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Photos: Lifesavers Gala Honors Ron Donatucci, Jr. at the Lucy

Photos: Lifesavers Gala Honors Ron Donatucci, Jr. at the Lucy

HughE Dillon, Ron Donatucci Jr. with the Lifesaver Award, Maryann Murtha, AFSP Board Chair and Bernard Hopkins

On March 15, 2019, The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) held its 4th annual Save a Life Gala at The Lucy by Cescaphe events. This year’s honoree was Ron Donatucci, Jr. who co-founded Michael’s Giving Hand, an organization which brings awareness to teen depression and anxiety , in the name of his brother Michael Donatucci, who passed away in 2016

Lisa Pflaumer,
Executive Director at Michael’s Giving H.A.N.D, Dana Donatucci, and Carla Werner

Guests enjoyed a spirited cocktail hour before heading into the ballroom for a sit down dinner. I, HughE Dillon, the 2015 Save A Life honoree was on hand to honor Ron Donatucci, Jr., and give Ron Donatucci the award along with iconic boxer Bernard Hopkins, who volunteers and speaks to teens on behalf of Michael’s Giving Hand’s, was emcee for the evening. Proceeds from the event helps fund AFSP’s mission to save lives and give hope to those affected by suicide and the annual Philadelphia Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in June.

Jay & Diane Agnes
Gene DeSimone, Joanne DeSimone, Flossie and Dominic Simirglia, Stephanie Donatucci,Ron Donatucci Jr. with Ron & Dana Donatucci.
Lucy, the newest Cescaphe event space is located at Broad and Spruce, and really embodies the excitement of an event including amazing vistas of The Academy Music, City Hall and bustling Broad Street.

Proceeds from the event helps fund AFSP’s mission to save lives and give hope to those affected by suicide and the annual Philadelphia Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in October. To See additional photos head on over to Philly Style Magazine, CBSPhilly and in Philly Magazine’s June issue. Thanks to PhillyChitChat team member Andre Flewellen who contributed photos to this column. Event produced by Lynsie Blair Events.

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Photos from The Vessel & Glass Bottom Observation Deck

Over the Weekend I was in NYC to celebrate my friend Thanuja Hamilton’s birthday, happy official birthday girl tomorrow, the first day of Spring. While there I stopped by the newly opened Hudson Yards which is the new miracle on 34th Street, cross street 10th. It’s a new housing, office, shopping mall, museum, park complex. It’s magnificent, opulent, with lots of public space for tourists and locals to enjoy.

Hudson Yards is here after a dozen years of planning and $16 billion of construction — and Manhattan won’t be the same. The first half of a 27-acre, $28 billion, something-for-everyone mini-city between 10th and 11th avenues in the lower West 30s. (NY Post)

After walking through the beautiful mall, Mike and I headed to the biggest tourist attraction since the Statue of Liberty, The Vessel. The Vessel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick with a structural steel frame covered by a polished copper-color cladding, is one of the can’t-miss sights, with its series of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs (2,500 individual steps). You have to get a free timed ticket by either ordering online or picking up on site.

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The entire experience is exhilarating, as well as a lot of selfie moments.

There’s even a selfie station at the bottom of The Vessel, where you put down your phone, set the time and pose for a photo.

There is an elevator, but it strictly for ADA folks,

although I’m sure if your experiencing vertigo at the top they’ll take you down. I can’t wait to go back to see the sunset.

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In a few months, the highest observation deck in New York City will be opening at Hudson Yards. At 1100 feet it is 50 feet higher than the former highest observation deck, the Empire State Building. The only bummer part for me is it only faces East, so the actual sunset won’t be able to be seen, but that doesn’t mean magical light won’t still dance off the skyline of New York City. By the way, this will be the first observation deck in Manhattan with an exhilarating glass floor. My heart is racing already. No word on the fee for this excitement yet. One floor above the observation deck on the 101th floor will be a 10,000-square-foot bar, restaurant and event space, with 360 degree views for miles. For more info on the properties click here.

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Photos: Spooktacular Mütter Museum Birthday Party


On Saturday, March 9, the Mütter Museum transformed into Clüb 13, to celebrate founder Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter’s 208th birthday, a superstition-themed 13-plate feast with 13 extraordinary circus acts and performances from the Circadium – School of Contemporary Circus and other performers.

The museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The original purpose of the collection, donated by Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter in 1858, was for biomedical research and education .

The evening began with a cocktail party,

before guests headed upstairs for dinner and dancing. Guests were encouraged to dress in period costumes, and they didn’t disappoint.

The decorations dotting the museum were decadent and on point.

Melissa Sant Angelo and Bianca Fiscella

Timothy Niesen, Tara Niesen, Alexis Curreri and Jonathan Curreri at Clüb 13 at the Mütter Museum on March 9, 2019.

Doanh Nghiem with her gorgeous custom made dress and Stoio Kachev

Be sure to visit the Mütter Museum to see all the unique exhibits, as well as attending some of their special events. INFO Here Check out Philly Style and Philly Voice for additional photos.

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Philly Current Celebrates at West Laurel Cemetery, so I asked Guests….

We made it, it’s Friday. And I am finally used to the Time Change, getting up early enough to see this morning’s sunrise. It was beautiful, before it hid behind the clouds. We’ll always have yesterday, a beautiful blue sky, warm temps we were blessed with. So last night I attended the Philly Current PC Picks Party, a best of list curated by publisher Eddie Keels for his 6 year old print magazine.

The party took place at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, which you might find odd, and I certainly did when I first attended events there over the past two years, but it’s quite beautiful and respectful. The grounds are meticulously kept, the main buildings are uniquely historic, as are the grave markers that dot the landscape. As a person who enjoys history, there are many stories to learn from the folks who rest there. This year the cemetery is celebrating their 150th Anniversary and have many unique events happening.

Ruth Levitt, Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Pat Nogar and Carole Pepe

I asked people what they would like their tombstone to say. Pat Nogar: “She Lived Well”, which is a play on her TV show, and Saturday morning FB live chat – Living Well with Pat Nogar.

Justin Weathers, The Bercy, Sidney Grimes, Louie, Louie, Chef
Joe Monnich, The Bercy, and Jaimi Blackburn,
Director of Public Relations at Fearless Restaurants.

Sidney told me that West Laurel Hill has a special place in her heart as several of her family member rest there. Jamie said her tombstone would say: “She Never Wore Comfortable Shoes, but they were Pretty”

The always fashionable Sarah Doheny, YUBPR wearing a Sophy Curson coat, and a Joan Shepp outfit.
Big Rube served his delicious Fried Chick, Greens, Mac & Cheese and Corn Bread.

His tombstone quote: “He Did It Boundless, No Regrets, and Didn’t Bite His Tongue”

Brandon’s Tombstone “Can Someone Clear My Web Browser” plus “Hi Mom.” Jennifer’s “I’ll Be Back.”


It’s Friday Enjoy DelFrisco’s
Seared Chilean Sea Bass it’s the perfect combination of fresh and rich, savory and light.
1426-1428 Chestnut St,
Philadelphia, PA 19102
delfriscos.co
Alondra Anaya of Telemundo 62, Syrmarie Villalobos of Telemundo 62 and Miguel Martinez-Valle of NBC10

Alondra: “She believed she could
So She did …everything thing comes to an end. Bye”

Miguel: “Slaying the Game Since 1993”

Chris Conti: “Don’t Cry if You Don’t Care”

Debbie Cassidy : “I Told You I Was Sick”

Nicole Michalik and Nicole Fuscia –
Which Nicole said: She took No Sh*t, so Curb Your Dog” leave your guess in the comments or on FB.

The Vesper Brothers – The creators of the world’s best pasta sauce, marinara, arrabiatta, and tomato basil sauces : Twins Bill and John Vesper of – Neither could think of anything so I’ll help them out:
“I was better looking!”

Kyree Tyrell, My New Philly, Gabbi Townsend, PR and Vernon Ray,
Founder of Creative Mind Productions at Creative Mind Productions (CMPphotos)

Kyree: “I’ll Be Back”; Gabbi: “Tred Lightly” and Vernon: “Lived My Best Life”

Chad Rosenthal,
The Lucky Well BBQ opening in Philly soon, Marilyn Russell, WOGL 98.1, Jay McHugh and Laura Boss, producer WOGL.

Laura: “She wasn’t Obnoxious and Wild, she was just Crazy Fun!!”

Marilyn:
“Please don’t tread on dearest Marilyn
Cause she’s not very tough
She should have been made of iron or steel
But she was only made of flesh and blood “

Chefs Chad Rosenthal and Brian Duffy

Brian Duffy: “Lived His Life on Air and Ground, Now He’s Ready To Settle Down”

Gabbi Townsend and Eddie Keels, Philly Current owner.
Moi, Marilyn Russell, Sheila Hess, Thanuja Hamilton, Miguel and awesome women on stilts

Sheila Hess: “Miss Philadelphia” – Thanuja: “She Finally Made It Home”

I guess it’s only fair to tell you my Tombstone Message, although I’ll probably do something like photographer John Cruice, who was in attendance, and not have a tombstone but instead become mulch and feed a tree, they have that service you know. Any who this would be my saying:

“He’s Dead, now He’ll Sleep”

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Cheers For CHOP 2017 With Montell Jordan

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s sixth annual Cheers for CHOP raised $735,000 to support pediatric brain tumor research and care. More than 600 donors, clinicians and friends of CHOP attended the event on Saturday, March 2, at The Fillmore Philadelphia, and enjoyed a live performance by Grammy-nominated artist Montell Jordan

The sixth annual Cheers for CHOP was hosted by Friends of CHOP, a dynamic group of Philadelphia’s most social and philanthropic young influencers who are committed to vibrant fundraising efforts that support CHOP’s mission of providing exemplary patient care, spearheading innovative research, and sharing knowledge with the world. Over the past five years, Cheers for CHOP has raised more than $2.7 million to benefit hospital programs such as Orthopaedics, Pulmonary Medicine and Child Life.           

Every dollar raised this year will fuel breakthroughs in the fight against brain tumors, the deadliest childhood cancer. The Neuro-Oncology Program at CHOP, led by Dr. Michael Fisher, is a group of seven full-time, dedicated pediatric neuro-oncologists, and is one of the largest groups dedicated to treating pediatric brain and spinal tumors, neurofibromatosis and associated tumors. This year alone, the neuro-oncologists at CHOP will treat nearly 1,500 cancer patients during more than 4,600 visits to the hospital.  

As doctors work tirelessly to manage and treat these patients, researchers from CHOP’s Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) are actively involved in ongoing pediatric brain tumor research through the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC). The CBTTC is a collaborative, multi-institutional research program dedicated to the study of childhood brain tumors. By collecting information about childhood brain tumors and creating the largest repository of brain tumor tissue in the world, research scientists are able to study the tumor cells of more than 30 histologically different types of childhood brain tumors. Through CHOP’s commitment to translational research, these findings are able to move into clinical trials within the Section of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology in order to speed discovery and personalize treatment.

Contact: Jennifer Lee, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6084 or leej41@email.chop.edu

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Kendall and Ben All Over SNJ, Cinder Closed & Renovating, Congrats Ari & Paige

Philly Gossip Sunday – Hope you all remembered to Spring Forward, Happy Birthday to my sister Janine DeFeo (Check out her Ovarian Cancer Awareness page and let’s get those butterflies viral), thanks to her Philly Chit Chat is a well oiled running machine as well, and Happy St. Patrick’s day a week early, but with the parade today Philly is a week ahead of the rest of the country. The parade kicks off at 11AM and begins it’s telecast at noon on Fox29. Let’s Chit Chat!

Bendall is back together, or more like she’s back in town. The happy duo, Kendall Jenner and Ben Simmons were spotted yesterday in Best Buy in Wegman’s Shopping Center in Cherry Hill checking out VACUUM Cleaners, yes it’s true. (You’ll recall that in January they went to Williams Sonoma to buy pots and pans.) Then they headed to dinner at Grand Lux at Cherry Hill Mall.

The duo was spotted in the evening at Topgolf Mount Laurel celebrating his brother Sean Tribe’s birthday. Also spotted at the celebration was Sixers personality Christian Crosby, rapper Kofie Carter and a lot of friends, who played golf and also sang happy birthday. Both Kendall and Ben got into the swing of the game. No stranger to Top Golf, Crossing Broad has videos of Simmons and his teammates playing in Las Vegas in 2016.

Did I photograph you this week, check out if your photo went here

Victory Dinner for Three Sunday Night

At Sundays game Kendall Jenner wore her man’s jersey and it was personalized with the name Kenny.

After the Sixers won, Bendall headed to dinner arriving at Double Knot, in Midtown Village about 7:30PM (moi I was on my way to a Visit Philly’s Philly Chef Conference cocktail party with Laura Burkhardt at the private Palazzi Social Club in South Philly (Check out
Les Dames d’Escoffier Philadelphia Brunch shot earlier in the day) Shortly after Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner were seated, Tobias Harris, the newest 76er arrived and joined them downstairs.


March 29, 2019 – The Bellevue Hotel, Philadelphia
This annual event is an evening of celebration, dancing,and tasting the best from our region’s top restaurants and vendors.  The money raised at this event  funds public education programs to increase awareness about the critical need for organ and tissue donors in our region, especially among young people and in the clergy and multicultural communities.

I noticed last month that Cinder Copper & Lace had the dreaded “Renovation” signs up on their place, and they would reopen in March. I reached out to the PR to inquire and they told me that yes they’re renovating and when asked again, that’s all they would say. I mentioned that I’d probably write about it cause it was intriguing. I love their pizza and hope it returns. Passed by the other night and noticed they’ve painted the outside pink, with a hint of pink inside. It is the Year of the Women after all, maybe a women chef?


Congrats to Ari Kushner and Paige Chapman on their engagement, which happened last Friday in Rittenhouse Park, in a snow globe.

Ari tells me “They met in November 2017, through a mutual friend, but the beautiful thing is: we both grew up in center city, our moms both moved to Ardmore in high school, and we’re both into yoga and have a lot of mutual friends, but we never met until the time was right! She’s an incredible woman, entrepreneur (founder of Mama’s Wellness Joint) and partner, and I rarely stop smiling in her presence.” That’s the way it should be!!

Del Frisco’s Women in Wine Dinner

On March 12, 2019, Del Frisco’s will host a Women in Wine Dinner with an exclusive five-course menu to complement an impressive selection of wines from one of the most noteworthy female winemakers, Sally Johnson from Pride Mountain Vineyards. Some of the featured dishes will inclulde Day Boat Sea Scallop Crudo, Black Truffle Gnocchi, and Rosewood Wagyu Strip-loin, as well as various wines to accompany the fare. Click here to make a reservation. 1426 Chestnut St., 215-246-0533

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Chit Chat and Links to Events I Shot This Week

It’s Spring Social Season and the events are picking up. Going forward on Saturday’s I will post links to events I cover this past week that appear on my outlets CBS, Philly Style, Philly Voice, Philly Business Journal etc.

Alvin Ailey Troupe’s 60th Anniversary Celebration took place last Friday night at the Academy of Music after the shows first night. The sold out performance thrilled the audience, and many of them headed to the ballroom after the show to enjoy a Garces Events lite catering, and to meet and mingle with the dancers. Check out CBSPhilly and PhillyStyle for additional photos. Some photos may appear in May’s issue of Philly Mag as well.

The Flower Show is still happening at the Pa Convention Center through tomorrow. Friday night I photographed the the annual black tie gala. Check out Philly Style Mag, CBSPhilly and Philly Voice. Look for additional photos in print in the May issue of Philly Mag. I’ll be posting more photos from the Flower Show next week after the show is finished.

Cheers for CHOPS is always a fun event, and this year was no difference. It was also held at a new venue for the first time in years, the Fillmore Philadelphia. Check out photos on Philly Voice, Philly Style and on March 24 in Mainline Media News, and in May Philly Mag. I’ll also have more photos here on Philly Chit Chat next week.

Thursday night I photographed the annual First Tee Philadelphia gala at the Philadelphia Country Club. Check out the photos here on Philly Style Mag, next week they’ll be on Philly Chit Chat and in an upcoming Philly Mag issue.

Thursday I also photographed “NRG Celebrates $600K Milestone Contribution Benefiting Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia NRG Ambassador and Eagles Quarterback, Carson Wentz, will join NRG to announce contributions through the “Choose to Give” Energy Plan” Carson with the kids was the most adorable, moving moment and the whole event was very special. Before I headed out to my night time event I was able to get a few photos to CBSPhilly, and as always they got them up quickly. The column went viral, and CBSPhilly even featured it as a headline after a few hours. Check out the photos here, then head to PhillyVoice. I sent them 5 of the most adorable shots that will put a smile on your face.

Do yourself a favor and watch this video; So funny the kids keep calling Carson Wentz daddy. Watch til the end as the mom has a funny response to them.

Have a great day, hope to see you at the Philly Travel Show today, and perhaps at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade tomorrow. Bring your umbrella, it’s rain or shine. PLUS Daylights Savings Time, Spring Forward.

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Photos: HOW TO BE BRAVE (NOT PERFECT) Karin Copeland and Technical.ly present Reshma Saujani

Karin Copeland in partnership with Technical.ly, and Generosity presented a conversation with Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and author of the new book, Brave, Not Perfect.

The event took place on a cold, snowy Wednesday in February, but that didn’t stop the sold out crowd of 400 for coming to the Sheraton Society Hill for the early morning event.

Inspired by her popular TED Talk, Reshma Saujani, book “Brave, Not Perfect” focuses on the difference between the way boys and girls are raised and how that impacts their potential: In sum, “Boys are taught to be brave, while girls are taught to be perfect.”

As with every Karin Copeland presents event, the morning started with a continental breakfast, and networking before guests settled into their seats.

Beth Fizell-Jenkins, Merrill Lynch and Pam Teufel, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System took it in stride that they were wearing similar outfits, with their Black/White House jacket. They got acquainted and sat together for the entire event. Obviously they share a lot of similar attributes.

Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of the Ellevate Network, a 135K-strong global professional women’s network hosted a fireside chat with Reshma Saujani, and discussed her work and how we can look beyond gender norms and rewire our brains to be brave instead of striving for perfection.

Saujani’s message is that by teaching girls from a young age to be perfect (while boys are taught to be brave), we send them forward in life with unrealistic expectations. Afraid to fail, women are less likely to take chances, preferring the path that is safe. Saujani argues that this stems from parents rewarding girls for being quiet and polite while boys are encouraged to speak up, get dirty and take risks. We need to encourage young girls to be adventurous, to get dirty and we need to be fine with it.

Julie Zeglen – Technical.ly Managing Editor greets the audience

There was also a panel discussion on how women are perceived in society with notable speakers in the field:
Tracey Welson-Rossman, Chariot Solutions and TechGirlz.org,
Natalie Egan, Translator LLC , and
David Dylan Thomas, Think Company and Cognitive Bias Podcast

Inspired by her popular TED Talk, the book focuses on the difference between the way boys and girls are raised and how that impacts their potential: In sum, “Boys are taught to be brave, while girls are taught to be perfect.”

After the chit chat there was a meet and greet with Reshma Saujani where she signed books and posed for photos. Check out more coverage at Technical.ly Philly and Philly Style Magazine.

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Mortal Kombat To Film Here, Radio News * Marilyn Russell * 1210 WPHT

We made it. Happy Friday everyone. Social Season is heating up, and if you’re here to see your photo I took this week I will have links to all the placements Saturday. Today we’re going to chit chat about what’s happening in Philly, and a little Philly Gossip.

I’ve heard more than one rumor that a re-start of the movie “Mortal Kombat” is to begin filming in Philadelphia in April. Additional rumors are that it will star Ryan Reynolds, Vin Diesel, Megan Fox, Ronda Rousey, and Michael Jai White. Write Greg Russo tweeted today that everything is in place except for the OK by Warner Brothers.
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That’s Nearly A Wrap as M. Night Shyamalan ‘s untitled 10 part Apple TV Series completed scenes with principle actors Rupert Grint and Lauren Ambrose on the 1600 block of Locust Street at St. Mark’s today. I’m told there are still a few smaller scenes to shoot, but not with the two stars. Night’s last project – Glass, which also filmed here, is still on the big screen. A huge success it’s brought in: $244,167,957 worldwide to date.

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Congrats to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office for Philadelphia beinging named The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2019: Big Cities

Frank Lario, former morning co-host at Beasley Media Group country WXTU, can now be heard at WOGL 98.1 with Marilyn Russell in the morning. Lario, a radio veteran had previously been with WMMR and 94.1 WYSP. By the looks of the above photo, everyone is on the right page. Laura Boss, WOGL 98.1 producer, Marilyn Russell and Frank Lario.

Speaking of radio, internationally acclaimed master stylist and educator Josh DeMarco, winner of a multitude of national and international hair awards and owner of DAPR Grooming Parlour is host of Philly’s new on-air hub/mecca of style and fashion one hour radio show every Saturday at 2PM on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT called EVERYTHING STYLE & FASHION. He’s joined by Creative Director and Fashion designer Steve Sanchez, where they’ll feature guests representing the Who’s Who in the worlds of lifestyle, hair, beauty, fashion design and more. Who knows you might even hear me on there chitchatting about celebrities, fashion and Philly Gossip.

Have a great day, and remember if you have any good gossip, celebrity sightings or you just want to chit chat hit me up at HughE@ PhillyChitChat.com

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WMGK’S Comfort Food Contest

Last night was John DiBella’s 12th Annual Comfort Food Fest Contest. I’ve attended about 8 of them, including the first 5 years when they used to give out a large spoon. I’m glad to see it’s continued with great success, and was honored they asked me to be a judge. Being judge cuts back on the photos I could take but I did get a few. Let’s see who was there and more importantly who won at last night’s WMGK’s competition at The Fillmore Philadelphia

John DiBella and Lisa DiBella

Thanks to Kory Aversa on the assist for this photo of the Judges for the 12th Annual Comfort Food Contest. Judges Vince Hutach, Danya Henniger, Editor at Billy Penn and HughE Dillon, Philly Chit Chat.

Thanks to all the restaurants that participated including: Craftsman Row Saloon created waffle stuffed with chicken, Jones – Chicken Pot Pie, Revolution Chop House – Rock Shrimp Chowder, Tradesmans – Fois Gras Ice Cream, Catina Feliz – Empanada, Alma De Cuba with their Cubano Hand Pie, 33rd Street Hospitality with their Clams Casino Chowder, Stina Pizzeria made Lasagna, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar with their potato leek piergogie and Stove & Tap

Danya Henniger and I deconstructing Tradesmans delicious Fois Gras Ice Cream and Cinnamon bun

The folks who brought you Bercy, now bring you Stove & Tap. Their delicious comfort food was Shrimp & Grits and it was really good. I hope they have it on their menu when they open soon.


Mike Sultan owner of 33rd Street Hospitality made a delicious Clams Casino Chowder. Everything I love in Comfort Food, and perfect for a Lenten meal.

Winner Tradesmans

With their Fois Gras Ice Cream and Cinnamon Bun. For more photos from the event head on over to WMGK’s site