Monthly Archives

November 2010



I’d never eaten at Roy’s but I did run in and get a few snap shots of him last year when I heard he would be making an appearance at the restaurant that bore his name. Above the James Beard award winner Chef Roy Yamaguchi.
I also grabbed a few shots while I was inside. Phileb NBC10’s Bill Henley at the food bar with his wife Susan, who is blocked by the flowers, but I would recognize her beautiful eyes anywhere. They’ve been together nearly 20 years, and are vegetarians.
The open kitchen, which in the new restaurant by the Grasso brother’s remains with the same concept.
Standing near the 15th Street entrance looking right. I didn’t venture into the restaurant too far as this was a stop off between Meritage and Union Trust where Michael Vicks was having his first meal after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. At the time I didn’t know the Grasso’s owned both buildings, as well as Del Frisco’s. (How lucky is our City to have so many restaurant entrepreneurs that see a vibrant Philadelphia foodie scene. Garces, Grasso, Starr, Val & Marcie and a handful of others.)

Roy’s suffering from the economy, closed last July. The owners of the property Joe and David Grasso decided they wanted to open a little something there themselves. At first they were going to open a seafood bar. But that’s all changed now…
Note the windows at 500 Degrees, extended to the ground. I never realized that 500 Degrees was part of the “Roy’s” building. The Grasso Brother’s are giants in the commercial property industry here in Philly. Owning many of the building’s that house some of our most delicious restaurants.
Walking home one night I noticed that one of the windows at the old Roy’s was being extended too. So I decided to go back the next day to investigate. Was the new restaurant starting to emerge.

Lo and behold two windows had their bricks knocked out. I went into 500 Degrees to take the time to wonder what was going on inside, and how was I going to find out. (If you go back now this whole side is knocked to the ground under each window.
BTW 500 Degrees is open Fri & Sat til 3PM
When I left the burger place I found two guys working on the windows. Later I would learn that the guy on the left was Joe Grasso. I introduced myself and Joe said it was nice to finally meet me. He then graciously invited me into the new restaurant to check out their progress.
Which was basically a gutted Roy’s. Joe tells me that many people think this building is historic and wondered if their hands would be tied with the renovations, but in fact it was built: 1948

The restaurant/bar is going to be geared more towards a sports bar with a comfort food menu. The center of the room will house the longest bar in the City, surrounded by tables to satisfied guests more intimately. On the far wall will be the ever popular open kitchen (in this picture). Above the mezzanine will wrap around the entire restaurant so everyone gets a view, and al fresco, they’ll have it. Opening date is set for February 2011. The same month the basement club headed by Mark Marek plans to open. No name has been made public for either space. Since leaving G Lounge, another sub floor night club, last year, Mark Marek has been a regular promoter on the dance club circuit, executing successful parties in Atlantic City all summer; no doubt taking notes and incorporating the best elements into this new dance club, his club, he’ll be calling the shots.

Look for a few surprises in the sub dance club that you won’t find anywhere else. Did you know this building used to be a bank, and guess what’s down there? Mark Marek, is having a contest to name his new club. The winning name gets VIP Bottle Service on opening night (I sent in a half dozen suggestions). Oh Bottle Service you say, I hear that it will be very limited and the club will cater to all, with seats for the non-bottle buying public too. What’s going on in this City, finally there are choices to dance in Center City, good news for all. Both business will be run separately, but in a complimentary way. On the right of this picture will be a large see through glass door which will lead to the new club. And with that Center City gets exciting just a little more, and 15th and Sansom comes alive. I think the new hours of 500 Degrees is a good thing, as that place will be a gold mine this time next year. UPDATE: The Name of the New Restaurant: American Oak


EYE CANDY: XIII ON 13 – Unique Holiday Gifts in Philly – Part 1

Today’s Eye Candy is everything I found in this cute little store on 13th Street near Locust St. XIII on 13 and is a kitschy little place with practical gifts, fun stuff, one of a kind items that will put a smile on your face. They also carry glassware, vases, candle sticks, hostess gifts, dishes, but for today’s entry I’m gonna focus on the fun stuff.
Louis Hauser & Izzy who are available to attend your every need in retail therapy.

Lunch Boxes are back in style (Reminds me of that Pink song “Raise Your Glass!”
Store Hours:
Closed On Monday. Tuesday thru Thursday – 10:00AM to 7:00PM
Friday & Saturday – 10:00AM to 8:00PM Sunday – 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The two M’s. There was also more serious jewelery pieces too that you just have to check out.
If you have road rage, you might need both of these car fresheners
Who doesn’t Love Lucy?
Eye Candy of the day: XIII on 13 – 211 South 13th Street – Snatch these up for your favorite Phillie’s Fan (Tell them you read it on PhillyChitChat)
00PM to 6:00PM


Invincible Pictures & Philadelphia Sound Stages “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

PhillyChitChatter Hey hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Last night I covered the “Four Seasons at the Four Seasons” and decided to share the wealth with the pixs to give Broadway Cares more press than if it was just on my site, which I know has a lot of readers, but the event had a thousand stories to it and well I wanted to get maximum exposure for it. SO look for those shots & my stories on Thursday. I’m still about 10 events behind so I will be doing two entries today, this one and a little closer to 11AM another story will go live.

I hear that Ryan Seacrest was in town yesterday doing his E! News Daily Show from the lobby. I wish I knew about that earlier, I had stopped by Comcast to check out the Holiday Show, which I will be writing about tomorrow.
Today I have a sponsored blog entry by Invincible Pictures. The photographer is Chamyang Unkow. So enjoy, and check back later for the cutest store I found, that is inexpensive to boot.

Have a great day. HughE

Philadelphia Sound Stages, the only full-service motion picture studio in Philadelphia. It is amaaaazing. Two full soundstages, with the lights/wattage to light up Broad Street – you won’t see another space like this in Philly – my source tells me
Tom Ashley and Brad Heffler from Invincible Pictures and Andrew Greenblatt from the Philadelphia Film Society. According to’s Matt Godfrey At first glance, the setting seems sort of odd: A dozen mock houses, complete with fake grass, roadways and even a white picket fence, on the second floor of a renovated warehouse along North 5th Street in Kensington. What’s even stranger is that there are some restrictions on “living” here, if you would, in fact, wish to do so. Welcome to The Neighborhood, the newest addition to the ever-growing Philadelphia Soundstages, a 50,000-square-foot film and television production facility. The houses that make up The Neighborhood are not actually living spaces at all. They’re affordably priced office spaces for smaller film and entertainment production companies and individuals looking to connect with the larger entertainment community. “What we’re trying to do is create an incubator environment for smaller production companies,” explained Soundstages founder and CEO Tom Ashley, who is also the brains behind The Neighborhood. “A big part of what this is all about is bringing everyone together.”

Philly’s Gwen Gioia from Bachleor pad posing in front of one of step and repeat on the “red carpet”
The demolished car in shot is the result of a shoot with the Jackass guys from this week at Philly Sound Stages. They shot some extra’s for Jackass 3D’s DVD release coming out soon. (I just got this picture in after I wrote up this entry” “Invincible Pictures, here in Philadelphia just wrapped shooting a music video for CKY’s song “Afterworld” which is featured in Jackass3D and the upcoming Jackass DVD. This picture is after a long night of shooting. Left to right. Bam Margera from Jackass, Kevon Glickman, CKY attorney/video producer, Chad Ginsburg from CKY, and Thomas Ashley, video director. – Is that a near beer in Bam’s hand? I thought he was on the wagon, just sayin’ )

So the Invincible Pictures team left the car in the center of the show to lend to the ambiance.
Chad Ginsberg from CKY band, Josh Heffler and a few friends.
Brad Heffler and Andrea Heffler from Invincible Pictures, Jeff Orleans and actress Kim Delaney. Philadelphia Soundstages is located at 1600 N. 5th St. For more information on The Neighborhood and Philadelphia Soundstages, go to or call 215-666-5200.



and everyday wakes up in love

They met back in California when Danny worked there. Amy was born in Sacramento, Danny here in Philadelphia.Pastor Roland Nono wed WYSP’s Danny Bonaduce and Amy Railsback last Monday on Maui, Hawaii at sunset.
Last year Amy told Us Magazine, “He wears that pirate jewelry. He normally wears, like, $12 rings, but this is the real thing,” she continues. ” He promises to get me a grown up engagement ring and wedding when we get married. This one is a Danny version for now.” (I guess she got her adult engagement ring now and it’s beautiful.)

Congratulations to Dante Daniel Railsback Bonaduce and his beautiful bride Amy Marie Railsback Bonaduce

Last night Amy sent me a few pictures for my website, but you can see the rest here. (There’s 2 above that aren’t in the album)



The Festival of Trees has ushered in the Holiday Season in Philadelphia. The Trees are on display until 12/2/10 at which time they will be delivered to their owners who successfully bid on them to benefit the Philadelphia Orchestra. Last week at XIX and they Hyatt at the Bellevue hosted the first annual event where local designers and ad agency Red Tettemer decorated Christmas Trees to auction off to raise money for the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Above the tree designed by Hoffman Design Group which sold for $1700.
A heated bidding war took place between the host XIX and a private home owner, who finally won out and will be putting this tree up in their 2 story foyer.

Hyatt GM Jeffrey Miller with Marianne Raphaely. Marianne was just honored by The Please Touch Museum with the “Great Friend to Kids Awards.”

Mariska Bogle, City Rep Director Melanie Johnson, Toni Crawford-Major and Margaret Hughes
Brian Whalen and Michelle Boyles (South Philly Phasionista)
Jason Cabrera, Assistant Manager of the Hyatt at The Bellevue, Natalie Kidd and Bryan Hoffman, of Hoffman Designs. The Hoffman tree was 12 foot tall and was featured at the top of the entry.
Other design/florist tree designers were Beautiful Blooms, Papertini, Styled Creative, Eclatanté, Evantine,
Morgan and Brian Adoff had a great time last Thursday at their Fishtown neighborhood Thanksgiving Day celebration. Either no one had a big enough house to host the nearly 2 dozen friends, or they really enjoy eating outside in the elements cause the picture they have on facebook is hysterical with the gang bundled up enjoying the bounty.
Aly Cleary – Cooking in Stilettos, Daisy Martinez and Jennifer Reed, One Curly Fry. Daisy had a busy, busy year. We first met her earlier this year at the launch of Philadelphia Wilhelmina, at her book signing at Williams-Sonoma, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes Now she’s back with a cook book Daisy’s Holiday Cooking: Delicious Latin Recipes for Effortless Entertaining
She told me that while on tour for her last book, she created and wrote the holiday cook book. She swears she tries out each and every dish, which tells me that they’re not only delicious but healthy eats too. She looks fabulous!!
Stop on up to XIX to see them, have a nibble, lunch or dinner and bask in the joy of the Christmas Spirit. The far tree is by the eclectic, ecentric advertising agency Red Tettemer.

Eric Smith and Yasmine Mustafa. Geekadelphia Founder Eric Smith is social media director of Quirk Books and recently published his first book: Textual Healing which will be available sometime this month.
Crri Tovsky and Terese Balzereit
Tanti Lina of Papertini, Christina Hill, Kathy Ko and Lydia Sit surrounding the Papertini tree, which was won with a winning bid by Eddie Dseguera and Jeff Miller
Krista Gallo, Sara Fernandez, and Kendall Brown, Eclatante Event Design owner. Kendall’s not only creative, but a perennial optimist as she makes lists everday of what she is thankful for and shares them with her friends.
Michele Seidman grabs a goodie bag on her way out. Besides having some of the most delicious foods, XIX has yummy desserts too.

Greater Philadelphia Gardens released today its 20 page “Guide to Spectacular Displays for the Holidays in Greater Philadelphia Gardens”. With over 60 family-friendly Holiday activities in 12 of its 29 area member public gardens and arboreta, this great resource is available now on the website


Fashionista’s + Odds & Ends at the 91st Annual 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 91st Annual 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade

This holiday’s parade will feature special guests Brandy, Sam Champion of Good Morning America, American Idol finalists Siobhan Magnus and Justin Guarini, Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron, The Eagles Cheerleaders, characters from Walt Disney and Sesame Place, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and many more.

I hung out with my three nieces at the parade. Lauren Wilkins, Nicole (Janine’s) and Kelsey (Margaret’s).
People came prepared for the 3 hr long parade by bringing their own bleachers.
Brandy you’re a fine girl was shown the love by the fans.

Justin Guarini waves to the crowd
One Life To Live actress Kristen Alderson getting ready for her close up (I’ve watched One Life to Live for the past decade.) Kristen sang Her brother Eddie Alderson was also on the float. He plays Matthew Buchanan on One Life to Live and is doing an awesome job morphing into an evil protege of his uncle Clint.
I’m not afraid of clowns

Fashionista head dressings

Mr Potato Head I love you
I love when people get into the holiday spirit
I have no idea who the Disney All Star Weekend were, but I have a clue now. They are the next hottest things if you take a measurement via my nieces

You know that guy is saying WTF is on your head, Turkey?
These folks thought ahead, and they too are wearing “turkey’s” on their heads
ALL MY CHILDREN‘s Stephanie Gatschet

A new pet for the holidays. Then is snowed a wet heavy snow and we finished watching it at Little Pete’s during breakfast.


THE SIXERS GAME Friday Night – Musings

Philadelphia is a sports town, but for some reason it hasn’t caught on to the excitement of the 76ers.
Sure I remember the days of Allen Iverson, the showman with the attitude. But the Sixers have a couple of stars on the team to fill his shoes: Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala and Spencer Hawes
Great advertising Toyota. I’m still working on the concept, but will be rolling out something in the next few weeks.
The game is part participant sport and part audience participation. The Sixers organization really goes all out to make sure the audience has a good time. Check out the clappers in the aisle that gets the crowd going.
Milwaukee Bucks Andrew Bogut about to get a foul against Spencer Hawes for holding. There’s no holding in basketball is there? Earlier in the day I did a taping for “The Scene” on NBC’s Non Stop channel with Justin Pizzi at the Four Seasons. When I went to leave I ran into the short challenged basketball player in the lobby going to breakfast.

Cool basketball dunks

I love people watching where ever I go
Hacina Saadi
Celeb spotting: Professional Poker Player Beth Shak with Drew Milstein.

Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance
The Bucks Jon Brockman kinda looks like Jack O’Halloran (below) from Superman, doesn’t he? Here he and the Sixers’ Spencer Hawes hang out waiting for the start of the next play.

When did basketball become a contact sport Spencer Hawes?

Thaddeus Young
The guy in the green shirt looks familar
I wonder if on game night the Sixers could release a few tickets at a discount price and fill these seats, at least on the upper level? That way they can get the next generation of fans that will be willing to invest in the expensive seats on the lower level.
That guy is AI short, but very quick. Who is he?
In between periods there’s court entertainment with dancers, cheerleaders, ball playing, contests, it’s entertaining. How the heck does that guy do that. I think the refs are impressed too. The Sixers won 90 – 79. All in all it was a great night of basketball and entertainment. I don’t get why the place isn’t packed.


The Moyer Foundation Big Blast December 4 at Sigma Sound

Meet your hosts Karen and Jamie Moyer for a fabulous evening at one of Philly’s most exclusive and historic venues – Sigma Sound Studios – recording home of the O Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and more. Enjoy cocktails, appetizers, and LIVE entertainment – magic, music and more! Proceeds benefit The Moyer Foundation and Camp Erin – bereavement camps for grieving children and teens- in Philadelphia and nationwide.

For more information and to RSVP contact Michelle Miller:
Phone: 267- 507-5385



Chit Chat Chatter: To me the meaning of Thanksgiving is every day, every day is Christmas, and every day demands my gratitude and celebration. And which I am thrilled to have a vehicle like PhillyChitChat to expose the good of Philly, it’s people and the universe to an audience.

Thanksgiving, the formal holiday, allows me to gather with friends or family and celebrate the abundance in my life and the lessons I’ve been afforded. For years I would call my friends and thank them for being my friend.This year I want to thank you my readers for the amazing support you’ve given me, for allowing me to live my life out there entirely too much, for supporting Gilda’s Club of South Jersey, and the other charities I feature. Thanks for allowing me to share stories of all sorts of people, events known and unknown. I wanna thank my biggest supporters: family, co-workers and Mike for supporting this crazy passion I have. I want to thank Philadelphia Magazine for choosing me to write a column on their site, Justin Pizzi and the NBC10 NonStop folks, Michael Klein, Dan Gross and all the blogs that link to me. I rarely have time to be so clever in doing the linking stories, but I do read many of your site. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Holiday Inn Express on Walnut Street in Center City Philadelphia is grateful for it’s clients and throws an annual party to thank them.

Your Holiday Inn team: JoAnn Bongart, Alicia Raffensberger, Dennis Cronin, John Magaldi and Marney Kolsky
Louise Taylor, Linda Pizzo, Cynthia Branch, Thomas Jefferson Hospital
Maxine C Dalsemer and Jennie Funches, Visitor Center at Macy’s

Allen Ung, CJ Ermace and Thu Nguyen (Temple University Intern, no doubt thankful to work at such a friendly organization like the Holiday Inn Express under JoAnn Bongart)

Desnca Murtha and Nikki Kucher

Joanne Gardner and Patricia Walsh
Anthony Logan, Stanley Bochan and Shanette AlfredDennis and Marian Smith, Alternative Tours, Inc

Malika Pitt, Lynece Yates and Helane Moore – Thomas Jefferson Hospital

Tom Encstrom – Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group and Jim Sale, JSL Inc. these are the guys who put the light show together at Macy’s. The light show
Happy Thanksgiving!!