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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

What’s that pile of dirt at soon-to-be Garage?

For those hoping for a quick opening at the forthcoming Garage across from Geno’s on Passyunk, you’re stomachs are going to be grumbling for a while.

As you can see, not very restauranty

Jackhammers were rumbling this week and yesterday a crew was digging out the soil inside the cavernous space. Though we only were able to get a quick glimpse of the inside, it appears there’s plenty of work left to do. Almost all of it, actually.

Owners Jason and Delphine Evenchik came up with a fantastic idea of tapping into the food truck craze with Garage. They plan on working with Honest Tom’s taco truck and a rotating roster of other food trucks to feed the patrons inside. They’ll also have a food cart with their own menu of “modern American street food from around the country,” Jason told GrubStreet. Add big TVs, foosball, a bar and seating for 30, and you got yourself some serious potential.

From last week. Not too pretty yet.

The pair also own similarly one-word restaurants Vintage, Time and Bar around 13th and Sansom. They’re also taking over the old Vesuvio in Bella Vista and calling it – naturally – Growlers.

We’ll update you when we hear back from them. Meanwhile, since you won’t actually see them in the flesh for a while down this way, here’s an interview of them talking about their first three restaurants.

 

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Center City hot dog shop to open here in September

Underdogs, the subterranean “haute dog” shop at 132 S. 17th St., is shooting for a September opening for their second location, next door to Geno’s on 9th Street.

Good news. Photo via Passyunk Square Civic’s FB page

It’s in the dearly departed former bahn mi shop O sandwiches, which was our first exposure to the tasty Vietnamese hoagies and remains our favorite, hands down.

Here’s a snippet of the Insider’s write-up when Underdogs’ Center City place opened in February, which includes some pics of their inventive, all beef-dogs:

Restaurant veteran Robert Amar is behind the new Underdogs, a subterranean hot dog shop, which opened today (2/28) in the lower-level storefront at 132 S. 17th St. It previously was Argan Moroccan Cuisine.
Underdogs’ base dog is a boiled Dietz & Watson all-beef “5-to-1” – the Tacony meat packer’s signature five-to-a-pound frank – which he’s selling for $3.25 on a sturdy roll from South Philly baker Cacia’s. From there go the toppings – the result, Amar says, of two years of research and development.

Between this and the new Garage on the other side of EPA, drunk late-nighters will finally have an alternative in the area to mediocre cheesesteaks. Bring on the defensive comments, you misguided Geno’s lovers!

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Hope for the Triangle Tavern

Meal Ticket reported that the Triangle Tavern across from CVS at 10th and Reed has leased the space to partners opening a new bar – maybe.

The Triangle, via Meal Ticket

A source said that the building owner has leased the space to partners who want to open a new restaurant but didn’t cough up the details. The crew that owns the Cantina and Royal Tavern, Steve Simons and Dave Frank, was reportedly interested in the space but that deal fell through when the building owners wanted too big a cut, the blog reported. One tantalizing tidbit from an earlier post, which hasn’t been confirmed, was this rumor:

No word yet on what it is the Simons and Frank shall do at the Triangle. At one point Frank was heard to have been looking for a space to place Farmers Cabinet cocktail expats Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal.

Even if that’s only wishful thinking, it’s OK to dream, right? Because it’s about time the new Passyunk wave took over that place. It’s been kinda creepy for a while.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Valet parking coming to the Avenue

Coming from Michael Klein at the Insider, two valet parking stands will be set up on EPA, one by the fountain, and the other in front of El Zarape.

The Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp. is dealing with the explosion of restaurants on East Passyunk.
Right after Labor Day, two valet slips will be set up. One will be on the 1600 block of East Passyunk (more or less from El Zarape to Mr. Martino’s); the second will be on the western side (the Passyunk Avenue side) of the Singing Fountain at 11th and Tasker.
Valet service will be offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 till midnight.
Executive director Sam Sherman says the service will be offered at a deep discount for those who dine at participating restaurants, which will fund the valet company. PARC will pay the permit fees.

That’s on top of the valet service offered in front of Tre Scalini. We’re on fire!

Sub a valet stand for that white van
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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

NoLibs flair at 12th and Latona

The intersection at 12th and Latona streets has begun to look decidedly un-South Philadelphian, in a good way. That old warehouse on 12th with the weird flag mural stripped across its wall has given way to a project under construction called Latona Court. It’s a development of 10 towering, modern townhouses with roof decks, balconies and parking squeezed onto little Latona Street. Pretty pricey.

Towering over little Latona rowhouses 
Seven more to go

Across the street, the same developer just finished another modernistic apartment building with a weird, deep-set retail or office space on the first floor. There are also three covered parking spots.

Fancy facade across Latona with the weird setback. 

Plus, down the street, the recently closed Annunciation BVM school has gone up for sale, listed with Colliers International. That could make for one hell of an apartment building just across the street from the dog park and playground in namesake Passyunk Square. And some critical mass for the neighborhood to possibly fill that weird retail space above.

As to the fancy facades of the new buildings, we’re all for red-brick rehabs, but it doesn’t hurt to spice up the hood’s architecture every once in a while. Northern Liberties managed to mix it in just fine. Let’s get more of that into the mix, which is entirely possible as the neighborhood keeps attracting more buzz.

Old warehouse, photo via Naked Philly

Yesterday, Philadelphia magazine announced that George Sabatino of Stateside was named Best Chef in their annual Best of Philly issue.

Pretty cool, but now we’ll never get a table.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

60 second summary (storify)

Bourdain at Stateside via @hasminoo

There’s been so much good news for the Avenue the last couple days — Best of Philly for George Sabatino at Stateside, El Zarape, Cochon, visit by Anthony Bourdain, valet parking coming — that the best way to quickly sum it up is with Storify. Plus the weekend hasn’t even begun. [<a href=”http://storify.com/PassyunkPost/huge-couple-days-for-east-passyunk” target=”_blank”>View the story “Huge couple days for East Passyunk” on Storify</a>]

Scroll down to see the 60 second summary.

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