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Broad Street Run passes through South Philly this Sunday – watch for bus detours and parking restrictions

The 39th annual Blue Cross Broad Street run kicks off in North Philly and proceeds 10 miles south to the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

Spectators are encouraged to head out to Broad Street to watch the race and cheer on the runners.  Entertainment and refreshments are available along the course and at the finish line.

According to the official event website, some of the best places to watch the racers in South Philly include:

  • South Broad Street at Carpenter (High School for the Creative and Performing Arts);
  • South Broad Street at Jackson (South Philadelphia High School);
  • South Broad Street at Bigler Street;
  • South Broad Street at Packer Avenue, one block from Chickie & Pete’s
  • Broad and Pattison at the Sports Complex.

Extra trains, bus delays

Racers are encouraged to park at the Sports Complex and take the Broad Street Line to the race start.  To accommodate the crowds, according to SEPTA, “Participants in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run may ride the Broad Street Line for free before the race and until 9:00 a.m.  Participants must display their official competitor’s race bib number to a SEPTA cashier to gain entry.”

Beginning at 4:10am ten additional Express Broad Street Line Trains will operate every 10 minutes to transport racers from the parking lots near AT&T (Pattison) Station to stops near the race start Olney Transportation Center and Fern Rock Transportation Center.

Many bus routes in South Philly will be temporarily detoured due to the race.  Check SEPTA’s Blue Cross Broad Street Run Service Information page to see which routes will be detoured.  During the race, check TransitView for up-to-date detour information.

Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will provide Broad Street run-related transit, weather and safety information. To receive mobile alerts, text RUNPHL to 888-777 or visit OEM’s ReadyPhiladelphia page.

Parking will be restricted on Broad Street before and during the race – watch for posted signs!

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Looking on the bright CIDER of life

Kerry McKenzie is more than a glass half-full kind of guy. In fact, he’s a glass-is-always-full-guy…full of the hard cider he brews at Hale & True Cider Co. The cidery and taproom opened last week at 613 S. 7th Street. McKenzie, a chipper 29-year-old, smartly credits his wife and partner Risa as the mastermind behind his establishment. “We were already fermenting kimchi and kombucha when we stumbled upon a street fair on South Street and tasted hard cider for the first time.” McKenzie continues, “we were so excited to find out that cider could be something more than sweet!”

Kerry and Risa McKenzie

The couple switched their fermenting work to produce hard ciders, including some of the signature products at their new, 40-seat establishment.  Highlights include their “Standard” made from a mix of six different apples; “Hail to the Hop!” which allows the hops to sit for at least four to five days after fermenting; “Lil’ Sunshine” which has a mix of locally-grown honey and oranges; and “Sail Away” made from mango puree. This last favorite was inspired by the multitude of fresh mango he and his new bride ate on their honeymoon just a few months ago in Hawaii.

Kerry was born and raised in South Jersey, about 40 minutes from the heart of South Philly. He visited the city frequently even before he was able to drive – his parents would drop him off at South Street’s TLA and other hot spots. He met Risa met in college and the newly-married couple now live in Lower Moyamensing.  While scouting for locations it was natural that they gravitated to South Street where their love for cider began.

Kerry doesn’t profess to having a favorite among the many offerings at Hale & True except to say that for him, “drier is always better than sweet! Especially where hard cider is concerned.”

Hale & True has partnered with The Good King Tavern to provide a small menu of light snacks.  The cidery is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 10pm, Friday from 4pm to 12am, Saturday 12pm to 12am and Sunday 12pm to 9am.

Hale & True’s interior was designed by USA Architects and Cohere.  The furniture was crafted by Sweetwater Wood Design, owned by Kerry’s father and brother. Photo by Coleman Yunger.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Escape the 1980s on E. Passyunk Ave. to close, residential units coming soon

Escape the 1980s, one of the city’s top escape rooms, will close its location at 1804 E. Passyunk Ave. on June 30th.  The business opened in August of 2015 in a former pharmacy that had been vacant for at least five years. According to a press release announcing the closure: “Building owner Vince DiBacco plans to develop a luxury condo unit[s] and [a] storefront. Construction will begin July 2018.”

Photo of 1804 E Passyunk Ave. captured by Google Street View before the trees were added out front.

The changes to the building required a zoning variance and were vetted at a public meeting of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association zoning committee on January 11, 2017. Plans call for the addition of a third floor to create three dwelling units above the first-floor retail space.  Roof decks (more akin to balconies) would be added to the back of the building above the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.  The top floor deck is initially permitted for maintenance purposes only.

The presenter, Ron Patterson, attorney for the owner, said the third floor facade will feature “a metal panel with wood slats. Lighting and a small canopy will accentuate the residential entrance.”  The plans were approved by the community and EPX zoning committee.

At the time the plans were presented, Escape the 1980s, which obtained an “assembly and entertainment” permit in 2016, was to remain as the tenant. According to their website, the business now hopes to relocate and add an Escape the 1990s room as well.

Photo of a group enjoying Escape the 1980s, courtesy of TripAdvisor

Escape the 1980s is an interactive game where 2-12 players figure out clues and codes to unlock doors and get through an 80s themed adventure. The award-winning game, conceived by Steel Owl Productions, was built in the summer of 2015 by Philly artists, programmers and engineers. It’s been featured in dozens of publications including USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

If you’d like to check it out before June 30th, go here.

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

Morning news round-up

Lots of South Philly stories in the news…

CBS 3 reported on the South Division’s Memorial Bike Ride held in honor of fallen police officers. More than 50 riders traversed an eleven-mile route through the 1st, 3rd and 17th police districts. Riders stopped at three different sites where Philadelphia Police lost their lives while on the job.

Eater Philadelphia offers a look inside Burrata, which opens today at 1247 South 13th St. in Passyunk Square.  According to Eater, “A few notables on the opening menu include artichokes with white wine and anchovies, mint fettuccine with a pulled rabbit ragu, bucatini with arugula pesto and shaved asparagus, and grilled branzino with parsnip puree and a pomegranate reduction.”  The restaurant was formerly the site of August.

We were saddened to hear that the coyote caught at 16th and Montrose Streets didn’t make it, as Philly Mag reported.

A piece on Philly.com acknowledged the pain many Vietnamese immigrants in South Philadelphia still feel about the fall of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, “…walk the streets of South Philadelphia, particularly around Sixth and Washington Streets, and the past is present. The South Vietnamese flag flies from homes and businesses, at the entrance to New World Plaza, a big shopping center, and at the Bo De Buddhist Temple. At Tet new year celebrations and community events, the South Vietnamese anthem is sung.”

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

A comprehensive guide to Mexican South Philly

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the Philadelphia Inquirer produced a very comprehensive guide to Mexican restaurants, bakeries, markets, and ice cream shops in South Philly.  Written by restaurant critic Craig LaBan, the piece features links to past reviews and beautiful photos by staff photographer Tim Tai.

We had hoped that some of these places would stay “our little secret” a bit longer.  So we’re totally fine if you just want to click through the gorgeous photos and leave the restaurants to us.  Then again, these small business owners work hard and deserve our support, so…buen provecho!


TIM TAI / Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Photographer

In addition to revealing secret spots to grab delicious food, there’s also a brief history about the growth of the Mexican-American community in Philadelphia from the late 1990s to today.  LaBan writes that South Philly’s close connections to Puebla started with one man:

“In the late 1990s, a Puebla man named Efren Pelléz was accidentally left behind in Philadelphia by his coyote smuggler on the way to New York City, walked into David Suro’s Center City restaurant Tequila’s (the only awning he could find with Spanish words) and asked: “How far is it to New York?”

“He was the first seed planted in Philadelphia,” says Suro, who said Pelléz settled and helped launch the Puebla pipeline here before he eventually returned to Mexico where he died. “30,000 people later …”

Read more here.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Queen Village 

Tonight: Get your “Groove On!”

Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater presents “Groove On!” tonight at L’Etage, 624 South 6th Street. The fundraiser will feature daring displays of the other talents of the ensemble’s members which includes two South Philly residents.

Tongue & Groove is a Philly-based improvised theater group founded in 2006.  In their regular shows, the group anonymously collects thoughts from audience members which they then use to create improvised scenes and monologues.

Tonight’s show is more of a talent show-meets-fundraiser.

The Tongue & Groove troop. South Philadelphia resident Beth Dougherty is shown in the lower left corner of this photo.

Various cast members will showcase their skills which include cabaret singer, magician and drummer.  They’ll be joined by special guests to offer a fun-filled evening.

Ensemble member and East Passyunk Crossing resident, Beth Dougherty, noted that the group just received non-profit status through CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia.  The fundraiser will help the group meet their mission of helping people connect in a disconnected world. “A show like ours [in which] we create the content from suggestions we receive from the audience…connects everyone who is present…we help to bring people together…and everyone walks out feeling the same good feeling together,” Dougherty explained.

Dougherty, a founding member of the company, was invited to join by company director Bobbi Block. Off-stage, Dougherty has served on the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association board since 2008 and helped form its Education Committee. She loves the creative opportunity the ensemble affords her,  “I love my work and my community activism and involvement, but there is nothing like getting up on stage and creating a show from scratch like we do.”

While creating a show from scratch might seem stressful to some, Dougherty notes, “it’s really more fun than anything to get the suggestions and get out there and put it all together.  The challenge can be trying to be “funny” – sometimes if you aren’t getting as many laughs as you would like, there is the tendency to push something and try too hard to be funny, which almost always backfires.”  She enjoys the group’s camaraderie, “they are wonderful, funny, creative and inspiring, and I love to be around them!”

Check out the group’s talents tonight by purchasing tickets here.

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