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.”

Read more »

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 »

Avram Hornik Bringing William Street Common to University City

Photo by Jason Melcher

Photo by Jason Melcher

Zagat has the scoop on William Street Common, the new restaurant and bar from Avram Hornik (Morgan’s Pier, Union Transfer, Boot & Saddle and more) and chef David Gilberg (Koo Zee Doo, Morgan’s Pier in 2014). There will be no tipping at William Street Common though there will be a service charge added. Check out Zagat for more on that. We’re much more excited for Gilberg’s food, the old-school arcade with Skee-Ball, $5 cocktails, and the three drink brunch with bottomless donuts.

Read more »

Look What’s Back: Thai Singha House

thai-singha-golden-bags-400Thai Singha House was a University City staple before closing to make way for the Hub 2 at 40th and Chestnut. That was back in 2013 and now the restaurant has finally reopened at 3906B Chestnut Street. The new Thai Singha swung open its doors on Saturday, January 31st. The clean, modern space serves up Thai classics, from coconut soup to Pad Thai.

The restaurant is also open for lunch and Sunday brunch.

Thai Singha To Go remains open at 106 S 20th Street.

Thai Singha House [Foobooz]

Jake’s Sandwich Board Extends Hours To 3 am

image001Calling all University City students: now you can cure those late night munchies with Jake’s after-midnight breakfast sandwiches.

Jake’s Sandwich Board is extending their hours on Friday and Saturday nights until 3 am. After midnight, they will offer a special late-night menu of breakfast sammies, including bacon and eggs with a sriracha ketchup spread, topped with cheddar and provolone cheese and hash browns or brisket and eggs topped with cheese and french fries.

Sounds like the perfect meal to end a sloppy night, right?

The sandwich prices range from $8.25 to $9.25. Jake’s University City is located at 125 South 40th Street.

Jake’s Sandwich Board

The Fat Ham Adds Lunch and Happy Hour

lunch the fat ham

Lunch is back at the Fat Ham | Pimento cheese with grilled country bread

Beginning today, the Fat Ham is offering lunch and happy hour. Kevin Sbraga’s Southern restaurant in University City is offering lunch weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Lunch includes the Fat Ham burger, shrimp and grits, pork belly and a hot chicken sandwich.

Happy hour consists of $4 snacks, discounted beers, wines and cocktails.

Check out the Fat Ham’s lunch and happy hour menus »

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