Winter Wonderland Returns to Headhouse

Courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

Courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

South Street Headhouse District released details today about its annual holiday hoopla at the Shambles — complete with a tree and menorah lighting, Santa on a fire truck and a holiday market for gift hunters.

Winter Wonderland will take place on Sunday, December 6th. The festivities begin kind of late in the afternoon: at 3 pm with the Headhouse Holiday Market, where local vendors will set up booths with handmade goods and food and drink from area restaurants. At 4:30 pm, organizers will make history by lighting a menorah on location for the first time ever.

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Fashion Under the Shambles

The Second Annual Fashion Under the Shambles took place Wedesday night and the weather was delightfully cool, encouraging fashionistas to break out their stylish fall clothing. The evening started with a cocktail party, with sponsors Bridget Foy’s, Bistro Romano, Cavanaugh’s Headhouse and His and Hers Restaurant. By 7 pm, guests filled the rows of seats along the runway; Cory Wade, master of ceremonies, took the stage and chatted about the impressive fashion scene happening in Philadelphia before introducing the 21 South Street district businesses that would be showcased during the 60-minute show. At the conclusion of the show Corey encouraged folks to come to Fabric Row’s monthly shopping stroll on October 23.

Photos after the jump »

PHOTOS: 8,000 Show Up for Brauhaus Schmitz’s Oktoberfest

After almost 11 minutes a champion was crowned. Joe Heyob won himself a Year of Beer at Brauhaus Schmitz.

Photo courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

The 700 block of South Street could barely contain the crowd of revelers who packed in to celebrate Brauhaus Schmitz’s 7th annual Oktoberfest on Saturday. “This year’s Festival was certainly the largest we have had yet,” says owner Doug Hager. “All day long we had a constant stream of people coming and going. We estimate upwards of 8,000 people stopped by the festival during the course of the day.”

That’s great for business all up and down South Street, but maybe too much to handle on one block (plus a small “bonus area”) alone. Hager suggests they may have to make some changes in years to come to accommodate the crowd. “We would like to see it continue to grow … I think we may have maximized what can be done on our block alone. We will have to look at all options for ways to either expand the size of or limit attendance to this festival in the years to come.”

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PHOTOS: Dog Days of Summer Hot Dog Cook-Off at Headhouse

The 4th annual Dog Days of Summer Hot Dog Cook-Off was held this weekend at the Shambles in Headhouse Square. The day found hot dog enthusiasts from restaurants across the city bringing their best and most-inventive frank recipes to the table for a panel of celebrity judges to taste and dole out awards. Here’s how the prizes panned out:

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Sleek and Sun-Drenched: Unit 318 Is Available at South Street’s 1352 Lofts

Photo credit: Mike Eckstrom, MJE Photographic

Photo credit: Mike Eckstrom, MJE Photographic

The other day, the Metro newspaper drew up a list of local residential buildings where, if they for whatever reasoned opted to buy a home here, certain A-List celebrities might decide to move. To Kimye, they assigned 500 Walnut; for the Jolie-Pitt clan, Parc Rittenhouse; and to Leonardo “Never Let Go, Rose” DiCaprio, they left a unit at 1352 Lofts, so that his, quote, “posse of models will have plenty of room to stand in stilettos under the 20-foot ceilings.”

Hah, perhaps, but we doubt he’d spend much time there what with his efforts to save the environment and all.  Yet, as Metro notes, any of the sleek units offered at the Broad and South loft building – there are a total of seventy-two, actually, ranging from studios, flats, to bi-levels –  would jibe well with a bachelor (or bachelorette) like Leo. Or Bradley Cooper. Yeah, it’s more Cooper. Leo might live at Icon.

As it so happens, unit no. 318 at 1352 Lofts is currently on the market. Features of note in this two-bedroom include hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows (yes, they’re 20 feet high!), private balcony, and an open space living area, which the master bedroom occupant can enjoy in full view from their loft sleeping quarter. Central air is also included.

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South Street Headhouse Chair Resigns; Investigation Under Way


The former chairman of the South Street Headhouse District has resigned amid an inquiry into possible financial wrongdoing, officials with the district have acknowledged in a letter to stakeholders.

Dan Christensen, also known as proprietor of the Copabanana and Redwood restaurants, resigned as chairman in June, according to the letter from Elena Brennan, the acting board chair, and Michael Harris, the district’s executive director.

“Due to ongoing investigation and legal considerations, at this time we are unable to disclose as much additional detail as we would like,” the pair wrote in the letter obtained by Philly Mag (read the letter below). “We can state that the investigation and legal matters involve the misappropriation of SSHD funds.”

Neither Brennan nor Harris was available to comment. Philly Mag was unable to immediately reach Christensen at his restaurants or by email. A spokesperson for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, however, confirmed that the office had received a complaint from the SSHD and that an investigation of the irregularities is ongoing. Read more »

Headlines: The Boom on Bainbridge Street is Very Real

The lot at 711-15 Bainbridge Street | Photo: James Jennings

The lot at 715-23 South 7th Street | Photo: James Jennings

Seven new homes are being planned at the Patriot Parking Lot near 7th and Bainbridge Street in Bella Vista. The T-shaped lot sits adjacent to the Good King Tavern and catty-corner to another project near Nomad Pizza. Naked Philly reports that the project has already received approval from the zoning board of adjustment and the Bella Vista Neighbors Association didn’t oppose the plans, although “some token architectural feedback offered, but nothing life-changing.”

An interesting thing is happening just south of South Street. As Mr. Fox points out, there are a string of major projects in the pipeline that make will make the two streets at least work in tandem with eachother, if not create direct competition. As in, South Street is where to go to get a little rowdy, but head to Bainbridge if you want a classier night. Dont believe us?  Read more »

Want to Buy a Bar? Downey’s Irish Pub on South Street is For Sale

Downey's at 526 South Front Street | Image: Colliers International

Downey’s at 526 South Front Street | Image: Colliers International

Man, Spike’s Bar Rescue has not been good to the locals over the past few weeks. Michael Klein of The Insider reported last week that Osteria Calabria in Glenside has closed up shop after being renovated and rebranded by Jon Taffer and crew in the fall. A few days later, Colliers International put out a press release that Downey’s Restaurant at Front and South is up for grabs as well.

The popular Irish pub at 526 South Front Street was featured on the show’s first season in 2011 and is instantly recognizable thanks to its green facade and second-floor balcony overlooking the Delaware River (and 95). It’s listed at 10,682 square-feet and the sale includes Read more »

5 Rules for Behaving During Philadelphia Street Festival Season

South Street Festival. Photo | South Street Headhouse District

South Street Festival. Photo | South Street Headhouse District

Somehow, I went almost three decades in this city without having to experience a neighborhood street festival.

Actually, it was easy. I grew up in the Northeast and then spent a good chunk of my 20s in West Philly, two of the most insular communities this side of North Korea. (Go on, ask your friend from Fox Chase to meet you in Center City. I’ll wait.)

But now I find myself renting in Queen Village, an apparently popular part of the city with things to offer and visitors to entertain. If last weekend’s record-breaking South Street Festival was any indication, it’s going to be a long, long summer of improvised trashcans and suspicious puddles.

Want to be a good temporary neighbor? Here’s what to remember before you go back to the ’burbs. (Want to be an even better neighbor? Make some room in that fancy crossover vehicle and bring me with you to the promised land.) Read more »

PHOTOS: South Street Spring Festival Breaks Attendance Records

Saturday had it all: the warm weather we’ve been dying for, sunny, cloudless skies, and an abundance of outdoor to-dos throughout Philly. According to the South Street Headhouse District (SSHD), about 55,000 revelers chose the South Street Spring Festival for their soiree of choice, making it the largest single event on South Street in two decades.

If you were brave enough to jump into the crowd, you saw 150 vendors, 27 artists and 30-plus restaurants and food trucks out and about pimping their wares. There was also a new lawn put in on 2nd Street, where there were games and lounge chairs for the leisurely set. SSHD and HughE Dillon shared some photos from the afternoon. Check them out below:

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