Last Call at Philadelphia’s Best Bad Bar

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All the B&W regulars came back for one last hurrah on Wednesday night. Joanne texted us this photo.

Last February, I wrote a story about the B&W bar, the one in the Best Western, right off the Parkway in Fairmount. Over the course of a week, I showed up pretty much every night, drank a lot of beer, took probably not enough notes, and never went back again.

It’s not that I didn’t like the place; just the opposite, I fell in love with it. In fact, I grew so attached to the cast of characters that populated the bar — real regulars, the kind you thought didn’t exist anymore — that I was worried they wouldn’t like what I wrote.

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Lower Merion Planning Commission: “The ’70s Called and They Want Their Strip Mall Back”

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One of the odder buildings that WP Realty is planning to demolish in pursuit of its East Wynnewood Road development plan.

Let’s put it bluntly: The Lower Merion Planning Commission and many other like stakeholders pretty much hate WP Realty’s redevelopment plan for East Wynnewood Road — the plan that includes a new Whole Foods at the corner of Lancaster Avenue. The developer now owns everything from Lancaster Avenue to Penn Road except Citizen’s Bank, and presented more plans for the corridor on Monday to the commission. Though the Whole Foods has been approved, the demolition and development of existing commercial parcels also owned by WP haven’t yet gotten the official go-ahead.

From the Main Line Times:

…the developer has proposed two one-story, free-standing buildings, set back from the street with parking primarily in front in what planners called “a typical suburban design.”

A 7,200-square-foot retail building, to be occupied by one to four tenants, and a 3,652-square-foot bank building with two drive-thru lanes are proposed.

Looking at those plans Monday, planning commission Co-Chairman Charles Howland mused, “The ’70s have called, and they want their strip mall back.”

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Everything You Wanted to Know About the New Whole Foods and Rodin Square

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The big news today is that Rodin Square, the $140 million project on the 3 acre plot between 21st and 22nd; Hamilton and Pennsylvania and Spring Garden, has been approved by the Zoning Board, and — to paraphrase a famous example of The Sound of Philadelphia — ain’t no stopping it now. Construction will begin early next year.

Here’s what we’ll see when it’s finished (probably in 2016):

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New Organic Grocery Store — But Not Whole Foods — Will Take Borders’ Rosemont Square Space

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Last week, the Inquirer’s Michael Klein wrote, “MOM’s Organic Market, a greener-than-thou grocery chain whose locations ring D.C., has signed to open its first Philly-area location. Its Facebook locates it only in ‘Rosemont,’ but insiders pinpoint it further: It will take the former Borders in Rosemont Square.”

We called the ultimate insider, Steve Bajus, founder and president of S.W. Bajus, the real estate development and management company that owns Rosemont Square. He confirmed that Mom’s will be taking 16,000 square feet (just about the same size as the current location of Whole Foods in Wynnewood) in the former Borders store at Rosemont Square.

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Coming Not-As-Soon: New Spring Garden Whole Foods

PlanPhilly reports that Neil Rodin, the developer of Rodin Square–best known as the Whole Foods that’ll eat the Best Western–is still working to come to terms with the Logan Square Civic Association on certain issues, including the impact on traffic. Rodin had commissioned a traffic study, but now the LSNA wants to do one of its own.

It doesn’t sound like Rodin is too happy about that:

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Why I’ll Never Buy a Whole Foods Steak Again

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Recently, I found myself driving from the Jersey Shore to a backyard poolside cookout in South Jersey. I needed to pick up quality steaks for my friend’s grill — I was doing the buying, and he was doing the cooking — and as I was left with few options (this being South Jersey), I diverted to the Whole Foods in Marlton. A Whole Foods steak must be a good steak, I assumed. Read more »

Spring Garden Whole Foods Cheat Sheet and Renderings Galore

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Questions and craving for clarification have been coming in regarding the new Whole Foods that will be at 501 N. 22nd Street, which is now the address of the Best Western hotel. So here’s a handy cheat sheet people can simply return to every time they have a panic attack or wave of excitement about hemp haircare and chickpeas.

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Morning Headlines: Renderings and Details of Spring Garden Whole Foods Complex!

Last November the Inquirer broke the news that a new Whole Foods would take up residence on the site of the Best Western Hotel, whose bar was eloquently memorialized (pre-death) by the Philly Post’s Simon van Zuylen-Wood. That 3 acre parcel of land had many plans before Whole Foods was even a glimmer in its developer’s eye: It was going to be the Barnes Tower, then Parkway 22, then Neal Rodin imagined 250 apartments above a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods paradise.

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Huge Wynnewood Whole Foods Gets Go-Ahead from Lower Merion Township

At its last monthly meeting before the fall Monday night, the Lower Merion Township Planning Commission gave the green light to a huge new Whole Foods Market at the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Wynnewood Road.

The new, 45,000-square-foot supermarket, which would replace an existing store just west of the site, will occupy a lot assembled from eight parcels stretching eastward from the Cumberland Farms store at the intersection to just west of the Citizens Bank on Wynnewood. Two large office buildings, the Cumberland Farms and six other commercial structures will be demolished to make way for the store.

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