Two years ago, IBEW Local 98 boss John Dougherty sold his bar, Doc’s Union Pub, on 2nd and Mifflin Streets. New owners Bill McKeever and Anthony Giordano re-branded it the Mifflin Tavern. In August, the Lamplugh family – brothers Russell and Joe and wives Megan and Kelli – took over daily operations.
“Walk with me while I talk,” says manager Russell, a high-energy GenX-er who grew up only a few blocks from the bar. He shows off new furnishings, distressed wood fixtures, and a lighter, brighter atmosphere. He also stresses the singular word that defines the new Mifflin Tavern: “Everybody.”
It’s tough not to enjoy Russell’s tour. He’s smart but humble. He talks fast but speaks carefully. He hates any label that may exclude somebody from feeling welcome. The Mifflin Tavern is a place for everybody, past and present, in a dynamic neighborhood.
“I don’t care if you’re 25 or older than 60. We want our level of service to make you feel appreciated. You can see it when you look at the menu,” he says. “If you want a burger and a domestic bottle at an economical price, we’ve got you. We also have ten craft brews on tap from smaller local breweries.”
Friday, May 4
- 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm. 3rd Annual Spirits & History at Gloria Dei (Old Swede’s Church), 916 Swanson St. Hear stories of the Swedish trailblazers now resting at Old Swede’s graveyard while tasting spirits matched to their life-and-times. Food & drink, story telling and jazz. Proceeds benefit the preservation of Gloria Dei Church. Get tickets at the door, or here.
Saturday, May 5th
- Anytime today! It’s Cinco de Mayo, check out this comprehensive guide to Mexican South Philly.
- 10 am – 1 pm. Kentucky Derby Shred- It Event at Nebinger School 601 Catharine St. Bring your old documents to their final reward. Shredding is free, though donations to the school are welcome!
- 10 am – 11:30am. Point Breeze: More Than Just Gentrification. This free walking tour is part of the annual Jane’s Walk Philadelphia series. The tour will visit locations that “illuminate Point Breeze’s colorful past and evolving future and discuss positive and negative impacts of the neighborhood’s rapid development on its diverse residents.” Meet walk leader Yvie Jones at the Keith Haring ‘We Are the Youth’ mural located at 22nd and Ellsworth. Rain or shine. More here.
- 12 pm – 2 pm. Exploring South Philly: Whitman and Pennsport. Another free Jane’s Walk Philadelphia tour. Led by Bea Segal, this tour’s highlights include two schools, three historic religious buildings, and Dickinson Square. Meet at John H. Taggart School, 400 W. Porter Street. More details here.
Philadelphia has one of the oldest water systems in the country. Some of the oldest parts of the system lie buried beneath the streets of South Philly. To help expedite the replacement of these aging water and sewer mains, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is seeking a rate increase. A public meeting scheduled to take place in Pennsport will afford customers a chance to speak out about the increase.
A water department spokesperson told the Post that “the rate increase will allow PWD to replace water and sewer lines at a faster rate, in order to prevent failures to the aging mains.” They added, “Our goal is to increase our replacement rate from our current average of 30 miles a year to 40 miles a year for water mains. And 8 miles to 12 miles for sewers.”
As part of their transparent rate-setting process, PWD is holding a series of “Public Input Hearings” across the city. One upcoming meeting will be held in South Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The meeting takes place at the EOM Athletic Association, 144 Moore Street, in Pennsport.
These hearings are held with the Water Rate Board, an independent five-member board created by voters to oversee rate changes. For new rates to be set, the department must show the board that the increase is justified.
Any testimony made by residents at hearings will become part of the public record.
A list other hearing dates and locations is available here.
Customers can view a detailed breakdown of how rates could change and what they fund here.
We missed covering a number of stories while we were on hiatus. Here’s the first of several news round-ups in which we play catch-up.
The population of Philadelphia neighborhoods east of Broad Street have grown at a faster pace than neighborhoods west of Broad, including in South Philly, reports Curbed Philadelphia. South Philly’s 19146 zip code (generally Broad to the Schuylkill, Lombard to Tasker) increased by 9.8% from 2000 to 2017. The 19147 zip code (generally Broad to the Delaware River, Lombard to Tasker) increased by 20.6% during that same period. Each zip code boasts around 40,000 people, with 39,917 in 19146 and 40,490 in 19147.
Some of the population growth west of Broad Street has resulted in the displacement of long-term residents. Point Breeze needs “development without replacement,” writes Claudia Sherrod, a Point Breeze resident and South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S., Inc. director, in an op ed on whyy.org. “Over the past decade, Philadelphia has lost a fifth of its housing units that rent to low-income families. I understand real estate is a business but I believe there is a way to conduct business while respecting people of this community.”
And speaking of growth, over in Pennsport there’s Southwark on Reed. The 95-townhouse project built on the site of the former Mt. Sinai Hospital is “…rapidly approaching the finish line,” reports Naked Philly and “the development is completely sold out.” Demolition at the hospital began in February of 2016.
Now that Spring is finally here you might be looking for a quiet green space where you can enjoy the sunshine. Curbed Philly posted a great list of 25 ‘secret’ parks and green spaces in the city. South Philly was represented by eight sites from six neighborhoods:
- Hawthorne Park in Hawthorne
- Catharine Park and Julian Abele Park in Graduate Hospital
- Manton Street Park & Garden in Dickinson Square West
- Bardascino Park in Bella Vista
- Karen Donnelly Park in Pennsport
- Paolone Park and Harry O’s Passyunk Gardens in Passyunk Square
We can think of a few ‘extra-secret’ South Philly spots missing from the list:
- Ridgway Park tucked behind CAPA at 13th & Carpenter in Hawthorne, with its wonderful shade trees, a playground and a pool.
- Mollbore Terrace – actually two separate green spaces located between Oregon Avenue and Johnston Street, 10th and 13th Streets.
- Weinberg Park – a tiny green triangle on the border of Lower Moyamensing and Whitman.
- Moyamensing Avenue medians – this linear green space divides Moyamensing Ave. from 15th to 20th.
Can you think of others? Let us know in the comments below, and check out Curbed Philly’s piece here.