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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Kings Music opens Saturday with block party, free guitar

Kings Music opens on the Avenue Saturday Aug. 4 at 1828 E Passyunk Ave as a full-service music store, meaning you can buy a guitar, learn how to play it and record your album all in the same place.

Pre-opening

To mark the opening store owner Joe King is throwing a block party from 11:30 a.m. to about 6 p.m. with live bands and refreshments. The first 50 customers who buy something will be entered into a drawing to win a free Epiphone acoustic guitar.

The store will sell and make repairs to a wide array of instruments and will offer lessons for guitar, drums, horns, flutes, bass, saxophone, violin and piano, plus vocal training. Website is a bit of a work in progress, and Facebook page just got started (we were the third Like).

Win this guitar at the opening

King said he has lots of rooms for lessons and recording in the back, in what was the storeroom of the storefront’s previous tenant, Shoe Gallery (the one with the hideous orange sign). He’ll help you record in a studio onsite or he’ll come to you with portable recording equipment to get the job done wherever you want. He also offers a full recording package, which includes mixing, artwork design and CD production.

And here’s a bit of good news: the store will be open on even on Sundays and will keep fairly long hours, staying open till 9 p.m. weekdays. That’s practically nocturnal compared to some of the other businesses on the avenue, so maybe it can help drive up foot traffic later in the day.

UPDATE: King says he’ll also be selling instruments on consignment in case your little one loved the trumpet then gave it up five days later. He also wants to get into instrument rental to help parents avoid that very problem. Click here for some pictures of the inside.

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Cops are coming for you, bikers

P’yunk Square Civic issued a warning this week that police will be targeting bicycle riders for stricter rule enforcement in the 3rd District, which covers the area on the east side of Broad from Lombard Street all the way down to the Navy Yard.

I know my bike looks like this

Cops will be issuing warnings until Labor Day then full-fledged tickets as if you’re a motorist. That means you need to make a full stop at all stop signs, wait for red lights to turn green and ride the correct way on one-way streets. And for god’s sake, stay off the sidewalk.

The stepped-up enforcement is part of Mayor Nutter’s Give Respect – Get Respect program that began last year and encourages bikers to follow the rules of the road. During last summer’s crackdown in Center City, cops issued 1,142 tickets, meaning this is worth taking seriously – or at least when you see a cop.

So, bikers, admit it. Do you always follow all the rules?

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Cops are coming for you, bikers

P’yunk Square Civic issued a warning this week that police will be targeting bicycle riders for stricter rule enforcement in the 3rd District, which covers the area on the east side of Broad from Lombard Street all the way down to the Navy Yard.

I know my bike looks like this

Cops will be issuing warnings until Labor Day then full-fledged tickets as if you’re a motorist. That means you need to make a full stop at all stop signs, wait for red lights to turn green and ride the correct way on one-way streets. And for god’s sake, stay off the sidewalk.

The stepped-up enforcement is part of Mayor Nutter’s Give Respect – Get Respect program that began last year and encourages bikers to follow the rules of the road. During last summer’s crackdown in Center City, cops issued 1,142 tickets, meaning this is worth taking seriously – or at least when you see a cop.

So, bikers, admit it. Do you always follow all the rules?

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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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Confused about homestead exemption?

UPDATE: Despite what the city’s Office of Property Assessment’s website says, the deadline is even further. It’s July 31 of NEXT year. The city wants the applications by Nov. 31 to be able to include the exemption in the new property assessments they plan to send out by the end of the year. Thanks to the good folks at the Daily News’ PhillyClout.com for clarifying this.

POSTED EARLIER: Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The homestead exemption was conceived of by City Council to blunt the effect of the Actual Value Initiative, a change in the property tax system that could triple or even quadruple property taxes for homeowners in East Passyunk (since we’ve gotten so awesome in the past few years).

Some people have been confused because the city initially said homeowners must apply for the exemption by today, July 31. Well, after AVI was pushed off for a year, the city extended the deadline to Nov. 15, so breath easy. Applications already submitted will still work, so if you’re one of those early birds, don’t worry. You’ll get your worm.

The exemption will knock up to $30,000 — the amount hasn’t been finalized yet — off the taxable assessed value of the home. That will probably lower all our tax bills by about $400 or $500, depending on the tax rate City Council decides on after they come back from summer break (they work so hard). We’d post a link to the form, but the city has pulled it off its website, so you can’t even do it now if you wanted to, but here’s a little more info about it (with the old deadline).

Do you have any other questions about what’s going on in the neighborhood? Let us know in the comments, or email us at punk@passyunkpost.com.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Toyotomi falls flat, but it’s cheap

On the surface, the new Toyotomi Japanese restaurant that opened this month across from Neumann-Goretti High at 1740 S. 11th St. shows promise. It certainly has better decor than the handful of forgettable takeout places that have filled the tiny corner storefront over the past few years. Dark tones, a handful of plush chairs and red accents dress up the 18-seat BYOB, even if the zebra picture and poster of the Frank Gehry Disney Concert Hall tacky up the joint. The chandelier from Lowe’s, which I briefly considered for my own dining room, sums it up: nothing special, but passable, just like the food.

That’s more than half the dining room
And the rest

We only got a few basics for takeout, so this isn’t a condemnation of the whole menu, especially since we didn’t get any of the fish (don’t judge us, just felt like going to a new place). But the five items we did get mostly failed to impress. Agedashi Tofu, described on the menu as “Fried tofu, scallion, grated daikon in tempura sauce,” sounded better than it was – essentially cubes of soggy fried tofu over a bed of romaine lettuce with a soup container’s worth of weak broth to dip it in. The spears in the Asparagus Denkatsu (“sesame seed glazed with sweet black sauce”) were crisp but drenched in a thick, sickly sweet plum sauce.

We’d get the Japanese Spring Rolls again, crispy on the outside, fresh snap of bamboo shoots and chicken in the middle. California rolls were just fine (like we said, don’t judge), and the Beef Negimaki were tasty, but the slices of seared flank steak wrapped around scallions also was drenched in too much sauce.

Now open, across from Neumann-Goretti

Because of a bit of a language barrier, getting solid info on the place was tough, but the woman manning the counter said that the chef/owner, Sugi Wijaya, runs the place with his family. He was involved with Big Eyes Sushi on 7th and Bainbridge, the spot that took over after the ambitious Roku quickly closed. Before Big Eyes, the family had been living in North Carolina, running a sushi counter at an Asheville grocery store.

Adorable radish butterfly

The best part? We were full on $25 for two people, about half what the same meal would have cost at Izumi for about half the quality. We’ll give it another shot — the $8.99 lunch specials look particularly appealing — but probably only for a quick, cheap fix. And next time, we’ll dive into the fish.

Has anyone else been there? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

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