Here Comes Your Socially Acceptable Opportunity to Get Drunk at The Zoo (and More Philly Restaurant News)

A bar serving xiao long bao opens in South Philly, Earth Bread + Brewing will shut down in July, and Fishtown Pickle Project launches two new summer products.

Summer Ale Fest at The Zoo returns Saturday, July 16th / Photograph courtesy of The Philadelphia Zoo

Hitting The Jim in South Philly

It’s tiny. It’s crowded. It’s got some history. And as of last week, it’s open.

The Jim — brought to the former home of JC’s Chinese Restaurant at 8th and Morris streets in South Philly — is the newest project from partners Fergus “Fergie” Carey and Jim McNamara (of Fergie’s Pub and the Goat). The place has been quietly in the works for a while now, but last week the bar officially opened for business and, at least according to Facebook, is doing some nice business.

Carey and McNamara have a third partner in this venture: Tony Rim, who owns 1225 Raw in Midtown Village, Zushi in Logan Square, will be handling the menu at The Jim. He’s got a fully remodeled kitchen to work with, and according to Philly Grub, it’ll be banging out noodles, xiao long bao, wasabi-curry fries, and Korean fried chicken wings.

If you like a little street-corner bar packed with neighbors, beers on tap, soup dumplings and chicken wings, check it out. The Jim opens every day at 4 p.m. We’ll see you there.

Photograph courtesy of Fishtown Pickles

Can we interest you in some citrus ramp relish?

Those crazy cats from the Fishtown Pickle Project are at it again. They’re partnering with Eight Oaks Farm Distillery out of Tripoli, PA on a citrus ramp relish and something they’re calling the “Playa de Pina.” Owners Mike Sicinski and Nike Toscani are psyched about both.

“Essentially, Eight Oaks made their gin in a barrel once used to make chardonnay, and then we took that barrel and fermented cucumbers with ramps to make the relish, and then finished it with other products including local ramp vinegar and lemon. For the tropical pickles, we took one of their rum barrels and blended a bunch of flavors to make something that should taste like a tropical mojito. We are super pumped for this jar.”

That “bunch of flavors” he’s referencing? Cucumbers and green papaya fermented in rum barrels, then jarred with mint, pineapple and makrut lime in a brine of apple cider and persimmon vinegars.

Check ‘em out if you’re looking to up your pickle game.

This person has possibly lost their Zoo key. / Photograph courtesy of The Philadelphia Zoo

Summer Ale Fest at The Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo’s legendary 21+ Summer Ale Fest is coming back this summer after its pandemic hiatus. On Saturday, July 16th, thousands of people will gather to drink more than a hundred different craft beers. The event will also have plenty of ciders and seltzers, plus food trucks and live music. Essentially, the entire zoo gets turned into a gigantic beer garden for one night only.

Summer Ale Fest also serves as a huge fundraiser for the Philadelphia Zoo. Tickets are on sale now, and you can find more details here.

Pizza from Earth Bread and Brewery / Photograph by Ali Stauffer.

Earth Bread + Brewery is set to close on July 1st

Looks like Earth Bread + Brewery is calling it quits after more than a decade in Mount Airy. Owners Tom Baker and Peggy Zwerver took to Facebook last week to announce that Friday, July 1st, would be the last day of business.

A few years back, Baker and Zwerver teamed up with Stew and Julie Keener (of Baggataway Tavern in Conshy) to open Bar Hygge in Fairmount. But this local business loss … is still a local business loss.

“It’s been an incredible ride for us, and we don’t wish to dwell on the hard times of the pandemic. Instead, let’s remember the packed houses in earlier times, the weddings, birthdays and anniversaries that were celebrated, the comedy shows, science nights, table tennis Tuesdays, kick the keg nights, tap takeovers, the live music, the local art, the many guests that we’ve served and the beers that we brewed. But especially, we cherish the friendships that we have made.”