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.
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.
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 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]
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.
Every 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.
East Passyunk’s Brigantessa is now open for lunch from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Executive chef and partner Joe Cicala and chef de cuisine Julia Robinson are serving up his pizzas plus antipasti, panini and Contorni (sides).
It’s a perfect break to your holiday shopping on the Avenue.
Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly keep cranking out the openings. Just a couple of months after Coeur opened in Bella Vista, Clarkville is opening this evening at 4301 Baltimore Avenue, across from Clark Park.
Clarkville is about “slinging homespun comfort food out of a giant double decker pizza relic and guzzling craft beer and wine seven days a week.” The menu includes five pizzas, three sandwiches and other small and shareable plates. As always, the Maida, Hartranft and Kelly (MH+K) team have plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans.