Inqlings: Franco's Trattoria closes, scuttling Groupon deal

Posted: March 15, 2011

If you bought Monday's Groupon "Deal of the Day" offering of $30 worth of food for $15 at Franco's Trattoria on Ridge Avenue in East Falls, be advised that the restaurant closed for good over the weekend.

Before the deal was pulled from Groupon's website Monday afternoon, 105 offers had been sold.

A Groupon rep said purchases would be refunded. Building owner Mark Sherman said he was looking for a new operator to run the restaurant, which is off Kelly Drive beneath the twin bridges.

Glenn Beck gets a new station

Glenn Beck, whose radio show was dropped by WPHT-AM (1210) in January, has found a quasi-local outlet: WILM-AM (1450) in Wilmington, from 9 a.m. to noon daily. Sean Hannity, who lost his WPHT affiliation at the same time, is heard on WILM from 3 to 6 p.m. It's not clear whether Premiere, Beck's syndicator, is billing this move as his reentry into the Philadelphia radio market. WILM's 1-kilowatt signal (compared with WPHT's 50-kilowatt flamethrower) barely reaches into Philadelphia. Talk shows' national syndication deals generally require "clearance" in at least the top 10 local markets. Philly is No. 7 and Wilmington is No. 77.

A win

In about 15 years, Maureen and Mike Mattson of Audubon, Camden County, will see college bills for their son, Franny, and, shortly thereafter, for their daughter, Bridget.

But the $20,000 they won Monday in the LIVE! With Regis and Kelly "Great Days Start Here" video contest could ease the pain. (Then, again, the investment of $20,000, less taxes, compounded at 4 percent, might cover, oh, a textbook and a lunch in 2026.)

On the family's video, Franny, 3, and Bridget, 11/2, cutely act out how hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa get started in the morning. It is at www.philly.com/regisvideo.

Anderson lineup

The May 10 Marian Anderson Awards gala honoring Mia Farrow has set its entertainment lineup. Judith Jamison will host and soprano Angela Brown will perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Just added: jazz singer Esperanza Spalding, who won this year's Grammy for best new artist, and singer-songwriter Carly Simon. The Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir also are on the bill at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall.

Another Eagle dogged in court

Eagles defensive end Victor Abiamiri must play legal defense. Abiamiri's South Philly townhouse community filed suit Monday in Common Pleas Court, claiming that he keeps a dog there, in violation of the deed. He's a neighbor of tight end Brent Celek, who has to answer a similar complaint filed in Common Pleas Court last month. An effort to reach Abiamiri through the team was unsuccessful.

Briefly noted

On the 275th anniversary of Ben Franklin's Union Fire Company, philanthropist Kal Rudman will become its first honorary member. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and the Philadelphia Fire Department, itself marking its 140th anniversary, will lead a ceremony Tuesday at Fireman's Hall Museum in Old City.

Fist pump and all, Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has been booked for an appearance from 5 to 7 p.m. April 1 at the State Store at Franklin Mills Mall in Northeast Philly. He will sign bottles of the protein-added Devotion Vodka, for which he is shilling. You - maybe not you, though, because you have better things to do - have to buy a bottle ($25.99) to get in line for the signing. That night, Sorrentino has been booked to attend a public party at the nearby Parx Casino in Bensalem. His arrival is scheduled for 9 p.m. and it's free to observe.


Contact columnist Michael Klein at mklein@phillynews.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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