The Newest Circles Is Having A Grand Opening Party

circles-alex-Boonphaya-400Tuk Tuk Real–the Thai-Latino fusion experiment by chef Alex Boonphaya and his sous, Silvestre Rincón-Tellez–did not go well. There were problems with balance, with presentation, and the place got kicked around pretty good by our own Trey Popp. When it closed a few weeks back after just nine months in business, no one was really surprised.

And when it was announced that Boonphaya was going to be turning the location at 429 South Street into another outlet of his well-liked Circles Thai restaurant mini-chain, folks were happy. Circles is dependably good. Thai is Boonphaya’s comfort zone. All of this is good news.

Even better? He’s celebrating the re-opening of the space Tuesday, August 4 with a whole bunch of free grub for the neighbors.

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Pastry Chef Jessica Nolen Opening Bakery and Cafe


Jessica Nolen with husband Jeremy at a book signing for their cookbook, New German Cooking.

Jessica Nolen, the pastry chef for Brauhaus Schmitz and Whetstone is striking out on her own. Nolen is opening The Little Bird Bakery and Cafe at 517 S 5th Street, the former home of Cookie Confidential. The Little Bird will make all the bread and pastries for the two restaurants as well as offer breakfast pastries, desserts, soups, salads and lunchtime sandwiches to the public.

Nolen, who is the wife of Brauhaus Schmitz chef and Whetstone owner Jeremy Nolen, has most of her funding in place but has launched a GoFundMe campaign for a couple of high price pieces of equipment. Nolen is looking to raise money for her coffee setup and an industrial mixer.

If all goes well, the Little Bird Bakery and Cafe will open in October.

The Little Bird Bakery and Cafe [Foobooz]

Chef Rob Marzinsky Pops Up at Little Fish


Ready for a pop-up?

Last February, Chef Rob Marzinsky, formerly of Fitler Dining Room hosted a pop-up dinner before jetting off to Australia, Thailand and Vietnam. Well now he’s back and he’s taking what he learned abroad with Australian chef Ben Shewry to host a second pop-up.

Marzinsky is teaming up with chef and former co-worker, Palmer Marinelli to host the lunch and dinner pop-up, DemoTapes2 at Little FishThe pop-up will run from Thursday, August 13th through Sunday, August 16th.

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Opening Menus for Whetstone Tavern

Photo by Brian Leahy

Whetstone | Photo by Brian Leahy

Whetstone Tavern, the American restaurant from Brauhaus Schmitz chef Jeremy Nolen is scheduled to open this Wednesday, July 15th at 700 South 5th Street. The restaurant, saw several setbacks as it approached its opening day, including water damage, inspection woes, and even a visit from an inflatable rat. But that’s all behind Nolen and Doug Hager, the Brauhaus Schmitz owner who is a partner in Whetstone. The food veers away from the German food that has brought him notoriety at Brauhaus. Instead expect dishes as diverse as Kung Pao chicken wings and Passyunk Pork, a 12-ounce bone-in pork chop prepared, with a tip of a cap to Philadelphia’s roast pork sandwich, with sharp provolone polenta, broccoli rabe and pork cracklings.

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Stop the Presses: Cecil Baker’s Candy Factory Home in Queen Village Has Sold

TREND images via Redfin

TREND images via Redfin

These days, you’ll see the name of renowned architect Cecil Baker attached to crazy awesome skyscraper projects. Heck, you might even come across some of his on-the-market residential work if you’re lucky. But prior to Baker becoming an architectural favorite, there were the early days that some recent grads might benefit from hearing (lift their spirits, you know?).

A 2008 article on Residential Architect recalls Baker’s humble beginnings in Philadelphia and the familiar “can’t find a job in my field” lurch in which he and three colleagues found themselves. The dearth in available design work, it seemed, could only be remedied by taking matters into their own hands.

From the Residential Architect:

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Trinity Tuesday: Classic Restoration in Queen Village Features Modern Upgrades

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Center City Walnut

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Center City Walnut

Clocking in at 633 square feet, this three-story residence is as adorable as you might expect. Unlike some of its aged brethren, however, this little trinity in Queen Village was renovated in 2010 and is “an amazing restoration,” according to agent Josh Allen.

Updates include all new windows, high-end lighting, and reclaimed wood floors. Even the front door is new. Also on the first level are custom bookshelves, period wainscoting, and cabinets for if you want to keep all those TV and video game accessories out of the way. The kitchen and bathroom are both located on the second level and boast Carrara marble, the former of which comes with custom cabinetry, Liebherr fridge, and Wolf range with a vented hood. Back downstairs, the unfinished basement is used for storage.

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Scott Schroeder Opening Hungry Pigeon in Queen Village

Photo by Neal Santos

Pat O’Malley and Scott Schroeder | Photo by Neal Santos

In a project that has managed to stay rather quiet since being presented at a neighborhood meeting last year, the cat (or bird) is finally out of the bag. Hungry Pigeon is a European-style cafe coming to 743 S 4th Street, on Fabric Row in Queen Village. South Philadelphia Taproom/American Sardine Bar chef Scott Schroeder is behind the project with his longtime friend Patrick O’Malley. O’Malley comes back to Philadelphia from New York’s Balthazar Bakery. Schroeder and O’Malley’s friendship goes back to when the both of them worked at ¡Pasion! with chef Guillermo Pernot. Despite moving to New York, the two would occasionally do collaboration dinners at SPTR, including one feast I was lucky enough to be at with along with chefs Nick Macri and Gene Giuffi.

Hungry Pigeon will be a coffee shop by morning, a lunch spot in the afternoon, and at night, the lights will dim for dinner with beer, wine and cocktails.

Hungry Pigeon events this summer »

This Little Treasure is Tucked Away on a Corner in Queen Village

Images by TREND via Coldwell Banker-Old City

Images by TREND via Coldwell Banker-Old City

There are many reasons why Queen Village is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the city. One attribute that stands out is the collection of tree-lined streets in-between its main arteries. Wander its glorious labyrinth of streets long enough and you’ll suddenly find yourself saying, damn, I need to live here. Although this home is located on the corner of Montrose and Bodine (have you ever heard of those two streets?), it offers plenty of space and privacy in the heart of the community.

The three-story rowhome has a lot going for it, most notably a sizable amount of outdoor space in the form of a blue stone patio, balcony and gated parking space. Inside, the home has lovely old school features such as refinished inlaid hardwood floors and a winding staircase. The master bedroom flows into a super-cool den area that flaunts a brick fireplace, a large skylight and leads to a treehouse-like balcony.
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Trinity Tuesday: What’s Behind This Green Door in Queen Village?

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Walnut

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Walnut

Walk a block and half south from South and S American Streets and you’ll find a gate breaking a tight line of row homes. What lies beyond it? Take a look at the gallery and you’ll see that although the homes do have back yard enclosures, the path beyond the gate does not lead to them, but to a private courtyard facing a mini collection of houses instead.

One of these, an end trinity home with a green (chartreuse?) door, is on the market. Here’s what lies behind that door:

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