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

Publisher’s Picks: East Passyunk Avenue Edition

Ten post-holiday treats – to give yourself!

On a cold, sunny January day, Passyunk Post publisher Joseph F. Marino and East Passyunk BID Executive Director Adam Leiter took a walk along East Passyunk Avenue to explore the shops now that the holiday rush has passed. “Having spent the past month buying gifts for family and friends, it’s the perfect time of year to buy a pick-me-up to speed along the gloomy winter days,” noted Marino.

Here are ten items that caught Marino’s eye, from the economical to the sublime, in no particular order.


1) This Wooden Wallet Card Holder, outfitted with an industrial strength band, is compact, strong, and holds your cards and cash securely. A perfect grab-and-run gift and an interesting alternative to a bulky wallet. Shoppers shouldn’t neglect the striking artisan watches for which their store is named, either. 

Analog Watch Company
1737 E. Passyunk Ave.
(484) 808-5831
Tuesday – Saturday 9am-5pm       


2) Beyond the sentiment, these Love and Home pillows make a bold statement in any room. They add a pop of color in contemporary and chic way. They’re also soft and comfortable – perfect when you’re settling down for a long (or short) winter’s nap.

Gypsy Rose
1514 East Passyunk Ave.
(267) 767-6475
Hours by appointment.


3) “Orange is my favorite color and these Zyl Frames by Philly Eyeworks jumped out at me as the sun set,” says Marino. “They can be filled as prescription eyeglasses or as sunwear.” Innervision also offers limited-edition cleaning cloths designed by Philadelphia artists. 

Innervision
1815 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 575-5188
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

 

 


4) Paddywax Library Candles include different candle scents based on classic authors like Tolstoy and Dickens. The Oscar Wilde candle is cedar, thyme and basil. Perfect to light on cold winter nights as you pull a book off your shelf (or out of your electronic device). 

Occasionette
1825 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 465-1704
Monday – Friday  11am-8pm;
Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 10am-6pm

 

 


5) Board and dice games, coupled with cocoa or coffee, are the perfect combination for snow-day fun! Tildie’s specializes in games that are educational, fun, and build community. Ticket to Ride is a favorite, as is the dice game Tenzi

Tildie’s Toy Box
1829 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 334-9831
Monday – Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 10am-5pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6) “I won’t buy anything that isn’t 100% cotton,” says Marino, “and this Cobalt Age of Wisdom Ready-to-Wear Cotton Quarter-Zip Sweater with leather accents fits my style and frame. Anything goes under it, and because it’s brown and blue it complements everything. The quality fabric won’t wear or fade prematurely.”

A Man’s Image
1841 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 755-7100
9:30am daily. Check website for closing times.

 

 

 


7) Felt Creations based on the Little Mermaid or Noah’s ark are colorful, whimsical and a perfect way to accent a gray or otherwise dark bookshelf or settee with color. Sustainable, socially responsible and non-toxic. 

The Nesting House
1605 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 755-1575
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 10am-5pm

 

 

 


8) Grab-and-Go Bouquets will brighten up any home during the moribund days of January. Handcrafted bouquets of seasonal flowers are a reasonably-priced way to pick oneself up. These are a wonderful thing to give somebody else for any reason or no reason at all. Marino quips: “It’s like a non-edible tiramisu – that’s colloquial Italian for a pick-me-up.”

Creations by Coppola at Floral + Fauna
1724 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 399-9754
Sunday – Thursday 10am-7pm;
Friday – Saturday 10am-9pm

 


9) This Shacket hides a multitude of holiday sins with a clean, linear look. A chic upturned collar gives a retro accent to a contemporary piece. It’s perfect for an early spring or late autumn day and wipes clean.

Metro Men’s Clothing
1600 E Passyunk Ave.
(267) 324-5172
Monday – Saturday 11:30am-8pm;
Sunday 11:30am-5pm.

 

 

 

 


10) The herbal Kosha Salt Scrub activates, stimulates and brings vitality to the skin, promotes healthy blood flow, and increases circulation. Rachel, the proprietor of Palo Santo, makes them herself. Not just for pre- and post-yoga replenishment – they’re unusual and perfect for someone who has everything. 

Palo Santo Wellness Boutique
1707 E Passyunk Ave.
(215) 952-0360
Open daily until 9pm

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What's Happening in:  All over South Philly 

Last-Minute Food Gift Guide

By Catherine Murray

‘Tis the season for merriment and last minute shopping! To make your holiday gift giving extra tasty — and very South Philly, swing by one of these beloved establishments.  


Artisan Boulanger Patissier

Courtesy Artisan Boulanger Patissier/Facebook

Want to impress your family visiting from out of town? Pick up chocolate croissants or raspberry mousse from this long treasured South Philly bakery. The artful and decadent treats made here will make your celebrations a little sweeter.

Address: 1218 Mifflin Street

Hours: Open daily 7 am – 5 pm and Sunday 8 am – 4 pm. Closed Mondays.

Price: Varies upon item


Brewery ARS

Courtesy Brewery ARS/ Facebook

If you haven’t been to ARS yet, now is the perfect time to go. These South Philly brothers brew some seriously good stuff. To celebrate their second anniversary, ARS just released bottles of its bourbon aged imperial stout – the perfect stocking stuffer for the beer lover in your life. While supplies last, ARS also has cans available of mouth-pleasing salty caramel stout. Want even more beer? Grab a  growler of one of their eight delicious beers on tap.

Address: 1927-1929 W. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 5 – 10 pm ,
Friday 12 – 11 pm, Saturday 12 – 11 pm, Sunday 1 – 8 pm, Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Price: Growlers range from $16 – $20 and $7 – $12 for the glass, Bottles go for $22 while supply lasts

 


Essen

Courtesy Essen/Facebook

Hanukkah has passed (and we’re sorry we didn’t post this guide in time for it!) but thankfully the treats at Essen, a Jewish bakery on the East Passyunk Avenue, are available all year round. Grab a babka – coffee cake layered with chocolate and pastry – to take to your soon-to-be-delighted host. You’ll definitely get invited back next year.

Address: 1437 E. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 8 am – 5 pm, Sunday 8 am – 3 pm, Closed Mondays

Price: Chocolate Babka, $13, other loaves and treats vary


Photo by Coleman Yunger

Hale and True Cider Co.

Husband and wife duo Kerry and Risa McKenzie opened Hale and True this spring, and the accolades keep rolling in. The hard cider made on-site is so flavorful and crisp that it will ruin all other ciders for you. Choose one of the five distinct flavors on tap for a growler. To make the holidays more festive, Hale and True is offering 15% off growlers and fills on Sunday, December 23rd and Sunday, December 30th. The Season, an off-dry cider fermented with cranberries and a hint of maple syrup, is the perfect addition to any winter gathering. (Disclaimer: the author works at Hale + True but still stands by this recommendation wholeheartedly!)

Address: 613 S. 7th Street

Hours: Wednesday & Thursdays, 5 – 11 pm, Friday 5 – 12 pm, Sat, 12 pm – 12 am, Sunday, 12 pm – 10 pm, Closed Monday & Tuesday

Price: $22 for 64 oz. growler fill, $10 for the glass 


Occasionette

Courtesy Occasionette/Facebook

A delightful staple on the Avenue for unique, thoughtful, and gorgeous presents for everyone in the family. To make your celebrations feel a bit Old World, pick up a jar of mulling spices. Sipping mulled wine by your fire or Christmas tree will feel just right.

Address: 1825 E. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Open daily 11 am – 8 pm, Sundays 11 am – 6 pm

Price: $8 – $12 depending on size


Courtesy Primal Supply/Facebook

Primal Supply Meats

For the meat lover in your life, shop online or swing by Primal Supply Meats, one of the newer darlings on the Avenue. Purchase a one-time Butcher’s Club Package of meats and sausages, a butchery class, or a gift certificate. Primal Meats sources from local farmers who are raising their animals humanely and managing their land sustainably.

Address: 1538 E. Passyunk Ave.

Hours: Open weekdays 12 – 8 pm and weekends 10 am – 6 pm, Closed Tuesdays

Price: Small butchers package $44, Butchery Class, $125


South Philly Food Co-op

Courtesy South Philly Food Co-op/Facebook

The community-owned grocery store at 2031 S. Juniper is getting closer and closer to opening its doors. The co-op will be a community gathering point, offer tastings and food education, and will carry a wide selection of local, natural, and organic foods and household items. It’s going to be the real deal. A co-op doesn’t have big corporate backing – it literally takes years of hard work of dedicated volunteers and community members working together to make this happen. Give the gift of member-ownership this holiday season to the South Philly (or Center City!) friend or foodie in your life.

Address: 2031 S. Juniper Street (opening in 2019)

Price: $200 for equity ownership, can be paid in installments

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Ippolito’s Seafood: they’ve gone south for the winter

Need seven fishes? They’ve got that and much more at Ippolito’s wholesale cousin — Giuseppe’s Market at Samuels and Son

Every Christmas Eve, Lydia Sarson of Warnock Street maintains a family tradition. “I make fish stew from fresh red snapper while my husband makes clams. The stew is good. The clams are the best you’ll ever eat.” She buys locally whenever she can. “Ippolitos,” she says in a word.

Lydia Sarson makes her fish stew

Sarson’s story is like that of many families who live in South Philadelphia, but in July Ippolito’s Seafood – the venerable seafood purveyor at 13th and Dickinson – closed for renovations. Owners expected a late-2018 re-opening. When construction continued through the fall, customers and neighbors questioned the fate of the hundred-year-old family-owned business.

Bill Bradford, marketing and communications manager at Ippolito’s, reports the retailer is fine – it will return in 2019. In the meantime, customers who depend on Ippolito’s for their holiday table have an exceptional alternative in Giuseppe’s Market at Samuels and Son Seafood, 3400 S. Lawrence Street.

“Giuseppe’s has all the customer favorites from Ippolito’s, but on a bigger scale,” says Bradford. “And, we have a huge parking lot.”

Bill Bradford holds tube squid at Giuseppe’s Market. 

For those unfamiliar with the Philadelphia store, it began in 1919 when Giuseppe Ippolito started a pushcart seafood sales business with his father-in-law. By 1934, Ippolito was the sole proprietor. He replaced his pushcarts with horse-drawn wagons. In 1945, he opened Ippolito’s – a business that expanded through the ‘50s and ‘60s under the helm of his daughter and her son, Rose and Samuel D’Angelo. In 1989, the family opened Samuels and Son and entered the wholesale and commercial market. They now have 400 employees and handle 400 million pounds of seafood yearly. Continue Reading →

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

New Coffee Shop Opening on East Passyunk

Just in time to keep us fueled-up during the darkest days of the year, a new coffee shop is opening its doors on the Avenue this morning. Jennifer Santore and her aunt, Valerie, will run Ground Up at 1926 East Passyunk Avenue. The site was most recently home to Vin Cafe.

Window signage before opening.

Jennifer grew up with family in the hospitality industry and attended culinary school with the goal of someday becoming a small business owner.  With deep roots in South Philly, she found there was no better place to open an establishment of her own than along the Avenue.

The interior. 

Ground Up will be open daily from 7 am – 3 pm serving coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, along with pastries and bagels from Rockland Bakery out of New York, where Jennifer’s uncle works.  With Jennifer’s background in cooking, she plans to expand the menu over time.

The coffee shop will seat about 24 and has window counter seats with charging stations so you don’t have to awkwardly crawl under a neighbor’s table to plug in your laptop. So swing by Ground Up this week on your way to work or while shopping along the Avenue and welcome Jennifer to the neighborhood.


Ground Up
1926 East Passyunk Avenue
Open Daily, 7 am – 3 pm

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista :  Passyunk Square 

Doing their BID-ding

Community leaders are advocating for a business improvement district that would have the South 9th Street Italian Market as its hub.

By Joseph Myers

In 2016, a proposal to create a business improvement district (BID) for the South 9th Street Italian Market failed to acquire the mandatory two-thirds vote to move forward.  A renewed effort to establish the “South Philly Market Improvement District” has supportive community leaders hoping that sufficient advocacy will help advance a project eight years in the making. You can hear more about the plans at this evening’s Passyunk Square Civic Association general meeting.  

Passyunk Square Civic president Sarah Anton considers the market “a gem.” But, she stresses, “There’s still plenty of work to be done. The whole corridor…including areas just beyond it, deserve intensive attention.”

The proposed BID would stretch from Eighth to 10th streets and from Federal to Fitzwater streets. Parts of Washington Avenue and Christian Street would also be included. Under the plan, commercial properties in this area would pay an additional property assessment. BIDs receive taxing authority from the State and must garner approval from City Council. The proposed operating expenses for the service area total $281,636.

If approved, those revenues would help the BID tackle boarded-up and graffiti-covered spaces, fences, vacant storefronts, and old or damaged vendor stands. Area residents would benefit from the BID’s greening and beautification efforts, lighting and infrastructure work, safety  improvements, and litter removal. The BID would serve as a complement to the one established on East Passyunk Avenue in 2002.

Anton explained that the BID’s management team, outreach staff, and legal/professional services would help improve the entire service area: “Commercial landlords could attract and retain more clients, businesses could have improved prospects for success, and residents and visitors could be a more integral part of the community.”

Eugene Desyatnik, president of the Bella Vista Neighbors Association (BVNA), cautions that the proposed BID may not meet with universal approval. “When businesses hear that they can receive help, yet will  need to contribute to that via assessments, it’s not unusual for them to wonder if anything is really wrong with staying on the present course.”

The BVNA hosted a meeting on October 22, in conjunction with the South Philly Market District organizers. That meeting served as a kickstarter to secure the votes needed in City Council, specifically 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla, to advance the plan.

Photo courtesy Vern Anastasio

The BIDs’ proponents feel confident the organization, if approved, will help keep the Market competitive with other area commercial enterprises and attract new tenants and visitors. “Along with valuing the past,” Desyatnik said, “we have to make apparent what we can do to improve the present and the future” of the market.

Anton concluded, “I’m eager to keep pushing for this BID. Simply put, the community needs and deserves it.”

Read the proposal details here.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Bok gets caffeinated: Two Persons

New coffee house aims to keep it simple.

When the School District of Philadelphia closed 23 schools at the end of 2013 and auctioned Edward Bok Technical School in 2014, uncertainty surrounded its future. Developers who bought similar grand old schools in gentrifying neighborhoods turned them into private residences, sold them for high prices, and locked the community out.

Bok was different because it always has been. In 1935, Designer Irwin T. Catherine designed the 340,000 square-foot art déco building as a vocational school with vocation-specific classrooms and spaces. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lindsey Scannapieco of developer Scout, Ltd. saw a community space for makers, creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs. A seasonal bar opened on the rooftop, and artists and artisans moved in.

The only thing missing was coffee.

Under the antique curing lights of an old auto body bay, Whitney Joslin and Adam Gery of Two Persons Coffee sit at a butcher-block art table streaked with decades of paint. “Almost everything in this space is an adaptive re-use of the furniture and elements included in the sale of Bok,” said Joslin. A tour of the seating area is an homage to the school’s past. There are lab tables, card catalogs, old musical instruments and trophies of 1970s sport victories any other developer might have thrown away.

Even the name – “Two Persons” – is an homage to Edward Bok, who wrote a novel of that title.

Two Persons seating area

Gery, Two Persons’ manager and operator, managed Last Drop Coffee in Center City for a decade and a half and now devotes seven days a week to the new venture. Joslin, a managing partner, has a background in architecture and fell in love with the space.

Adam Gery and Whitney Joslin during construction at Two Persons, May 2018.

“One of our goals is to keep things simple,” said Joslin. “We want to serve the tenants in the building, but we also want contractors, people in the neighborhood, and people who once attended Bok to feel like they can come in, have a regular cup of coffee with no fuss, and enjoy the space.

The menu is simple – coffee, tea, basic espresso drinks and baked goods. The sourcing is simple, too, and based on personal connection. The pastries come from Machine Shop Bakery, a small-batch wholesale French bakery that also operates out of Bok. “We’re their first delivery of the day,” said Gery. “The coffee comes from Passenger Coffee in Lancaster. Our day-to-day blend is a light roast that people will find consistent and enjoyable. We sell the beans for home use, too. We hope to have single-origin varieties for sale in the future.”

“Keeping a simple business model means we do a few things well,” added Joslin. “It makes operations easy, fits in well with the community, and is environmentally responsible.”

Two Persons is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They accept cash and credit cards. Access is from the building’s southwest entrance at 821 Dudley Street.

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