TONIGHT: Gary Shteyngart, Phosphorescent, an ’80s Party and More

Our daily roundup of what’s happening tonight in Philadelphia. Quick note before we move on: All tonight’s events are subject to cancellation because of weather. Be sure to double check before heading out in the cold.

gary shteyngart

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED: New York Times best-selling comic novelist Gary Shteyngart is returning to the Free Library of Philadelphia to share stories from his latest memoir, Little Failure. (Fun fact: The book was released via a funny trailer starring big-namers James Franco, Rashida Jones and Jonathan Franzen.) The story goes back in time to when Gary was a small boy living in Leningrad named Igor Shteyngart. Eventually it follows him to America — where he is given the name “Gary” — and offers a witty glimpse into his experience as an American immigrant. The evening’s conversation will be led by Daniel Torday, author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning The Sensualist and visiting professor of creative writing at Bryn Mawr College. Tue., Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m., $15, Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St.

Three more events after the jump

Good Morning Snow Shine! Today’s To-Do List: Coolest Spaces

The interior of Union Transfer, though obscured by snow today, is much admired.

The interior of Union Transfer, though obscured by snow today, is much admired.

What a lovely, snowy day–unless you’re on the roadways, in which case, godspeed and…does your boss have no compassion? SEPTA seems to be running fairly smoothly (she says, three seconds prior to some SEPTA meltdown) and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds are filling with posts to let you know that yes, your friend or acquaintance has also seen the snow, as has their dog, cat or parrot (more on parrots later). I should note I am far from unique in this area, having already posted two Instagram photos involving my cat and snow (, FYI) and I plan to continue, perhaps even relentlessly.

Now, what to do with whatever downtime you’ll have? TELL US ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA AREA’S COOLEST SPACES!

A beautifully designed office. An amazing kitchen. A store with forward-thinking decor. A house you covet. Hotels, museums, music venues, bars, restaurants, hovels, mansions, rentals — it’s all game.

Let us know by via email, preferably with a photo (phone photos will do) to show us what you mean.

Read more »

‘American Hipster Presents’ Little Baby’s Ice Cream

American Hipster Presents, a YouTube TV show visits with Little Baby’s Ice Cream. If you can get by the flute playing and a truly hideous sweater you can see inside the future Little Baby’s ice cream shop on Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue  and their stand at Union Transfer.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream [Official Site]

Beer Garden for Delaware Avenue

This will be the view of the Ben Franklin Bridge from the beer garden – Photo by HughE Dillon

Last year we had a great Memorial Day Sunday beer garden crawl that made stops at Memphis Taproom, Frankford Hall and Silk City. This year it sounds like we’ll have a new stop on the tour. Michael Klein reports that the Union Transfer team of Avram Hornik, Sean Agnew and company are opening an American beer garden at the former Octo on Delaware Avenue.

There will be space for 200 bikes to park and local craft beers on draft.

Union Transfer crew going to riverfront with a beer garden [The Insider]

Party Like the Yelp Star

On Thursday, February 9th Yelp is throwing a party at Union Transfer and all you need to attend is a Yelp account and an RSVP. Yelp typically throws parties for its elite members (members who post real names and pictures and who regularly write reviews for the site) every month but this party is at a much greater scale. Yelp Philadelphia Community Manager Michelle Cassidy is expecting in the neighborhood of 1,000 people to attend the event and why not? There will be plenty of free food (Khyber Pass Pub, Chabaa Thai, Chewy’s and more), drink (Triumph, Narragansett, Magners) and even salon services.

RSVP now.

Yelp’s Backstage Party [Yelp]

Quick Bites: A Look Inside Union Transfer, More Manayunk Happenings

The Feast lands an interview with Avram Hornik about the upcoming Union Transfer. Looks pretty awesome. [The Feast]

Rich Rivera and Rob Nydick, who own Agiato and the Main Street Market in Manayunk are planning two more Main Street projects. Dos Vatos Tacos will be a taco shack opening in October and Cervisia will be a beer-centered restaurant and bottle shop. [The Insider]

The Port Richmond Ale House will not be a gastropub. It will however offer a low key spot to hang. [Meal Ticket]

Yong Chi of Giwa is heading across Broad Street to open Rice & Mix, a “Korean version of Chipotle.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Greatest Hits and What You Missed: Gary Larson, Kevin Sbraga, Le Bec-Fin and Cliff Lee

The most fun we had this week (in the office, anyway) was playing Caption This Photo. The best response we got (of many, many good ones), came from DS Nyce who came through with “I will have the Gary Larson special…” For those of you who don’t get the joke, dig this.

Still, it wasn’t all cow jokes and fun and games. We also re-capped both the Vendy Awards and the 2011 Cheesemonger Invitational. We (re)entered the debate about a possible opening for Hop Sing Laundromat, and brought you the first pictures (architectural renderings, actually) of Kevin Sbraga’s new restaurant.

Here’s some of the other stuff you might’ve missed:

Union Transfer Schedules An Opening And the crowd goes WILD
Happy Hour Rules Loosened Which just means that there’s going to be a lot more typos here
Notes From A Stroll Philadelphians know their restaurants. What they don’t know is when they’re being stalked.
Liquor Licenses Landed A bunch of new liquor licenses in town which, again, just means that there’s going to be a lot more typos here
Le Bec-Fin Stiffs Its Employees And that ain’t right for any number of reasons
Cliff Lee Turned Away At Serafina But that’s okay, he got a table at right across the street

Union Transfer Schedules Opening

Yesterday we noted that Hop Sing Laundromat now has a web site. Today we share that Union Transfer has a unveiled a brand spanking new web site. And they have concerts scheduled already, local indie band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah opens the venue on  September 21st.

The music venue is a joint effort of New York’s Bowery Presents, and locals Sean Agnew (R5 Productions) and Avram Hornik (4Corners Management). The space will hold between 600 and 1,000 people.

Tickets for the opening concert go on sale on Saturday, July 16th.

Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St
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Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus Revival

A close source says Avram Hornik (Drinker’s Tavern, Drinker’s Pub, Drinker’s West, Lucy’s Hat Shop, Noche) has acquired Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus and plans to reopen it as a jazz club. Records confirm that Hornik’s 4 Corners Management shares the same address as ORT JAZZ LLC, the name of the applicant in the just posted liquor license application.

Hornik is also involved with Union Transfer, a much bigger live music venue set to open this Fall on Spring Garden in the former Spaghetti Factory.

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