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Archive | East Passyunk Crossing

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Irwin’s, upstairs at Bok, debuts tonight!

Irwin’s, the new upscale cocktail bar and restaurant at Bok, debuts this evening with an invitation-only open house reception.  Passyunk Post got a “sneak peek” yesterday which we agreed to keep under wraps until now.  Check out the seriously-cool light fixtures and rustic-industrial decor.

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Foodie Friday: Tasty bits to digest

There’s been a smorgasbord of South Philly restaurant news in the blog-o-sphere. Here are some links to whet your appetite, so to speak…

Northwest corner of 12th & Morris gets a tenant!

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Michael Kline broke the news yesterday that something’s (finally!) coming to the retail space at the northwest corner of 12th & Morris streets (1646 S. 12th St.):

Separatist Beer Project, the onetime gypsy brewer from Easton known until recently as Sole Artisan Ales, says it has signed a lease for what it calls “a concept bar and beer experience”

Kline spoke with the owner Joe Fay who said the new bar would serve its beer plus wines and coffee. According to Kline:

He described the look as “modern Scandinavian.” The basement, with 10-foot ceilings, will be a kind of rathskeller, with barrel- and bottle-aging and a large table to be used for special events.

The bar could open “as soon as August.”

The space was originally slated for a restaurant by Chris Scarduzio. He bowed out before the building broke ground.  The retail space has sat empty since the building was completed about two years ago. See our previous coverage about the site here and here, and here.

1646 S 12th Street. Photo courtesy of E-Built.

Smoke signals

Mike’s BBQ, 1703 S. 11th St., received a nice review in the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.  Writer Emily Teel sums it up: “Barbecue in South Philly? Mike’s isn’t just blowing smoke.”

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Free Comic Book Day!

What began as a way for retailers to revive interest in comic books has since turned into an annual, worldwide event. Free Comic Book Day is typically held on the first Saturday of May. The East Passyunk Community Center Advisory Council’s 3rd annual Free Comic Book Day will be held this Saturday, May 12th from 11am to 1pm.

Co-sponsored by Alphabet Academy and Brave New Worlds Comics, the Center uses the comic book give-away to focus on reading.  “Our primary intention was to use comic book day to promote literacy. We ask parents to stay and read the comic to their children, or if the parents aren’t fluent in English, that the children read to them,” said Joseph F. Marino, the Advisory Council’s President.

The first 100 children will receive a free comic book of their choice. A variety of free comic books will be distributed including LEGO, Barbie, Archie, Casper, and assorted superheroes.

Children will also have the opportunity to transform into their favorite comic book character at the face painting station and have their photo taken with special guest, Wolverine.

“I really like comic books,” Nathan Dean, an after-school student at East Passyunk Community Center said, “I’m really excited to see everything that will be there.”

East Passyunk Community Center is located at 1025 Mifflin Street.


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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Not their first (Rolling) Rodeo…

The Rolling Rodeo returns to the playground of Southwark Elementary School, 9th and Mifflin streets, Saturday, May 12th, from 10am to 12pm. Children under 12 years old from surrounding neighborhoods are invited to bring “anything with wheels” (and their parents or a guardian) to this family-friendly event. The Rodeo is produced by the Friends of Southwark, part of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association Education Committee which helps support the school.

Last year, children descended on the school yard on bicycles, scooters, roller skates, and in wagons. Organizers expect the same mix of wheeled conveyances this year, but they’ve collaborated with new partners to expand the event. Children can decorate their rides, race through a road-safety obstacle course, and participate in other games. As Friends of Southwark chair Nichole Girgenti explained: “The event provides a safe space for children to ride and race, while learning the rules of the road and participating in helmet and bike checks.”

In addition to the learning component, “The 2017 Rolling Rodeo was successful as a welcoming and inclusive event for all of our South Philadelphia neighbors,” Girgenti explained, “This is due in large part to the driving force behind the event, David Krill.” Krill, a neighbor of the school and Friends of Southwark member, conceived and found funding for the event.

A scene from the 2017 Rolling Rodeo.

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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:  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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