The imminent Convention Center expansion and the gradual lifting of the recession may be paying dividends as national chains are starting to eye Philly again. I hear that the city is teed up to get a branch of country star Toby Keith's
I Love This Bar & Grill, a rapidly growing chain named after his hit song, which pairs live music and dancing with a mechanical bull and guitar-shaped bar. A company insider says that three sites are under consideration, with a decision expected soon. Opening would be next year.
Have an iced day
Since Jon Bon Jovi
will be singing at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, his 49th birthday, a guitar-shaped birthday cake has been ordered from Bredenbeck's in Chestnut Hill. "Happy Birthday, Jon" will be piped out in red. Elton John's
March 25 show at the Wells Fargo Center also will be on his actual birthday - No. 64. "I'm Still Standing" would be a fitting inscription.
Pineville Tavern, just south of New Hope, will be featured at 9 p.m. Monday on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
with Guy Fieri
. Pineville chef Drew Abruzzese
will cook P.V.T. Snapper Soup (or as Fieri refers to it, "Snapping Turtle Soup"). Abruzzese will also disclose the family recipes for meat ravioli and marinara sauce. The episode was taped in August along with Fieri's stops at Good Dog Bar in Center City, Honey's Sit 'N Eat in Northern Liberties, and Memphis Taproom in Port Richmond-Kensington.
Food writer Rick Nichols will pick up a distinction this spring from Reading Terminal Market, one of his haunts: It will name a new multipurpose room after him. Nichols, who left The Inquirer last week after 32 years, said he was tickled at the gesture.
Short stack for charity
IHOP restaurants are marking National Pancake Day on Tuesday till 10 p.m. with a partnership with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. IHOP will offer a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes, and diners will be asked to donate to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Contact columnist Michael Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.