Once a Hot Disco, Now a Cool Opportunity

First floor, 2015 Sansom St

Once a hot dance club, this space is an office now, but it could become a chic boutique or happening cafe. Its owner is looking for a tenant with vision and creativity. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Spencer Zahn has had a knack for being in the right place at the right time throughout his career. He has helped boost the careers and fortunes of many notable musicians, artists and other creative types while himself remaining in the background.

And that’s still how he prefers it. But he is stepping out of the shadows for just a little bit to promote the space he has worked from for many years now. Read more »

Future Imperfect: SuGa Reviewed

Dumplings and Scallion Pancakes at SuGa | Photo by Emily Teel

Dumplings and Scallion Pancakes at SuGa | Photo by Emily Teel

I love the smell of SuGa. The dim warmth of it. The banquette tables that run along the wall opposite the bar, in the front of the narrow, shotgun space in the middle of Center City. I love the weird, blobby lights that hang down, casting spotlights onto those tables. There’s a drama there that I can appreciate. A sense of controlling the environment.

There’s a sheen to everything at SuGa of newness and polish and efficiency. It’s a new restaurant (not even quite three months old yet) that operates like there are 20-year grooves cut into the floor. Everything is on rails, running with a precision that would make German train engineers jealous. This place represents the culmination of decades of experience—of Susanna Foo’s return to Center City (where she got famous, where she made her name) after closing her namesake Walnut Street restaurant in 2009 and its Radnor offshoot last summer. A veteran returning to the trenches, Foo is backed up by her son Gabriel on the floor (he grew up in the restaurant industry, went to medical school, but then found his way back to restaurants again) and sous chefs Clara Park (who opened SuGa with Foo, then left) and Chris Dougherty (who stepped up when Park left) in the kitchen. There are no amateur mistakes at SuGa. Nothing happens without a reason.

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Checking In With Peter Serpico

Photo via Starr Restaurants

Over the past three years, one of the most dependably awesome things about Serpico on South Street has been the presence of the Cope’s corn ravioli. But now, for what I think is the first time, that dish is gone from Serpico’s new menu.

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New Spring Cocktails At A.Bar


While winter calls for boozier, slow-sipping beverages, the warming weather is inspiring drinks with more dilution–ones that you can drink with abandon. The theme of spring at a.bar? Beverages that are either shaken, swizzled, or stirred. Bar manager Dan Hamm (formerly at 1 Tippling Place and one of the brains behind the pop-up cocktail events at Spirit Forward) has created a mix of offerings, many of which include seasonal elements.

Yes, we tried them. And yes, we came home with pictures.

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SuGa Launches Brunch

Brunch is now being served at Suga

Brunch is now being served at Suga

Susanna Foo’s Center City restaurant SuGa launches brunch this weekend. Brunch is served at the Sansom Street restaurant from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Highlights include Maryland Crab Egg Fu Yung; Creme Brûlée French Toast and Shrimp Rice Congee.

Brunch drinks include a kimchi Bloody Mary and the Lotus blossom, a balanced drink featuring vodka, Cointreau and passion fruit.

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Cops: Rittenhouse Stabbing Just Over a NJ Devils Hat

Steven E. Simminger is charged in the murder of Colin McGovern.

Steven E. Simminger is charged in the murder of Colin McGovern.

In the end, it really was all about a stupid hat.

Colin McGovern and three pals poured out of a taxicab at 18th and Rittenhouse just before 3 a.m. Sunday, looking for a hotel to crash at after a night of bar-hopping in Philadelphia.

Their path crossed, for a fleeting moment in the darkness, with Steven Simminger, who had been in the area visiting some friends.

In the space of a few moments, an encounter that should have been fleeting and unremarkable turned deadly. Read more »

Police ID Rittenhouse Stabbing Victim, Suspect

Steven E. Simminger is charged in the murder of Colin McGovern.

Steven E. Simminger has been charged in the murder of Colin McGovern.

Colin McGovern, a Bucks County native who went to Council Rock High School South, has been identified as the victim of the fatal stabbing that unfolded early Sunday in Rittenhouse Square.

The 24-year-old starred as a wide receiver on Council Rock’s football team before graduating in 2009.

McGovern’s Facebook page offers a glimpse of a life that was filled with family and friends.

A number of videos posted during the last few years show McGovern clutching a sunburst acoustic guitar, working his way through covers of Bob Marley and Green Day, or strumming along while a friend sings.

McGovern’s family could not be reached for comment. But those who knew him reacted to the unexpected news of his slaying on social media.  Read more »

Man Stabbed to Death in Rittenhouse After Argument

Highway Patrol Images | Wikimedia Commons

Highway Patrol Images | Wikimedia Commons

Update: Police took a suspect into custody earlier today, according to law enforcement sources. The man’s name has not yet been released, but he is believed to be a veteran.

Original: A 24-year-old Bucks County man was stabbed to death early this morning in Rittenhouse Square.

Cops who responded to a radio call for a “stabbing on the highway” shortly after 3 a.m. found the victim splayed out on the ground, bleeding from the stomach, in front of a condominium building at 1830 Rittenhouse.

CPR was performed on the victim until paramedics arrived, police said.

The victim, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:36 a.m. The killer has not been identified or arrested. Read more »

Culinary Events on Rittenhouse Row


This week at Sbraga: Gnocchi. Nasturtium Pistou. Pickled Berries. Chèvre.

From today, March 7th through Friday, March 11th the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective is presenting special menus around the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

Sbraga, a.kitchen, Devon Seafood Grill and Prime Rib are participating in the Winter Edition of the Collective. Be on the lookout for future seasonal events.

Sbraga is offering two special menus this week. A Flaura and Fauna menu is being served in concert with the Philadelphia Flower Show. The seven-course, $100 menu is being served at the chef’s counter and includes a special flourish on the foie gras soup, served this week with a rose petal relish and duck with dandelion greens, wheatgrass and sweet onion. The duck dish is also available as a supplement to Sbraga’s $55 prix-fixe menu in the main dining room.

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Cleavers Is Now Open

cleavers sign 400wSpike Mendelsohn’s hamburger joint, Good Stuff Eatery has made way for Cleavers, an ambitious cheesesteak spot that hopes to make a go of it at 108 South 18th Street. The steak shop opened last night and features a “How Do You Want It?” menu of steaks, chicken sandwiches, salads and perhaps reluctantly veggie sandwich options. There are also a selection of fries, sides, beer and boozy shakes.

The steaks are made with chopped ribeye, the chicken sandwiches are made with grilled chicken or a breaded cutlet. Steak sandwiches start at $8.75 and max out at $16.50 for the Cleaver, a one pound steak served with both American cheese and Cheese Whiz.

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