could be  more appetizing than a nice, hot, meaty bowl of soup to soothe your seasonal sorrows?

Well, lucky for you, Same Same Vietnamese restaurant in Northern Liberties recently introduced an authentic Bun Bo Hue soup just in time for winter’s cold-front.

Chef/owner Chad Kubanoff calls it “The King’s Soup” because of the oversized serving meant for eating double-fisted, with chopsticks in one hand and a spoon in the other.

Kubanoff also said, “it’s all about the side dish” and this soup’s authenticity derives from the traditional vegetable plate served on the side. The side plate includes shaved banana flower, shaved water spinach, bean sprouts, chili, lime and herbs like Thai basil that make this a real-life version of Bun Bo Hue.

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Change in Plans for Massive Northern Liberties Office Space

An artist rendering for SoNo, a large, horizontal office space in Northern Liberties.

An artist rendering for SoNo, a large, horizontal office space in Northern Liberties.

It was supposed to be hip, modern office space on a grand scale. The massive Destination Maternity building that’s 220,000 square feet and spans an entire city block on Spring Garden Street in Northern Liberties was set to undergo a $60 million transformation, giving it the potential to lure in a regional office for Google, Twitter or another national tech company. The excitement from the Philly tech community was palpable.

In fact, building owners Alliance Partners HSP toured the West Coast offices for Airbnb, Pixar, Salesforce and Twitter to help them find inspiration. One large, national company even took a tour of the space, but eventually passed. Read more »

Sued for Playing Whitney: Bar Owners Fighting Relentless Drive for Music Fees

Although it may surprise people outside the service industry, bars and restaurants must pay music licensing fees for the right to play music in their establishments. That’s live music, dinner music, DJs, jukeboxes. Everything. If you’re going to play Shake it Off at your bar, Taylor Swift (or whoever owns the publishing rights) wants a check.

While the process is legal, it has bar and restaurant owners upset — and a growing list of proprietors claim the “take-it-or-leave-it” fee structure lacks alternatives and transparency in how they’re billed. There are three main music licensing companies: Broadcast Music Inc., the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and SESAC Inc.) To some, the way they operate feels like a shakedown — especially since the companies send spies to the establishment to write down what songs they hear. Then comes a questionnaire asking about the establishment’s square footage, live-music schedule, jukebox situation and other things — outputting an amount they have to pay. But don’t try to argue. If you don’t comply, they’ll just use their big money to take you to court. Just ask Silk City in Northern Liberties. More on that in a minute. Read more »

Jerry’s Bar Introduces New Fall Menus (Along With A New Chef)

Jerrys Bar French ToastNorthern Liberties quaint and comfortable neighborhood hangout spot, Jerry’s Bar, is announcing big changes to the little bar and bistro wedged at the intersection of West Laurel and New Market Streets.

With the arrival of their new executive chef, Matthew Gansert (ex of Resurrection Ale House and Will BYOB) comes some new touches and tastes to one of the city’s great modern gastropubs.

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Suppa Is Turning Two and Celebrating

suppa-400Suppa is celebrating its 2nd anniversary on Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties. The restaurant has some featured menu items from friends of the restaurant through the weekend, and on Sunday, they’re doing a pop-up across town at Taproom on 19th. The pop-up kicks off at 5 p.m. and will feature hot fried chicken sliders, roast pork cubanos and battered and fried brownies.

If you’re looking for a deal, get 10% off your check through October when you post a photo of your Suppa meal on Instagram. And this Saturday and Sunday, complimentary Bloody Marys and mimosas will be offered.

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Happy Hour Begins at Heritage

The bar at Heritage | Photo by Danya Heninger

The bar at Heritage | Photo by Danya Heninger

As if you needed more reasons to head to Heritage, the Northern Liberties jazz bar with the fine food from chef Sean Magee, they’ve just launched a new happy hour which features discounted Veuve for the high rollers as well as deviled eggs for those not on a Champagne budget.

The happy hour runs from 5 pm to 7 pm on weeknights and again from 11 pm to midnight. The deals include a rotating selection of $6 cocktails, $5 wines and $3 beers. There will also be a rotating selection of bar snacks from chef Magee.

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Spuntino Brings Neapolitan Pizza to Northern Liberties


Wood-fired oven at Spuntino | Photo via Facebook

Salvatore and Robert Carollo’s second Spuntino is opening today at 2nd and Fairmount in Northern Liberties. The brothers own Spuntino in Doylestown. The wood-fired pizzeria offers 15 or so Neapolitan pizzas cooked in an oven built in Italy.

The menu also offers a six salads and will add Schiacciata, a Tuscan speciality of pizza dough stuffed with the likes of prosciutto, arugula, fresh mozzarella or eggplant, bruschetta Tomatoes and shaved parmigiano.

The BYOB pizzeria is open six days a week, Tuesday through Thursday: 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday: 11 am to 11 pm and noon to 5 pm on Sundays.

Spuntino [Foobooz]

Green Changes In Store for Point Breeze and East Poplar

Top: Wharton Square; bottom: John F. Street Community Center | Images via Google Street View

Top: Wharton Square; bottom: John F. Street Community Center | Images via Google Street View

Years from now, when all is said and done, Philadelphia will have reduced the stormwater pollution entering its rivers and streams by an estimated 85 percent. At least, this is what the city hopes to achieve by implementing projects from its Green City, Clean Waters plan, a program spearheaded by the Philadelphia Water Department.

This week, the ambitious plan rears its head in East Poplar and Point Breeze where residents are set to hear updated green infrastructure improvement plans slated for their respective neighborhoods.

In the case of East Poplar, earlier community feedback was used to inform plans for green stormwater infrastructure surrounding the East Poplar Playground, athletic field, and area streets.

“Our goal is to reduce the volume of polluted stormwater entering local sewers that connect to the Delaware River with green tools that beautify the area – but we’re working with neighbors to make sure that doesn’t impact community gardens or people playing sports on the field,” says PWD’s Philly Watersheds Blog, whose representatives will be meeting with neighbors on the plans’ progress Wednesday, October 14th.

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Emmanuelle Closing on November 30th

Christian Gaal and Phoebe Esmon are leaving town.

Christian Gaal and Phoebe Esmon are leaving town.

Emmanuelle, the hidden cocktail bar behind PYT is closing after its third anniversary party on Monday, November 30th. Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal, who have been behind the bar from the beginning are planning to leave town so the bar is “breaking up the band.” But the bare is going to go out with a string of events featuring guest bartenders as well as “a final, no-holds-barred edition of the menu, titled Can I Move?” A menu that will certainly push the limits of what the couple has been doing at Emmanuelle for the past several years.

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