First Look: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons

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Potentially edging Charlie Was A Sinner out for most esoteric restaurant name in town is Fishtown newcomer, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons. The restaurant takes its name from the facade of the building itself, a 1890’s whiskey blending and bottling facility just across from the El Bar and the Good Spoon Soupery at Front and Master.

Together, the three businesses are, in fact, dead-on examples of how Fishtown is changing. The El Bar is a long-established stalwart–a proper dive bar with karaoke, live music and cheap beer. Good Spoon Soupery arrived a few years ago, a seasonally-focused food business looking to set up in an area where local entrepreneurs had begun to migrate. Now, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons represents something new; the Fishtown of fresh new condos, glossy live/work spaces, and that particular Mumford & Sons aesthetic of a perfectly worn-in vintage leather jacket. It’s an ethos that matches the old and industrial with the fresh and new already on display in La Colombe’s distillery and cafe and in the very bones of what Kensington Quarters does. Fishtown is so hot with development that it’s only fitting that someone add a wood-fired pizza oven.

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Sour Beer and Cider Focused Bar Coming to Locust Street

Owner Teddy Sourias in what will become Cinder, a tart beer and cider bar on Locust Street.

Owner Teddy Sourias in what will become Cinder, a tart beer and cider bar on Locust Street.

Tart fans will have a new home base when Teddy Sourias’ (BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Uptown Beer Garden) new bar, Cinder opens at 1500 Locust Street this summer. The bar will capitalize on the exploding popularity of sours, goses, wild ales and ciders. A wood-fired oven will turn out rustic pizzas in what Sourias is calling his most food-focused concept to date.

The 2,400 square foot bar takes over the space that formerly was home to Wolf Market, just up the street from Fado and across the street from Misconduct Tavern. If all goes well, the bar, complete with custom copper piped beer system and custom-built wood-fired oven will open in late June or early July. The bar will have capacity for 65-75 people with additional seating on Locust Street. The bar will be situated to the right of the entrance with high-top tables along the front windows. The dining area will be in the center of the room and the open kitchen will be to the left. The space will also have a smaller dining area available for a chef’s table or private dining.

More on Cinder »

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Is Set in Fishtown

Wm. Mulherin's Sons - Chris Painter brings Italian, pizza and a whole lot more to Fishtown.

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons – Chris Painter brings Italian, pizza and a whole lot more to Fishtown | Photo by Michael Persico

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is set to officially open this Thursday, March 31st. The 101-seat Italian restaurant and four-room hotel (opening in June) is situated under the El in Fishtown, at the corner of Front and Master Streets. Named for the family-owned 19th century whiskey blending and bottling factory that occupied the building, it has been impressively redeveloped preserving the original character and decor. The restored elements include the terra-cotta exterior signs, wood-framed arched windows, the original vestibule and even the company’s safe, repurposed as a coat room and closet. Local craftsman have admirably filled in the gaps, creating a brand new restaurant that feels like it has been there forever.

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The Stupid Joy of Simple Things: Clarkville Reviewed

Photo by Emily Teel

Photo by Emily Teel

The thing that matters most about Clarkville is where it lives. It’s a pizza restaurant with good beer, a single solid pasta, and a short, tight menu of things that aren’t pizza—things that aren’t always great, but feel like pleasant surprises anyway when you stumble across them on the menu. But that’s just what it does. In some places, the restaurants make the neighborhood—Manayunk, Fishtown, Walnut Street during Le Bec Fin’s first youth. In others, the neighborhood shapes the restaurants. Clarkville? Absolutely the latter.

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An Appreciation: Tony’s Place

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When my mom was a kid, the waitresses at Tony’s Place would elbow you in the head.

Not always, and with good cause. If you were in their way — if your feet were sticking out of the booths, for example — they would elbow you. It worked: Once you got your head bashed in once, you wouldn’t get in a waitress’ way again.

By the time I started going to Tony’s, the waitresses weren’t elbowing people. The waitstaff at Tony’s is quite nice! But they still have a certain attitude — gruff with a heart of gold — that’s reminiscent of great dive bar waitresses across the city.

There’s a lot to like about Tony’s Place. The pizza — “tomato pies” in Northeast Philly parlance — is probably the best in the city. It’s certainly my favorite pizza place in the city. The beer selection is now pretty solid. The thick steak fries are mouthwatering. I’ve never ordered anything but pizza there, but I’ve been told the other food is good. Mostly, though, Tony’s feels the same as it did when I was a little kid. I might have a beer instead of a soda when I visit, but a meal at Tony’s at 33 is pretty much the same experience I had when I was three.

The news earlier this week that Tony’s Place would be sold to three Bucks County regulars came not entirely as a surprise. A little over a year ago, Northeast Philly scuttlebutt was that Tony’s might close outright. The last day for owner Joe Mallamaci is Sunday. The new owners report there will be renovations, but the menu and staff will largely be the same. Still, I can’t help but be a little sad. Read more »

Snap Custom Pizza Opens on Sansom Street

snap custom pizza 400Snap Custom Pizza opens today at 11 a.m. at 1504 Sansom Street. It’s the third location for Snap and the first in Philadelphia proper. The other two locations from the Peace A Pizza founders are in Ardmore and Exton. This first Center City location is at the former home of Rob Wasserman’s 500° burger spot. Wasserman, who also owns Ritttenhouse Square’s Rouge is now a part of the Snap team.

Snap Custom Pizza takes the now familiar Chipotle-style assembly line and applies it to pizza. Customizable pizzas start at $7.49 and the menu also includes signature pizzas and salads.

Snap plans to rev up the expansion engine, looking to add 15 locations in the next 18 months.

Snap Custom Pizza – Sansom Street [Foobooz]

Introducing the Bruno at Kermit’s Bake Shoppe

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The Bruno at Kermit’s Bake Shoppe

Chef Brian Lofink got inspired while walking through Di Bruno Bros. recently. And with all that cheese and other wonderful products, that’s not surprising. So Lofink got to grabbing cheeses, balsamic dressing, bacon and more. Then he headed back to Kermit’s Bake Shop to create a the fanciest pizza the bakery and pizza shop has made yet.

The Bruno, as this brussels sprouts pizza is called, is offered as a whole pie only. The $25 winter pizza is earthy, smoky, bright and acidic. An intense and delicious pie for sure. Since getting to sample it a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been waiting for it to finally be offered for sale so I can get it again.

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What Mattered To You In 2015: Cheese, Idiots, Beer And Tacos

Foobooz Morning AvatarEvery year we take a moment to look back at the Foobooz web statistics and see what it was that brought you to visit us. There are always some obvious things: Restaurant openings and closings, reviews, and our big packages like 50 Best Restaurants. But there are always some small, odd tidbits and trends that we discover while poking at the data.

So here’s what visitors to Foobooz were most interested in this year, and what we learned.

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