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.

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West Philly Rising

A rendering of the under construction FMC tower and the growing West Philly skyline. | Pelli Clarke Pelli/Brandywine Realty Trust.

A rendering of the under construction FMC tower and the growing West Philly skyline. | Pelli Clarke Pelli/Brandywine Realty Trust.

Each year, the University City District compiles, in a glossy report, the vital signs for the eastern half of West Philly. For a while now, the trend lines have been strong. But this year, the numbers are truly staggering. Read more »

Dock Street’s Wu Tang Beer Release Will Feature Inspectah Deck

Dock Street’s Beer Ain’t Nuthin’ to Funk With gets tapped on Wednesday.

Dock Street’s Beer Ain’t Nuthin’ to Funk With gets tapped on Wednesday.

Wu Tang Clan’s own Inspectah Deck will be on hand at Dock Street Brewery this Wednesday, November 4th as the West Philadelphia brewery releases Beer Ain’t Nothing To Funk With. This is the first beer in brewer Vince Desrosiers’ series of beers inspired by music he likes. The Wu Tang inspired brew has been aging for six months in wine barrels while Wu Tang Clan has been playing 24-hours a day next to the cask.

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Dock Street Celebrates Its 8th Anniversary in West Philly

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

It has been eight years in the firehouse for Dock Street Brewing | Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Today, Tuesday, August 25th, Dock Street Brewery is celebrating its 8th anniversary in the firehouse at 50th and Baltimore Avenue. And in honor of the event, the almost 30-year old brewery will be serving up eight beers to toast to the neighborhood.

The bar opens today at 3 p.m., the kitchen gets cooking at 4 p.m.

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Marigold Kitchen Shows Off Some Late Summer Dishes

marigold-kitchen-banh-mi-940West Philadelphia’s Marigold Kitchen has made it a bit of a tradition to tease out some of their seasonally changing menu items. And for late summer, co-chef/owners Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza, along with chef Keith Krajewski are offering their take on the summer barbecue, among other theatrical plates.

Among the 13-15 plates that make $90 menu-free feast include an American backyard barbecue in the form of frozen dots, and a Red Snapper Calçotada, a Spanish barbecue dish with charred baby leeks and hazelnut romesco.

According to Kochan, Marigold will also be taking their service presentation to another level. “Now, our guests will even see some of our secret techniques done tableside.”

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Honest Tom’s Launches Taco Sauce Line

honest toms taco sauceIn Honest Tom’s owner Tom McCusker is nothing if not honest. In a post to Instagram, McCusker states: “In a last ditch effort to make more money without the living Hell that would be a second location…I present to you: Honest Tom’s Taco Sauce.” How honest.

Honest Tom’s is offering four sauces: Mild; Hot; Special and Halloween. Halloween is described as a spicy jalapeno and garlic sauce created by an employee three Halloweens ago. The Special sauce is their take on a classic red hot sauce.

The sauces are currently available at Honest Tom’s storefront, 261 S 44th Street, for $5 per bottle. But McCusker tells us he’d love to get in the wholesale business.

Honest Tom’s Taco Shop [Foobooz]

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll Update

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll.

Tonight is the first of two Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls for this summer (the next is September 24th). We told you the details on vendors and attractions last week, but here’s an update on what exactly will be offered to eat tonight as you stroll west on Baltimore Avenue.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Beautifully Touched Up Victorian in Powelton Village

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Art Museum

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Art Museum

Surprised this week’s Jaw Dropper is in West Philly? Don’t be. (This house is a prize, we assure you.) Nestled on the leafy 3400 block of Baring Street, the three-story Victorian blends its pristine original features with a slew of newer details and a lush English country garden that extends a little further than you might first imagine.

Of course, being that it’s in old Powelton Village, a neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places, let’s start with its historical notes. According to PoweltonVillage.org, the home was built circa 1875 in the Second Empire style along with an attached twin. Inside are elaborate wainscoting, mantles, and shutters. Of those gorgeous light fixtures, which you can take a look at in the gallery below, it appears only the one in the dining room might be original, listing agent Mary McCartan tells us. And that staircase? Made of mahogany, friends.

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Neighbors Await Church to Preschools Conversion In West Philly

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

The former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 4700 Kingsessing Avenue has already started to see renovation work, as previously reported, but the property still requires a zoning variance if its to become a permanent community fixture. And it looks like its well on its way, according to developer Guy Laren: “The ZBA asked very positive questions,” he says in summation of his Monday meeting with the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. He says he expects to hear an answer from them as early as the end of this week.

Laren’s plans for repurposing the old church and its parish house into a commercial space with two preschools, in this case the Children’s Community School and a Little Learners branch has been well-received by area residents, with the few worries aired coming from a community group called the Southwest Philadelphia District Services and “near neighbors concerned with traffic.”

Support, however, has been the predominant response. “Lights would be on,” on the relatively unfrequented corner, he says, and locals “generally liked it.” Among the project’s most vocal supporters were the parents of children enrolled at the Little Learners daycare at 46th and Woodland, as many hope the second location will help stall kids enrolled at the Woodland branch from being “graduated out” for lack of space. “This is not a chain that changes managers every three months,” Laren added. They would “both be amenities to the community.”

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Furness-Designed Church In Philadelphia Closer to Preschool Conversion?

Former parish house (left) and former Saint Peter's Church of Christ (right) at 47th and Kingsessing | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Developer Guy Laren and his band of neighborhood supporters are a zoning change away from moving forward on a project that would see the former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 47th and Kingsessing converted into two preschools. Plans will be heard at a community zoning meeting today at 2pm, according to West Philly Local.

If granted approval, tots would be closer to having a superbly special place to spend their days, wouldn’t they? For not only does the property, Read more »

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