Morning Headlines: Bucks County Is in Development Slump

Bucks County Courthouse. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Bucks County Courthouse.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday’s headline in the Bucks County Courier-Times was not encouraging: “Bucks report shows sluggish development.” James McGinnis’ list of superlatives was no less damning:

Applications for new housing and industry remain at some of the lowest levels recorded in more than a generation.

Proposals for new commercial development are at the lowest levels recorded in 32 years.

The Bucks County Planning Commission estimates builders would “impact” just 368 acres. That’s the lowest amount ever recorded by the county.

There were several communities that had zero development — zilch — including Langhorne, Upper Southampton and Yardley. There is some good news, though.

Read more »

Day In The Life: Vault Brewing Co.’s John Cain

Yardley Vault Brewing Co John Cain

Photography by Courtney Apple

Coffee is the most important part of my morning. I roast my own and hand-grind it. The whole process takes about 25 minutes. It’s the least efficient way to get a cup of coffee. Rojo’s Roastery in Lambertville is the only place outside of Philly where you can get a good cup. // I’m normally in the [1] brewery, which is in an old bank, by 9 or 10 a.m. We only schedule our brewing four weeks out, but we always try to have certain styles: [2] a stout or porter, an IPA, an approachable beer like Belgian blond, and a special seasonal beer like a hefeweizen. // I wear [3] &Work Vocation shirts—you can wear them to nice restaurants, or to move 50-pound bags of grain. There’s always a penholder in the most ridiculous places. // [4] Charcoal in Yardley is the best fine dining in Bucks County. They’re always rotating their menu. It’s more like a local diner for breakfast. I love the blueberry-pistachio pancakes. They’re decadent. // [5] James Lasdun’s The Horned Man; I think he’s an exceptionally talented writer. Not for the faint of heart. // John’s Barber Shop in Newtown is the best place to get a haircut in Bucks. It’s old-school, and you can get a beer during your cut. // We have [6] live jazz at the Vault every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. But in the city, Ortlieb’s Lounge is an old and funky jazz spot. // Everything that Ardmore’s Tired Hands Brewing Company puts out is fantastic. Inventive beers in a comfy atmosphere. // Finch’s Beer Co.’s Secret Stache Stout is full-bodied, chocolaty and inky black. A perfect winter beer.

john-cain-vault-brewing-day-numbers

First appeared in the February, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Exclusive First Look: MCM Stunner in Yardley By Neutra Associate Thaddeus Longstreth

yardley mcm

Thaddeus Longstreth, who died in 1997, collaborated with Richard Neutra in the 1940s and ’50s, and designed a number of homes in this region. This one in the Edgehill Gardens neighborhood is a real mid-century modern classic, with walls of expansive glass to bring the outdoors in. Other design elements include tongue and groove wood ceilings, hardwood floors, wood built-ins, and mirrored soffits. There’s also a fireplace.

For a three-bedroom home with this kind of architectural pedigree, it’s reasonably priced at $599,900. For more information, call Jay Spaziano at 215-860-2800. The property will officially be on the market on Monday.

Gallery below.

Read more »

House of the Week: Perfectly Situated, Beautiful Stone Manor in Yardley

What a treasure this is. Lanrick Manor, built around 1704, has beautiful period details throughout its 3,800 square feet, including antique hardware, random-width hardwood floors and five fireplaces, including a walk-in. The front door is original and there are built-ins in the dining room and library. There’s a sunroom that, on sunny days, may compensate for the fact that the third-floor walk-up doesn’t yet have heat–let’s call it a handyman’s challenge.

In addition to the main house, there’s a bank barn with a studio that has heat and air conditioning. The land itself is lovely, and is close–but not too close–to the river. In fact, there’s a highway in between, which some may think of as unattractive, but Yardley homes for sale on River Road can be a risky proposition when heavy rains come. That highway probably keeps this house just far enough away to play it safe.

Read more »

Charcoal and Vault Brewing Collaborating on a Dinner

charcoal-crew

Mark and Eric Plescha who are the brothers and chefs at Charcoal BYOB in Yardley are teaming up with the still newish Vault Brewing Co. for a collaborative beer dinner. The brothers are known for their modern cooking at Charcoal and pairing their food with Vault’s beers promises to be a different kind of beer dinner. The event takes place on Tuesday, March 5th and will cost $85 per person.

Check out the menu »

Vault’s First Brewing Day

Yesterday Vault Brewing Company, the brewpub coming to Yardley in Bucks County, began brewing its first beer. The first beer to make it to the boil is their Belgian Blonde. According to the brewery the blonde ale will be a light, crisp, refreshing beer with some Belgian spiciness and fruity notes. Yesterday Vault made nine barrels of the stuff in preparation for their opening day which, if everything goes as planned, will be the week of September 24th. Read more »

Vault Brewing Company Opening Soon

The ‘burbs are getting a much needed taste of Philly’s beer scene. Vault Brewing Company is set to open on Main Street in Yardley this fall, bringing craft brews, pizza, tapas, and jazz to the small town. An odd combination? Maybe, but that’s exactly what John and James Cain, the owners, are going for.

Read more »

Russian River Dinner at the Yardley Inn

The Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar is  hosting a Russian River Beer Dinner on Thursday, July 19th and 7 p.m. The five-course, five beer, $95 per person dinner will feature dishes like grilled oysters and roasted pig paired with some of Russian River’s best and most sour beers. Chef Eben Copple’s menu will include produce harvested directly from the Yardley Inn’s Riverside Kitchen Garden.

The Full Menu »

Playful & Thoughtful at Charcoal

Adam Erace visits Yardley’s Charcoal, the molecular gastronomy BYOB from brothers Eric and Mark Plescha.

The chefs know their way around an immersion circulator, though, their preferred cooking vehicle for everything from octopus and eggs to that hanger steak. A marinade in roasted vegetables, mustard and vinegar tenderizes the beef for two days; two hours at 55 degrees Celsius and a quick trip to the grill finishes the job. Rubbed down with root beer spices (sassafras, juniper and star anise, to name a few), the short ribs go four days — four days! — in a super-low sous vide that maintains a medium-rare interior. Scented with more star anise, roasted fennel purée reinforced the beef’s licorice backdrop, a white raisin-studded, grilled pistachio-dusted ode to a burger and a root beer from the nearby A&W stand, a favorite of Eric’s girlfriend.

Undercover Brothers [City Paper]
Charcoal [Official Site]

Cutting Edge Food at Charcoal

It’s ultra-modern micr0gastronomy at Charcoal in Yardley. Diner by day, the brother-run restaurant becomes a cutting edge restaurant at night and although Craig LaBan finds some of the dishes over-zealous, there are others that are truly memorable.

when the brothers are in the groove, they can pull off some genuinely stunning plates. Their twist on “Oreos and milk,” for example, brought gingersnap cookies sandwiched around decadently creamy stuffings of foie gras, set over crumbled shards of frozen sweet milk. It was a startling collage of textures, spice, and temperatures that evolved as I ate, the frozen milk melting back into a familiar puddle of cookie-dipping dairy comfort. A dish inspired by A&W burgers and root beer floats produced a short rib I’ll long remember – brined in sassafras, anise, and juniper, then slow-cooked sous-vide for so long (four days at 127 degrees), the savory meat was medium-rare-pink yet pull-apart fork-tender.

2 Bells – Very Good

Charcoal [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Charcoal [Official Site]