Morning Headlines: Demolition of Queen Lane Apartments Coming Soon-ish

queen lane apartments

It’s been almost two years since the Philadelphia Housing Authority announced plans to demolish the long-vacant Queen Lane Apartments in West Philadelphia, and to replace it with a 55-unit development. What’s another few months?

As it is, the Department of Housing and Urban Development can finally give PHA the go-ahead.  The project had been put on pause following the discovery of a historic burial ground in the building’s backyard. The cemetery’s borders have since been asserted, and future construction will not disturb it.

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Tale of the Tape: SPOT Gourmet Burgers, Steaks, & Pork

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As we continue the Year of the Cheesesteak, we’ll be taking a look at cheesesteak spots that are new, been flying under the radar or been suggested to us. Today, we visit the SPOT Burgers truck at The Porch at 30th Street Station. Yes, SPOT Burgers has gotten plenty of rightful ink for their hamburgers but you cannot sleep on owner Josh Kim’s cheesesteaks.

The Tale of the Tape » 

UPDATED: University City Federal Donuts Countdown Is On

homer-simpson-federal-donuts-university-cityThe Federal Donuts coming to 3428 Sansom Street is opening shortly. How shortly? According to a tweet from Federal Donuts yesterday, “in fewer days than you can count on two Simpsons hands.” Which if our arithmetic is correct, means the new Federal Donuts will open within eight days, seven as of today. Unless thumbs don’t count, then it’s five.

Counting on Simpson fingers is tougher than it seems.

UPDATE: Just got word that FedNuts West will be opening the doors at 7am on Monday, March 10–which, true to their promise, is a number of days that can be counted on two Simpsons hands.

All the new flavors of donuts and fried chicken right this way…

Will Alexander Wilson School Be Turned Into Housing?

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Word on the street is Orens Brothers Real Estate will get the former Alexander Wilson School at 46th and Woodland. As mentioned earlier, the building is one of several shuttered School District properties being eyed by potential buyers.

Orens Brothers intends to convert the building into a residential space with possible ground floor retail, not too surprising considering their rehab track record. Their most recent renovation was the infamous Croydon Building known for being a squatter haven and having been the site of a rooftop murder in 2007. That property has since been turned into a residential unit aimed at students.

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DRINK THIS: The Fat Apple at The Fat Ham

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Photo by Vanessa Beahn

The Fat Ham has rightfully been getting early love for its hot chicken, fried oyster sliders and Southern hummus. But that’s not to say the beverage program has been slacking. The Fat Apple is a star on the bar’s cocktail list. The bourbon-based cocktail is dangerously easy to drink and could easily be a gateway cocktail to a love of brown liquors.

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Headlines: Councilwoman Presents Reuse Plans for 4601 Market

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Rumors about rehabbing the long-vacant Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 46th and Market go as far back as March 2012, but now official requests have been made.

The push came last Thursday when City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell of the 3rd district submitted two bill proposals. Both presented the idea of the city borrowing close to $250 million for the restoration and reuse of 4601 Market, and moving in three possible tenants: The Philadelphia Police Department, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and some Health Department offices.

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3601 Market Breaks Ground

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Ice sculpture rendering of 3601 Market.
Photo courtesy of Slice Communications.

Yesterday ground was broken for 3601 Market, the 28-floor residential tower project from the Southern Land Company, BLT Architects, and the University City Science Center. At the event, BLT Architects Principal Michael Prifti said he and the BLTA team “envisioned a modern building that would be both practical and appealing to the local community.” Southern Land CEO Tim Downey predicted “the building will be a modern jewel for West Philadelphia.”

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Sbraga Takes His Shot at Southern Cooking at The Fat Ham

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Lemon Bar by pastry chef Marqessa Gesualdi

Adam Erace approaches Kevin Sbraga’s The Fat Ham with a bit of a raised eyebrow. Can Kevin Sbraga really cook Southern food and is it good?

And mostly, it is. When dishes started arriving, clean execution and confident flavors quickly trumped geographic culinary authority. The sweetest lobster tail got country-fried (and countrified) in a buttermilk batter that cooked up crunchy and thick. The panko casing on wheels of juicy green tomato was different — light, crisp and laced with Locatelli Romano.  Boiled peanuts replaced tahini in a smart hummus that was delicious (albeit fridge-direct frosty) and paired with superior house-baked rye-and-wheat bread.

Kevin Sbraga’s sophomore effort, The Fat Ham, brings a shot of Southern comfort to University City [City Paper]
The Fat Ham [Foobooz]

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