Amalia’s Café, a new Middle Eastern restaurant and hookah bar, is now open on West Passyunk in a storefront that previously was a church called In His Presence Ministry and a Chinese takeout.
Amalia’s, which opened in May, serves a handful of platters of traditional Middle Eastern staples like various types of kebab platters and sandwich versions of the same, plus branzino, lamb chops, a mixed grill and homemade desserts. There is also a selection of tobaccos for hookahs, which happens to be the second hookah option that opened in South Philly in the past couple months.
The Passyunk Square Civic Association’s zoning committee approved a proposal last week to turn the crumbling old garage at 1128 S. 13th St. into four apartments and a ground-floor professional office.
From Google Streetview in 2009, but it looks basically the same today
The owner, Michael Murray, plans to add a third story and a roof deck with a pilot house, plus four parking spots in the garage using the existing curb cut. Multi-family residencies, as well as business and professional uses for tenant buildings, are prohibited in this zoning district. That’s why Murray and Vincent Mancini, owner of the project’s architectural firm, Landmark Architectural Design, were compelled to come before the committee.
That’s the plucky little public school at 12th and Federal that has made great progress in recent years thanks to a dedicated troupe of neighborhood activists (like the Passyunk Square Civic’s education committee) and what several parents have told us is a principal who’s doing a bang-up job. But the report makes the situation sound grim:
Ever wonder why that empty lot across from Pat’s and Geno’s has been vacant for all these years? There is more to it than you’d imagine, says City Paper’s Naked City blog, which highlighted the lot last week as its Philaphilia Empty Lot of the Week.
The story begins in 1864 when the First Presbyterian Church and its school opened there. Fast forward all the way through a renaming to St. John Nepomucene Church in 1907 and then to the mid-80s, when the church was abandoned. Enter South Philly native Joseph Gatta Jr. comes in.
While ice cream and water ice are just dandy, sometimes you just need to change it up, especially on those sticky South Philly summer days. How about frozen popsicles handmade with fresh, natural, locally-sourced ingredients in quirky and creative flavor combos?
Lucky for us, the nationally recognized Lil’ Pop Shop has opened a second location at 534 S. 4th St., just off South. The other location is in West Philly, aka far away.
There are pops here for foodie-types and for food ‘fraidy cats wary of “weird” stuff. Here’s what was in the case one day last week: coconut hibiscus, Vietnamese iced coffee, lime mint, creamy mint chocolate chunk, chocolate w/salted caramel brownie, goat cheese w/cherries, lemon blueberry buttermilk.
Check out the ruins of Fort Mifflin near the airport. Pic from Hidden City
Feel like slumming it, deliciously? Go to John’s Roast Pork, 14 E. Snyder Ave. Been a while since you been there, right? Get there before 3:30 when they turn off the grill. Then head to Bonnie’s Capistrano on 13th near Dickinson. Yeah, it’s a dive, and it’s not as weird as you think.
At 1908 E. Passyunk, you could head to Pollyodd, where they’ll be serving snow cones made with the shop’s homemade lemoncello from 5 to 7 p.m. The store is open from 1 to 9.
Also Saturday, you could pretend you’re in 1990 and go to the Wells Fargo Center to see New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men. Tickets – they’re still available OMG! – on Stubhub were going for as low as $7 plus fees yesterday. This is not a recommendation, but hey, if we were in the right mood and drunk enough…
Buy your Dad a beer at The Industry, Reed and Moyamensing (or at least call him).