London native Sam Jacobson has packed his tiny South Philly pie shop with nothing more than a sprinkling of tables, some mismatched spoons, free tea, and, oh yeah, two bakery cases brimming with flaky sausage rolls, an ever-changing roster of pastries and meat pies, and traditional beef pies with mash and parsley liquor, fresh from the bakers working in the back. It's the best thing to come from Britain since Kate Middleton's hair. 1838 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk, Philadelphia, PA 19148, facebook.com/StargazyPhilly/.
There's a reason all your mommy friends are obsessed with Pure Barre: The workout, done on the ballet barre and mat, entails a series of tiny, almost imperceptible movements that pack a serious total-body-toning punch. Since the power and stability come from your core (it's why you're told to "tuck" here), the 55-minute classes are especially good for getting postpartum bodies back up and running in no time. Multiple locations | , purebarre.com/.
Xavi Row designer Leroy West will come to your home with a briefcase of fabric samples. Then he’ll work with you to design a cut and customize every last detail, from the buttons to the inside lining. Starting at $800, your threads can still cost less than much of what you can find off the rack. xavirow.com/.
Because you can’t shop for a BVI vacation at 9 p.m. the night before you leave, Pamela Caruso and Jennifer Rossi will bring the racks (and plenty of coordinating accessories) right to you. The concierge stylists have also sourced $55 black-tie gowns and held meetings in day-care parking lots — they can even arrange for a tailor to come to your home or office. bravadophilly.com/.
The only thing better than combing through 35,000 square feet of salvaged furniture, fixtures, and only-in-Philly finds (like wood from the chocolate factory that’s coming down at 21st and Washington)? Doing so on a Thursday evening, when this arch-salvage warehouse serves up free beer and bourbon. 2234 West Westmoreland Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, philadelphiasalvage.com/.
Just in case the thought of a simultaneous scalp and foot massage isn't enough to make your eyes roll back in your head, we'll explain it this way: It might be best to have a loved one come along to drive you home afterward, as if you are undergoing an outpatient medical procedure for which you are receiving heavy sedation. Because truth be told, after this massage, we shouldn't have been on the road. 415 South York Road, New Hope, PA 18938, nurturespa.com/.
Every year, come Fat Tuesday, Haegele's Bakery in Northeast Philly feeds a long line of indulgees their fair share (and then some) of the city's best doughnuts: airy ring doughnuts, perfectly sweet cream-filled doughnuts, iced cinnamon doughnuts, powdered jelly doughnuts, and, of course, fastnachts. Thankfully, we can go every other day of the year and, except for the fastnachts, gobble them up without a wait. 4164 Barnett Street, Philadelphia, PA 19135, .
Instead of filling a dumpster with all your demo refuse, hire this nonprofit org to help you “deconstruct.” They’ll identify any building materials that can be reused by others — and help you get a tax break while they’re at it. philadelphiacommunitycorps.org/.
This delightfully colorful showroom boasts custom lighting and handcrafted furnishings, but it’s the smattering of home accessories, like shapely black-and-white baskets woven in Panama, textured throw pillows, and oils done by local artists, that will take you by surprise. 10 West Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301, kingshaven.com.
Lostine takes mundane tools — brooms, dust pans — and makes them deserving of prominent display. But it's the East Falls company's kitchen accessories that are the most eye-catching: sleek wood rolling pins, pepper mills, cutting boards, leather-handled trays and marble prep tables. lostine.com/.
Port Richmond's Felt + Fat is turning out ceramic plates, bowls, trays, cups and mugs that are pretty enough to be art, fancy enough to earn nods from Vogue, and cool enough to catch the eye of top chefs who use them at their restaurants. (See them at Fork, Laurel and High Street on Market.) Philadelphia, PA feltandfat.com/.
We've been waiting for someone to come along and give all the best parts of a sandwich good bread, melty cheese, that bitter/spicy/meaty contrast a face-lift. Which is why Paesano's stole our hearts (and stomachs). There's the Arista, for which a whole suckling pig is house-roasted, pulled, and served on Liscio's bread with broccoli rabe; the Gustaio, in which house-made lamb sausage is slathered with a sweet-cherry mostarda, gorgonzola and roasted fennel before being wrapped up in a buttery pita; and the namesake Paesano: slow-roasted beef layered on a substantial hoagie roll with gorgonzola, roasted tomatoes, pepperoncinis and house-made cole slaw. 1017 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, paesanosphillystyle.com/.
Lansdale’s Boardroom Spirits founder Marat Mamedov says he noticed the rise of malt-based seltzers, knew canned cocktails would be the next big trend, and started canning a Moscow Mule. Made with the distillery’s Brazilian-ginger-root-infused vodka, the effervescent drink is not too sweet and totally refreshing — a tough balance to strike in a can.
“When you have a clean canvas to work with, which the vodka offers, you can let the other flavors shine through in a bigger manner without off-putting notes,” says Mamedov.
ALCO, one arm of Kensington-based New Liberty Distillery, canned classics like vodka soda and gin and tonic with the brand’s own spirits plus fresh ingredients — tonic from century-old soft-drink company Natrona Bottling Company and real lemon and lime juices.
Others in Philly didn’t go so far as to can their concoctions, but they found creative ways to get them into eager drinkers’ hands this past year (well, while to-go cocktails were still legal), including Paul MacDonald at Friday Saturday Sunday and Eddie Adams, head bartender at Bar Hygge. Drawing on the ingenuity that makes them stand-out drink-makers even when we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic, both bartenders figured out how to keep the cocktails coming.
Adams made a steady stream of seasonal punch, which he offered in single-serving pouches or large-format glass bottles. Those came with a bottle of club soda plus a special mix of raw sugar, salt, lavender and coriander so you could rim your glass at home — a fancy touch in not-so-fancy times.
At FSS, MacDonald didn’t limit himself to any specific cocktail but instead bottled (or poured into a single-serving plastic cup) pretty much everything on the menu, except, he says, for the swizzles, which rely on packed-down pellet ice, and the egg-white drinks, which depend on that freshly shaken texture. “Fulfilling off-menu or bartender’s-pick requests has always been a big part of our cocktail program, so I did my best to keep that up when possible,” MacDonald says.
A grateful, slightly tipsy city salutes these libation innovations (and hopes the politicians in Harrisburg get their heads out of the cooler long enough to sign a permanent to-go-cocktail bill).
This cool West Philly seamstress will come to your house and teach your kids and their friends how to make stuffed animals, messenger bags and doll outfits. Before her visit, she'll talk through design ideas with the kids, and once she arrives, you can sit back and have a glass of wine: She brings all the fabric, scissors, rulers and real sewing machines, not those silly starter models that don't work. Service areas include Philadelphia, Delaware County and the Main Line. [email protected] Philadelphia, PA