This Weekend: William Street Common Is Opening Their Patio

williamstreetcommonsign

We first told you about William Street Common (the indoor beer garden in University City from Avram Hornik) back when it opened–toward the beginning of the year and well outside traditional beer garden season. We talked about it again when it’s tipping policy (and flat 20% service charge on all orders) made MSNBC.

But now the seasons have changed and the weather has officially warmed up (I heard my first person complaining about the heat a few days ago), so William Street has some announcements to make.

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Get Ready for The Porch 2.0

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Rendering of the Porch 2.0

When the Porch opened at 30th Street Station in late 2011, it was designed to be a low-cost test run at place-making. Could some colorful chairs, planters, shade, and a rotating cast of food trucks convert what was a blah parking lot, into a gathering place where people would linger? Turns out that the answer was a resounding yes.

And now the Unviersity City District has announced plans for The Porch 2.0. With commitments from Groundswell Design Group (Spruce Street Harbor Park and Independence Beer Garden), Gehl Studio and a new food and beverages partnership with restaurateur Michael Schulson, the new Porch will make permanent the ideas tested over the previous couple of years.

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Schmear It, Just One of Several Restaurants Coming to 3601 Market

Danlu - Asian inspired bar and restaurant coming to 3601 Market.

Danlu – Asian inspired bar and restaurant coming to 3601 Market.

Property has the details on 3601 Market Street, the new 363 unit apartment building opening this summer. But of particular note to Foobooz readers, the building has several eating establishments.

Schmear It, the roving bagel truck will have a brick-and-mortar location in the building. Schmear it will be joined by Herban Quality Eats, a food delivery service that had been working out of the Enterprise Center at 48th and Spruce.

Danlu, an Asian inspired bar and restaurant will be the most upscale of the building’s eateries. It will be joined by a PWS, a pizza joint; Jimmy John’s and Dunkin Donuts.

3601 Market Street On Track for Summer Opening, Commercial Space All Leased Up [Property]

Distrito Loyalty Card Pays Dividends

distrito-bar-940Yesterday, at Industree’s food and beverage tech panelScott Steenrod, Vice President, Restaurant Operations for the Garces Group dropped a very interesting nugget. Since instituting their “Blue Demon Express Lunch Club” at Distrito in March, they’ve seen lunch business double.

And as a reminder, that deal is after five $15, two-course lunches, your sixth one is free.

So for some of those other loyalty programs around town that give you 10% off your 11th meal, this is what a working loyalty program looks like.

Distrito Wants Your Lunch Loyalty [Foobooz]

CoZara Rolls Out a Redo

Fat Pig Ramen at coZara, $8 at dinner.

Fat Pig Ramen at coZara, $8 at dinner.

When Hiroyuki Tanaka opened coZara in University City a year ago, more than a few people raised an eyebrow at the omission of sushi bar. After all, Tanaka’s Rittenhouse Square restaurant, Zama is one of Philadelphia’s go-to spots for sushi.

But now that coZara has reopened after a short closure to tweak the space, the lack of a sushi bar has been addressed. Installed right in front of the new entrance is an eight-seat sushi bar. Upstairs sees changes as well, with geisha images on the stairwell, and several changes to make the space feel more intimate. Bamboo stalks and rice paper obscure the view to outside, while dark curtains hide the outdoor deck.

New food items as well »

Half-Price Pizza at Zavino Today

Get any pizza for half off today | Photo via Zavino

Get any pizza for half off today | Photo via Zavino

Today, Monday, March 16th, Zavino is celebrating the first birthday of its University City location with half-price pizzas there and at their original Midtown Village locale.

Available for all dine-in guest throughout lunch and dinner, guests will be able to choose any of the pizzas for half off (limit one per person).

Zavino – University City [Foobooz]
Zavino – Midtown Village [Foobooz]

The Real Reason Penn’s Tuition Is Going Up Again This Year

Penn has just announced that the cost of its undergrad tuition will go up by 3.9 percent this year. This is the sixth year in a row that our Ivy’s tuition hike has been 3.9 percent, demonstrating either that Penn thinks 4 percent sounds like a lot more than 3.9 percent, or that 39 is Amy Gutmann‘s lucky number.

If you think paying $63,526 to take courses like “Poetics of Screenwriting” and “Witches, Whores and Rogues” sounds a little steep, that just shows you don’t know the value of a dollar. Neither do I, apparently. I’m puzzled, because while Penn announced the tuition jump, it also announced that it wasn’t really a tuition jump, because financial aid would also be going up, to an all-time high of $206 million, which, the Daily Pennsylvanian assures us, “should keep attendance relatively affordable.” Hang onto that “relatively” like a drowning man. Read more »

University City District Report Says Parklets Enhance Neighborhoods

Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

The elimination of parking space–even if it’s the loss of one or two spots–in a low-density neighborhood is not something drivers are likely to enjoy hearing, especially if their removal is for the purposes of a temporary Parklet. Unfortunately for them, a recently published report by the University City District reveals Parklets, a form of tactical urbanism, to be quite the improvement to most neighborhoods and businesses.

UCD case for parklets report 2015

Click to enlarge. | Chart screenshot from UCD’s report.

Using data gathered from six West Philly Parklets during the 2013 season, the report, called The Case for Parklets: Measuring the Impact on Sidewalk Vitality and Neighborhood Businesses, found them to bring “life to public spaces and more feet to neighborhood businesses,” as seen in their tendency for bringing in a sizable amount of users (including both patrons of nearby businesses and non-patrons), creating a “spillover” effect to sidewalks and other spaces (i.e. people stopping by to chat with parklet users), and boosting business sales for neighboring establishments (an average 20% increase in sales was seen for places near parklets). Furthermore, the report argues that because “it has been widely observed” that women are more discriminating when it comes to public spaces, the even number of female and male persons putting them to use shows that a sense of safety grows in the presence of a Parklet.

And those aren’t the only advantages neighborhoods get with their seasonal arrival…

Should 30th Street Station Follow the Lead of D.C.’s Union Station?

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

The revamped West Plaza at one of Philadelphia’s busiest–as a matter of fact, one of the country’s busiest–stations was only a taste of the larger transformation planned for 30th Street Station, as the Inquirer‘s Paul Nussbaum reminds us. Senator Bob Casey, Nussbaum reports, recently pointed to Union Station in Washington D.C. as an example of what 30th Street could be, calling on the upcoming papal visit and Philadelphia’s selection as the next city to hold the Democratic National Convention in 2016 to inspire “new urgency into planners’ visions for it and its University City environs.”

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Where to Send Your Kid to College If He Does Drugs

Photo | DEA

Ecstasy or MDMA/Molly. Photo | DEA

So let’s say your son is a good kid, a nice kid, smart, nailed his SATs, but he does have this troublesome … habit. He likes to get high.

Nothing serious — you don’t think — but you’ve definitely found rolling papers in the pockets of his jeans, not to mention the bong in the back of his bedroom closet, behind his old ice-hockey gear.

Hey, no big deal; you used to get high, and probably will again if — when — it gets legalized. But considering Junior’s fondness for the Disco Biscuits, you wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done some molly, and didn’t four students at Wesleyan just get arrested for that? You’d hate to see your kid’s whole future derailed over some silly party drug. And he’s going to be applying to college this fall, so … Read more »

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