That House Out There: How’d This Place Wind Up on This Block?

4620 Kingsessing Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143| Images via Zillow

4620 Kingsessing Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143| Images via Zillow

The 4600 block of Kingsessing Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia—the listing refers to this area as “Cedarhill,” a name we’ve never encountered before—is a tidy block anchored by a church and lined on one side with mostly well-maintained Victorian twins. The partner of the row’s saddest-looking twin, however, went bye-bye some time back.

The good news is: Something’s filled that hole, and the price its builder wants for it suggests that either the neighborhood’s fortunes may be on the rise or the student-housing wave is spreading further southwest.

The not-so-good news is what’s filled the hole. Read more »

The Stupid Joy of Simple Things: Clarkville Reviewed

Photo by Emily Teel

Photo by Emily Teel

The thing that matters most about Clarkville is where it lives. It’s a pizza restaurant with good beer, a single solid pasta, and a short, tight menu of things that aren’t pizza—things that aren’t always great, but feel like pleasant surprises anyway when you stumble across them on the menu. But that’s just what it does. In some places, the restaurants make the neighborhood—Manayunk, Fishtown, Walnut Street during Le Bec Fin’s first youth. In others, the neighborhood shapes the restaurants. Clarkville? Absolutely the latter.

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Coming Soon: Two New SEPTA Bus Routes?

Photo by Jeff Fusco

SEPTA wants to hear what you have to say about proposed changes in bus service, including two new routes slated to start service in 2017-18. | Photo by Jeff Fusco

SEPTA’s Annual Service Plan for Fiscal Year 2017 includes two new bus routes that won’t be launched in the coming fiscal year. That’s because the agency wants to get as much public feedback as it can about the proposed services before letting them roll.

Both of them, though, are much anticipated, and one of them responds to longstanding clamor from some Philadelphia neighborhoods for new service to fill a connectivity gap. Here’s the skinny on each of them: Read more »

Rents Leveling Out in Philly, But University City is One of the Highest Priced ‘Hoods

Image via Zumper

Image via Zumper

The Philadelphia rental market ranks 16th in the nation in terms of average rents per one-bedroom apartment. As more units come on board in Center City and beyond, new data from Zumper shows that the rise in rents in the city as a whole has stalled, with prices for a one-bedroom dropping 10.5% over the past year (2.9% for two-bedrooms pads).

Unsurprisingly, Center City remains the strongest and most expensive market in Philly, with the highest priced neighborhood, Logan Square (hello, Granary!), averaging $1,870 per month. According to industry experts, renters can now expect to pay over $3 per square foot for rentals in those Class A buildings in Center City, such as Icon 1616, 2116 Chestnut, and even soon-to-debut buildings like 1919 Market and the Dalian at Rodin Square behind the Barnes Foundation (hello, Whole Foods!).

University City comes in a close second at $1,850 per month. According to a recent University City District report, the median rent in the booming Eds, Meds and Tech district sits at $1,450 per month, so expect something in that ballpark, considering the influx of new units planned in the coming years.

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A Peek at Marigold Kitchen’s January Menu

Photo by Michael Persico

Photo by Michael Persico

Marigold Kitchen still doesn’t have a menu but they do offer a peek at some of the 13-15 courses that co-owners and chefs Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza are preparing alongside chef Keith Krajewski.

This month, the $90 per person feast will include:

  • Leek Ash Raviolo: butter-basted hen of the woods mushroom and black ravioli, filled with liquified parmesan, ramp pesto
  • Australian Beef: seared tenderloin with foie gras butter and chocolate-braised crimini mushroom, puree of smoked potato and leek and Malbec jus;
  • Cheese & Pears: Korean pears macerated in bleu cheese, dipped in salted almond crumbs and paired with an apple cider churro.

Read more »

Herban Debuting Dinner Service with Pay-What-You-Wish Night

herban2On Tuesday, January 12th Herban Quality Eats is debuting its dinner service with a pay-what-you-wish night. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m, the University City fast-casual concept will donate all proceeds from its first dinner service directly to the nearby Morton McMichael School.

Herban has been open and offering lunch service since mid-December. As of Wednesday, January 13th, Herban will be open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Herban Quality Eats [Foobooz]

Herban Quality Eats To Open with Free Lunch

herban quality meatsHerban Quality Eats, Philadelphia’s newest fast casual concept is going to be opening its doors at 3601 Market Street on Tuesday, December 15th. The restaurant is aiming to produce nutritious and freshly made dishes that go beyond the standard salad. And on its opening day, the first 101 guests will be treated to a free lunch when the doors open at 11:30 a.m.

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The Fat Ham Turns Two with Revamped Menu and Wingaversary

Happy wingaversary.

Happy wingaversary. The Fat Ham turns two with wings and an expanded menu.

The Fat Ham, Kevin Sbraga’s University City Southern comfort food restaurant is turning two on Wednesday, December 9th and he’s celebrating with a night of wings. Sbraga will be offering offering a variety of wings including:

  • Country Captain Wings with curry and Chow Chow aioli
  • Lavender Honey Wings with pink peppercorn
  • Salsa Verde Wings with smoked green tomato and pork rinds
  • Mustard BBQ Wings with mustard, hickory, and brown sugar

The six wings go for $7.50 during the celebration, they’ll normally be $10.

Read more »

Glam It Up: Makeover of 40th Street Trolley Portal to Start in 2016

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

In case you missed it, the University City District has published its latest State of University City report, an annually-released compendium of the developments bubbling up in University City. The guide spotlights several sectors in U.C., among them academic, commercial, and residential, as well as the impact UCD itself has on this section of the city.

With relation to the latter, the release of the report came with the announcement that the 40th Street Trolley Portal transformation would be seeing its groundbreaking take place next year.

We previously reported the makeover project, spearheaded by UCD in partnership with SEPTA, the city, and neighborhood leaders, came with the aim of turning the bleak station into a lively social space with greenery and stormwater infrastructure, movable furniture, and arts and cultural programming.

Read more »

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