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Author Archive | Caroline Voyles

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing :  Passyunk Square 

The 215 literary festival ‘takes over’ East Passyunk for the first time

215 festival

The literatti is descending on East Passyunk.

For the first time, the literary 215 Festival will “take over” the neighborhood, which will host a day’s worth of events honoring the spoken, written and visualized word on Oct. 19. It’s the first year the festival has dipped south of Center City, so now we  can experience our foodie street in a whole new way, chewing on words as opposed to vittles.

The kick-off event at 1 p.m. at the Singing Fountain will feature readings from the festival’s founder, Neal Pollack, and a Type-In Orchestra. Celebrating the art of “Slow Writing,” Type-Ins (think sit-ins) feature people hammering away on manual typewriters – the “music” of the orchestra being the clicks, zings and rattles of the machines.

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Another new coffee shop coming to 10th and Carpenter

We’re hearing scuttlebutt about a new business at 10th and Carpenter in Bella Vista, where a series of coffee shops have closed in recent years.

It’s a coffee shop. Rumor has it that this one will have fair-sourced, organic coffee, but that’s about all the info we have on it.

10th and Carpenter

The spot has hosted a number of cafes, including Mazag, Filter and inFusion, but it’s sat empty for over a year. Located across from Bardascino Park on a mostly residential street, the space is perfect for local folk looking to sit out and enjoy a bev away from the weekend bustle of the Italian Market just a block away.

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South Philly is for lovers, right? Things to do on Valentine’s Day, 14 and counting

Ohh, my heart! Isn’t that a-DOR-able?

Some people hate Valentine’s Day, but they’re all bitter. Kidding, kidding. But in case you were on the search for something to do that night, here are a few options, some more glamorous than others. We’ll keep adding to this list as we hear about more events. And if you know of anything else happening, leave it in the comments or email us at

To getting some!

1) For the veg crowd
Miss Rachel’s Pantry – Farmhouse Table Special Valentine’s Day menu at their Farmhouse Table.
3 nights – 2/14, 2/15, 2/16.

2) For the intimate experience

In lieu of the a la carte menu, Will is featuring a 5 course tasting menu for $65.  Will accommodate any dietary restriction.

3) For the Hater

Devil’s Den Anti-Valentine’s Day
Instead of serving love- or aphrodisiac-themed bevvies, Devil’s Den is offering $1 off beers that remind us of our exes.  Examples: Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch, Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot, Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, AleSmith Horny Devil and others.  The fun(?) starts at 7pm.

4) For the big spender

Ruby Buffet on S. Columbus is hosting a Valentine’s Day Lobster & Seafood Buffet on February 14 from 3-10pm.  $15.99 for adults, $8.99 for children ages 2-10.

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What's Happening in:  Queen Village 

Washington Ave. restaurant will be a sandwich place

Back in December we told you that some kind of restaurant is in the works at 525 Washington Ave., in the corner of Queen Village. Well, Naked Philly was able to scrounge up a bit more info.

525 Washington Ave., in October. But it will be a lunch spot, apparently

They say it will be a lunch spot and added a few more tidbits, including the style of food (sandwiches) and provisos set by the Queen Village Neighborhood Association (no “loitering” employees and no alcohol…ever). That was in response to some neighbors’ concerns.

We still haven’t gotten word of a set timeline, but NP reported that the opening would be within a few months. While South Philly in general is loaded with sandwich shops, author Lou Mancinelli points out that in this particular neighborhood, where ethnic food abounds, not so much.

We’re continuing to be on the lookout for more details as they come available. Drop us a line at if you get word on what’s going on over there — or anywhere for that matter.

- Caroline Voyles, @CarolineVoyles

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

BYOB art space to replace Bainbridge restaurant supply store

After more than 30 years of running Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant Supply, owner Harriet Mancini is retiring and unfortunately, closing up shop. The store at 629 E. Passayunk Ave. has provided casual home cooks to professional chefs in Queen Village all sorts of fancy gadgets and equipment.

It’s curtains for this one

While there is no final date set, the employee we spoke to said they anticipate the store will close for good sometime before mid-February. In the meantime, stop by for big sales.

The space shouldn’t be empty for too long, however, as there seems to already be a tenant ready to take over. An employee said that a new art supply store, Art with a Twist, will be taking over the space.

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista 

Villa Di Roma plans expansion – eventually

To step into Villa Di Roma in the Italian Marketis to travel back in time, with crowd-pleasing Italian home cooking like Nonna used to make and decor that isn’t so modern either. As the restaurant approaches it’s 50th birthday next year, the owners are looking to make some changes – but with no sense of urgency.

Villa di Roma, 936 S. 9th St.
Epiphany “Pip” De Luca, the owner of Villa di Roma at 936 S. 9th St., told us about the plan to expand their facility. The process has been slow-going. The permit was approved in February, and there’s no set date or timeline for completion. The zoning application is for a one-story addition on the back of the building.
“We’re still tweaking the plans,” de Luca told us. “We hope to get started on the project this spring.” Most of the changes will be to the back of the house – more sinks, more tables, more space “to do [their] jobs better…These are the conveniences we’ve always wanted to have.”
When asked if customers will notice a difference in the dining room, de Luca said they would: the plans include space for extra seating, but no major renovations to the current dining rooms. At least, not in the current plan. Maybe that can be the restaurant’s gift to itself on it’s 100th birthday.

- Caroline Voyles, @CarolineVoyles

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