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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Former Molly’s Books outlet now houses Garces-funded language program

The old Molly’s Books and Records Outlet, which we told you was closing last month, already has a new tenant, and it’s an intriguing one. A program to teach English to Spanish-speaking restaurant workers has opened at 1117 E Passyunk Ave.

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Funded by the Garces Foundation – yes, restaurateur extraordinaire Jose Garces – the workshop focuses on serving the immigrant community of Philadelphia in the areas of English education, workplace skill building, and healthy living, said program director Mallory Fix. It’s called English for the Restaurant and Everyday Living.

The program was previously run out of the Kimmel Center but moved south to be in the community that the program serves, said Fix, who has a master’s in teaching English as a second language.

“We currently have 43 regularly attending students and are expanding to 50 students for our second class session, which runs July 8th-August 28th,” Fix said in an email. “We provide each students with formal classroom instruction two days a week and provide job skills training classes 1 day a week. The demonstrations take place in a professional kitchen and focus on task such as: measuring, knife skills, kitchen safety, talking to customers, building relationships with co workers, etc.”

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Photos provided by Fix


Garces language program

Fix said they want to start “Coffee and Conversation” groups and other activities to open the program somewhat to community members who are interested but do not work in a restaurant. They’ve also been in contact with the Tolentine Rec Center at 11th and Mifflin “about a cross-generational effort.”

For more information, find their Facebook page here. They’re also looking for volunteers who can make a commitment of two to four hours a week. Wanna help out? Email


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