August 5, 2014 |
By the time the perfect night of cool August breezes (and no rain) ended, Saturday's sold-out Billy Joel show at Citizens Bank Park had made one thing evident: They don't write them like that anymore. This is not solely a discussion of Joel's melodic charms, his rocker's take on Brill Building/Tin Pan Alley/Broadway hooks, his stance as a modern Gershwin, with twists of the Beatles, Bob Gaudio, and Donald Fagen. What Joel provided to this mixed-age crowd was a life's soundtrack rich in urban, ethnic, specifically East Coast vibes and the kind of detailed character studies no songwriter does now, save within hip-hop.
February 28, 2014
WITH 18 venues nominated and more than 200 votes cast so far, the first round of the V for Veg Best Vegan Cheesesteak in Philly is buzzing. Two recent entries to the top five are making their mark as fans (and proprietors!) keep spreading the word. Blackbird Pizzeria is clearly out in front, but that first-place position doesn't look as unassailable as it did at first. In descending order: Carmen's at Reading Terminal Market, Govinda's Gourmet to Go, HipCityVeg and Hibiscus Juice Bar are also strong contenders.
November 15, 2013
TRIA TAPROOM, on Walnut Street just off Rittenhouse Square, opened this week with a newfangled web-based beer-auditing system that may finally solve that most niggling of First World Beer Geek problems: Who's pouring what? Called Bevchek, it's part of a POS (point of sale) system that monitors beer and wine sales and tracks inventory. Nearly every bar or restaurant you've visited has some type of POS, relaying waitresses' orders to the kitchen and spitting out credit card receipts.
October 21, 2010 |
An off-duty police officer shot and critically wounded an alleged bandit during an armed robbery at a bar in the city's Mayfair section Tuesday night, police said Wednesday. The wounded man, Joseph Orr, 20, and three others were arrested and charged with robbery and related offenses, said Lt. Ray Evers. Around 11 p.m., a young male walked into McNally's Tavern on the 3300 block of Brighton Street and ordered a drink, Evers said. About six other people were in the bar, including two off-duty officers.
December 31, 2009 |
Ten years ago, who'd have thought there'd be a $26 burger and a steak house on every (other) block? But here we are, as mixed-message as ever - packs of food bloggers sniffing out the terroir of the cheese, and open-air farm markets turning the city into a locavore's paradise. And, yo! Whose idea was it to put foie gras in the scrapple? Few trends redefined Philly's dining landscape as powerfully as the proliferation of BYOBs, a phenomenon unique to this region that saw tiny bistros like Django, Melograno, and Bibou transform low-frills spaces into dining destinations with serious culinary ambition, added value, and a dash of throwback "mom-and-pop" warmth.
November 16, 2008 |
The sign, at a glance, is as archetypal as it gets, neon-red and aglow in the postindustrial night that settles dark as a raven on silent North 13th Street, south of Spring Garden. It seems to float like a thought bubble near the shuttered Ottens Flavors factory, with only one thought: "BAR," it says, nothing more. This is the latest sign for a corner tavern now called the Prohibition Taproom, just weeks into its fifth? sixth? tenth? incarnation. (It was Zips once. It was the tough Carriage House Cafe, because it's across the street from the stables for the tourist-carriage horses.
August 3, 2008
The beer geeks can be relied upon to travel. Put a Green Flash IPA on draft, a Rogue tripel, or a Fuller's Porter, and they will come. Thirsty. But what of the old-school locals in this working-class Kensington neighborhood who were weaned on Anheuser-Busch? Confronting that fact was among the tallest challenges Brendan Hartranft faced since opening the Memphis Taproom in the spring at the corner of Memphis and East Cumberland with nearly 50 craft beers and not a Bud in sight. (Although he does offer Miller High Life, because he likes the cool label, and the thinking man's "Lite": Lion's Head Light.
September 13, 2007 |
Let's toast Philadelphia's Cardinal Justin Rigali for his visit to a Northern Liberties pub. In a taproom crammed with young people, the prelate grabbed a microphone and shared tales from his decades working for three popes. Rigali was the third prelate to participate in Theology on Tap, a national Roman Catholic program that sends speakers into places such as bars to reach out to young people. The fact that Rigali shared personal narrative, not propositional theology, and his choice of venue, indicates that Catholics are hip to a simple truth many other denominational leaders have been slow to grasp: If you want to reach non-believers, disbelievers and used-to-believers, you don't wait for them to show up in your pew on Sunday.
April 30, 2007
When David Srolovitz and Robert MacPherson went to a Princeton pub last week, they weren't just two Jersey guys going out for a beer. They saw the creamy foam through the cold eye of science. The two had just published a paper in the British journal Nature about the behavior of foam, ceramics and other "three-dimensional microstructures" - offering a solution to a problem that has stymied materials scientists for 50 years. It is well known that such networks of bubbles, grains or cells tend to become "coarser" over time: some cells become larger, while others shrink and eventually disappear.
June 16, 2006 |
After 18 months of sometimes-bitter legislative gridlock, City Council agreed yesterday by a narrow majority to ban smoking from almost all Philadelphia bars and restaurants by January. Mayor Street privately told Council members that he would sign the bill, meaning the city would join New York City, Washington, and all of New Jersey in the ranks of localities that have adopted smoking bans. Sidewalk cafes would be exempt. Private clubs and neighborhood taverns could seek exemptions.