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Archive | East Passyunk Crossing

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

The Dog (Wash) Days of Summer Are Here

Manatawny Tasting Room Hosting Dog Wash Benefit for Morris Animal Refuge – this Saturday

Manatawny Still Works, Mid-Atlantic Craft Distillery

Has the recent heat left your canine companion a little stinky? Then bring ’em to Manatawny Still Works Craft Spirits Shop & Tasting Room, 1603 East Passyunk Avenue, this Saturday, July 7 from noon to 4 p.m. for a bath! For $20 your pup will be pampered and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Morris Animal Refuge located at 1242 Lombard Street.

Manatawny, which opened on East Passyunk Avenue in 2017, has a history of holding animal rescue-related fundraisers. The charitable work began in 2014 after owner and master distiller Max Pfeffer rescued a pit bull he named Piper. To help other dogs like Piper, the company created The Piper Project, through which a portion of proceeds from the sale of their Three Bitches Wheat Vodka benefit rescue organizations.

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This is the company’s first time doing a dog wash event. Manatawny’s marketing director Kira Carpov said “it’s a perfect fit for East Passyunk Avenue since this is an extremely dog-friendly area with dog friendly restaurants and bars.”

Art Etchells, Manatawny’s manager in Philadelphia explained that the company approached Morris Animal Refuge about the partnership, “Morris will provide volunteers to help wash dogs and Manatawny is doing everything else!”

Dogs will be washed and rinsed in kiddie pools right outside the establishment. Amelie’s Bark Shop, the pet boutique located at 1544 East Passyunk Avenue, will donate the shampoo. 100% of the profits from the dog wash will go directly to Morris Animal Shelter.

If you’d like to help but don’t have a dog, or your dog is bath-averse, Manatawny has created two additional “spirited” ways to benefit Morris Animal Rescue:

  • On Saturday, between noon and 11 p.m., sales of a specialty vodka cocktail will benefit Morris.
  • Profits from the sales of bottled vodka in July will be dedicated to the organization.

Cheers!

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Beauty Bloomin’ Beyond the Backyard

It’s gardening season in South Philadelphia, and the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (EPX) is hoping to get residents to think “beyond the backyard.” Their annual EPX in Bloom competition encourages residents to beautify their front steps, sidewalks, and window boxes. Neighbors are invited to submit images of their front greenery and plantings, with the possibility of winning prizes for Judge’s Choice or Crowd Favorite. You can help EPX determine the Crowd Favorite by ‘liking’ your favorite images on the Civic’s Facebook page.

EPX At-large board member and Social Media Coordinator Sequoia Medley explains, “EPX in Bloom is an excellent opportunity for our neighbors to exhibit their gardening skills for online recognition while also encouraging pedestrian exploration of our residential streets. We want people to walk through our neighborhood, and become inspired to create their own front-of-home displays.”

Entry from 1916 S 11th Street. See more at the EPX Facebook page.

The event is spearheaded by the EPX Beautification Committee, whose goal is to ‘clean and green’ within  civic’s boundaries, Tasker to Snyder, 6th to Broad Street. Entrants will be featured on a walking tour map, so neighbors can see the blooms even after the competition’s June 30th end.

Entry from 1035 Emily Street. See more at the EPX Facebook page.

Voting is currently open via the EPX Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EastPassyunkCrossingCivic. You do not need to be an EPX resident to vote, and you may vote for multiple entrants.

Due to a technical error, entries from EPX residents are still being accepted, if you live within the civic’s boundaries, 6th Street to Broad Street, Snyder Ave to Tasker Street. To enter, email an image of your front display to david@epcrossing.org and complete the application available on EPX’s Facebook page or at www.epcrossing.org. The competition’s guidelines are available here.

Entry from 2017 S. 11th Street. See more at the EPX Facebook page.

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Celebrate Dad with Tasty Freebies in South Philly

Several restaurants in South Philly are offering special deals for Dads this Father’s Day, Sunday June 17th.  They include:

SliCE

1180 S. 10th St. (215) 463-0868, http://www.slicepa.com

On Sunday, June 17, purchase a large pizza for the family and Dad receives a free small pizza of any variety on the menu. Any toppings, any variety, any crust – it’s all for him and him alone to enjoy! Available for dine-in or take-out. On the go with Dad this Father’s Day? Bring him in for a free slice with the family for lunch- for dine-in only. Only one offer per Dad. (Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian offerings)

Slice owner Jason celebrates with his family. Photo courtesy of Slice.


P’unk Burger

1823 East Passyunk Ave. 215-468-7865, http://punkburger.com

Bring Pop in on Father’s Day to East Passyunk’s burger, shake and fries organic hot spot for a free Root Beer Float. Dads will enjoy their choice of ice cream – including vegan varieties – with Fair Trade and organic Maine Root fountain soda. (Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian offerings).

Burger & shake at Punk Burger. Photo courtesy Punk Burger.

 


Puyero Venezulean Flavor

524 S 4th St. (267) 928-4584, http://www.puyeroflavor.com/

On Sunday, June 17th, this family-owned casual eatery invites Dad and the whole family down for lunch or dinner. All the Dads will eat free all day in the dining room with his choice of any arepa. Puyero is the perfect spot to celebrate in the casual, vibrant, and fun atmosphere – with no fuss, no reservations. (Gluten free offerings)

Puyero’s cachapas (sweetcorn pancakes). Courtesy Puyero Venezuelan Flavor.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Mamma Maria Ristorante Italiano to Hold Polenta Event

By Joseph Myers

Growing up in Abruzzi as the fourth of six children, Maria di Marco adored time with her family, especially when she and her kin came together to eat. Particularly fond of her father Vincenzo’s culinary creations, the doting daughter sought to emulate the patriarch’s proficiency by preparing many Italian staples, notably polenta. On Wednesday, June 20, she will honor his example and show off her admiration for the cornmeal-based delight by making it the main dish at Mamma Maria Ristorante Italiano, 1637 E. Passyunk Ave.

“I want polenta to be the star for one night,” the proprietor said from the eatery that she has helmed for 26 years. At the $35-per-person event, di Marco will recall her days coming of age in the Old Country by making a version akin to her parent’s thin polenta. The gathering, slated to begin at 6 p.m., will mark the only time she will serve polenta this season. A vegetable antipasto and a salad will bookend the meal. The BYOB restaurant is happy to serve wine and offers complementary homemade limoncello to patrons. The lemony liqueur will also be the featured ingredient in an eponymous cake.

“I feel excited to be doing this because polenta means so much to me thanks to my childhood and my father.” di Marco credits her father for inspiring her career path, “He helped me to see I belong in the kitchen, and the time I spent learning that is something that I will never forget.” She recalls her family’s meals as unifying events. “We bonded so much when we ate, the eight of us,” di Marco said, “so I want others to enjoy the polenta and feel the same kind of warmth.”

Mamma Maria di Marco at the 2018 East Passyunk Red Gravy Cook-off.

Though customers who desire to dine at the restaurant that night need not order the polenta, di Marco, whose local clout includes having recently served as a judge for the East Passyunk Crossing Red Gravy Cook-off, hopes they’ll request the option, especially if they have never tried it. Regardless of the guests’ familiarity with the oh-so-tasty creation, di Marco will find herself in a festive mood as she fraternizes with the attendees, and her father will not be far from her mind.

“He was a very good man, and I’m grateful for all that he did for me,” she said, flashing a wide smile. She dubbed her father’s polenta “the best thing in the family,” and she looks forward to sharing this treat with patrons.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Tropical-Floral Jawn Coming to East Passyunk Avenue

New Shop Brings Dart Frogs, Exotic Plants, and Stunning Floral Design Together Under One Roof

“Floral Fauna,” a combination of two nature-centric shops, will open soon at 1724 East Passyunk Avenue, the former Avenue Cheese Shop.  The new store, which promises “exotic pets, house plants, fresh flowers and so much more,” is the brainchild of long-time friends Franco Franchina, Chris Urban, and Marianna Coppola.  The trio decided to create a shared space to host their already-established businesses: Creations by Coppola, specializing in floral and event design; and ILLExotics, featuring tropical fauna and flora.

Franco Franchina (left) and Chris Urban set up a display case at the new shop.

Chris and Franco, who are also life partners, will present some very unique fauna: exotic reptiles and amphibians not usually seen outside of zoos. As Chris stresses, “This is not your typical pet shop.”  If their website is any indication, the options will be colorful conversation pieces:  chameleons, dart frogs, scorpions, and much more.

Franco worked with exotics from a young age, but his “obsession…was always with plants and reptiles.”  He parlayed his hobby into a Biology degree with a concentration in horticulture and herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) from Stockton University in New Jersey.  

Chris studied at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and traveled the world as a performance artist.  After meeting Franco, he developed a passion for “dart frogs and tree frogs – and creating the naturalistic vivaria for each species…”  Vivaria are enclosures, like aquariums and terrariums, prepared to create semi-natural conditions for pets. The shop will feature BioActive habitats which create miniature ecosystems for the reptiles. They’ll also feature plants like orchids, succulents and cacti which will thrive in a rowhome setting.

The other flora in the shop will be curated under the artistic eye of Marianna Coppola. Coppola promises fresh flowers available daily.  She’ll also provide floral design and event services.  And, if we’re lucky, she’ll distribute another “flower bomb” or two.

Marianna Coppola at work. Photo courtesy of CreationsbyCoppola.com

Coppola moved to Philadelphia from Monte de Procida on Italy’s Amalfi Coast in 2004 to work at Ristorante Positano Coast. At the restaurant she created designs with floral and citrus, “that would immerse guests in an experience that was beyond the plate.” She received a degree from the Flower School of New York and trained with some of New York’s most renowned floral artists. In 2014 she established Creations by Coppola, characterized on its website as, “rustic to refined, modern floral artistry.”

Coppola has also created public art installations featuring flowers.  The first, which she referred to as a “Flower Bomb,” appeared overnight last October on a light pole outside Barcelona Restaurant. Another installation appeared last December at 10th & Spring Garden.

Marianna Coppola with her “Flower Bomb” installation outside Barcelona Restaurant. Fall 2017. Photo courtesy of CreationsbyCoppola.com.

Coppola notes that, with the addition of her new shared shop, East Passyunk Avenue is one-stop place for brides and wedding planners: “a bride can get her gown, shoes, have her hair and makeup done, and now you can get your flowers – all within walking distance of each other!”

Besides establishing a successful business, Floral-Fauna’s owners share another common goal: educating their customers – with an emphasis on outreach to local schools and other organizations. One event is already in the works: this summer, the East Passyunk Community Center will send student campers to a reptile tutorial at the shop.

The shop also envisions evening BYOB terrarium-making and floral arranging classes for adults. These will be more intimate, one-on-one lessons, with class size limited to 10 to 12.

The shop’s grand opening will be late June, with a friends-and-family-only soft opening mid-month.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Rock the Block Street Festival Returns to Stogie Joe’s Tavern

The Rock the Block Street Festival will return to South Philadelphia on Sunday, June 10th from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The street festival, held in front of Stogie Joe’s Tavern, 1801 East Passyunk Avenue,(Passyunk & Moore Streets), will feature Italian food including favorites like hot sausage, sandwiches and homemade meatballs. There’s also live music by The Business, cold beer, cocktails, raffles, a silent auction featuring products and experiences donated by local families and businesses, and activities for the entire family.

New this year: a $40 all-inclusive wristband allows guests to enjoy Stogie Joe’s Tavern’s offerings all day. This year the event will also include $5 pay-as-you-go beers, with a limited number of discounted 4-beer ticket packs available in advance for $16.

All proceeds from Rock the Block benefit The Cancer Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, on behalf of the Coach Wags Memorial Foundation.

The first Rock the Block Street Festival was held in 2012 to benefit the Coach Wags Memorial Foundation (CWMF), which was established in the name of Coach John “Wags” Wagner, the freshman football coach at St. Joe’s Prep for 13 years. Coach Wagner passed away in 2008, two years after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Wagner’s family, friends, and former players founded CWMF in 2010 to benefit cancer research, and improve the daily lives of children in Philadelphia who are battling this disease.

Tickets and more information are available at: www.thecoachwagsmemorialfoundation.org

Local band The Business perform at a past Rock the Block fundraiser.

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