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.
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.
“Herein lies the paradox of being a regular at the Best Western Center City. As much as they might love Philadelphia, Philadelphia hasn’t always loved them back. Some of them aren’t from here; some moved away and lost their footing when they returned; others are bitter, or misunderstood. And some guys just hate the Eagles. So in a place that’s by definition occupied by visitors—a place that isn’t even welcome in its own neighborhood—a small cadre of outsiders has found its milieu.” – Simon van Zuylen-Wood for the Philly Post
The opening of the Glen Mills Whole Foods a couple weeks ago may just have been the best thing to happen to grocery shopping since the invention of grocery stores. Not only does the place offer 38,000 square-feet of organic, sustainable, free-range, vegetarian- and vegan-friendly gluten-free and house-made food, but it also contains…wait for it…a full-blown pub.
One of the most common foodie complaints of the last several years in Philadelphia is the lack of serious ramen joints. But there is hope on the horizon, or maybe just over the horizon.
The Royal Sushi and Izakaya, by the fine team behind the Khyber, Royal Tavern and Cantinas, was initially promised for September. That date has come and gone but the project is still a go. We’re just going to have to wait a few more months.
We missed this when it was originally reported but we’re excited to see that Yakitori Boy is looking to opening Ramen Boy, a ramen spot at 204 N 9th Street. No solid timeline on that spot.
Row Home Eats runs down the savory scones and tasty sandwiches served at One Shot Coffee. [Row Home Eats]
Veggicurious screams for ice cream, Little Baby’s Earl Grey Sriracha ice cream. [Veggicurious]
I am Beer Wise gets up to the roof of the Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting to try tacos and beer from the Blue Route Taco Truck. [I am Beer Wise]
In New Jersey, a business or individual can only own two liquor licenses. Wegmans is getting around the law with Wegmans Wines, Liquor and Beer, a Home Depot sized liquor store slated to open on Haddonfield Avenue in Cherry Hill. The liquor store will be owned by a separate company and will lease the Wegmans name and logos. [Courier Post]
Speaking of alcohol sales in supermarkets, the Mile Post Pub has opened in Devon’s Whole Foods. The 5,000 sqft space holds its official opening on Saturday. The pub offers seating for 57 and you’ll find wine by the glass and beers available by the glass or growler.
Ralic’s Steakhouse in Haddonfield opens Saturday night. Hell’s Kitchen contestant Ed Battaglia is in the kitchen. Ralic’s menu will be priced between $10 and $18 for appetizers, entrees will cost range from the mid-twenties and mid-forties. Bataglia will continue to direct the culinary arts program at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro, NJ. [Ralic's Steakhouse]
Vetri alum Joey Baldino has chosen Zeppoli as the name for his Collingswood BYOB. The spot which was the previous home of IndeBlue hopes to open next month. [The Insider]
Trax Restaurant and Cafe in the Ambler train station is beginning acoustic guitar on Thursday nights. Michael Del Conte will be on the patio (or inside if it rains) starting at 6:30 p.m tonight. He will continue on Thursday nights through at least July 7. [Trax Restaurant & Cafe]
Suburban Snacks: Patio Construction in Downingtown, Milepost Pub at Whole Foods, New in Ambler, Wayne and Willow Grove
Construction is continuing at Downingtown’s Avalon Pasta Bistro. The second restaurant from John Brandt-Lee who also owns Avalon in West Chester is slated to open later this Spring. Pictured above is the foundation of the restaurant’s forthcoming patio.
Willow Grove gets a Mad Mex to call its own. The Pittsburgh based chain will be slinging margaritas and burritos in a few months. [The Insider]
One of the best bottle-to-go selections on the Main Line will be coming to the Devon Whole Foods. The Milepost Pub is opening in May and will feature 300 bottles and six local taps for pints and growlers. [Main Line Dine]
HogFish Bar & Grill is looking to open in the May/June timeframe at former Osaka in Wayne. The restaurant will specialize in Florida-based seafood. [The Insider]
Massa Pizza & Grill is a Portuguese and Italian BYOB that has opened in Ambler. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Wayne’s Xilantro has been delayed again. The crew that owns El Sarape and two Los Serapes are now hoping to open the Wayne restaurant within four weeks. [The Insider]
Tap & Table won’t be vacant long. It’ll be reopening under new management as The Trapp Door. [The El Vee]
Rick Nichols picks door No. 2 at the new Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting and though not quite through the looking glass, it is a step forward.
Even so, it’s not exactly the Wild West: Whole Foods has a state “tavern license,” which means that the pub is on a separate register, that half its sales are booze, that the total amount of beer you can take out is 192 ounces (roughly 16 12-ounce bottles or three 64-ounce growlers).
To drink a glass of wine, you buy a smart card, insert it in a slot, and get 1-, 3- and 6-ounce pours from a vending machine stocked with what appeared to be French, Italian, and German wines – San Michele all’Adige Pinot Nero 2006, for instance, or Hirsch Riesling “Zobing” 2008. (Bottles of wine cannot be purchased to take home. Or what, the sky would fall?)
On the Side: A grocery pub: How civilized [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Joe Sixpack checks out the beer selection and prices at the new Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.
Shop till you drop [Beer Radar]