Monthly Archives

September 2012



Hey Do No Harm is filming in the Rittenhouse Area this week. Traffic Patterns will be disrupted, especially the BIKE LANES.

I understand that parking in the bike lane is the suggestion from Streets Dept and I think its great idea, as it saves from taking about 60 residential parking spaces.  But the word definitely needs to get out to the biking community, as well as folks who generally drive Spruce Street to get to Rt 76

This is the letter a friend sent me  from her neighborhood Association:

Hello Everyone,

We wanted to pass along some information on filming locations in the
neighborhood next week for the new NBC series “Do No Harm”. Please keep
this information in mind as it may impact traffic.

The Locations for Monday 10/1/12:

No Parking: 23rd St. between Locust St. & Pine St.
North Side of Spruce St. between 24th St. & 20th St. (biking lane)

No Parking: 5 spaces in on the South Side of Spruce St. @ 23rd St. (for trucks turning).

The Locations for Tuesday 10/2/12:

North Side of Spruce St. between 15th St. & 18th St. (biking lane)
No Parking: Both Sides of Locust St. between 15th St. & 18th St.
May have a working vehicle or two on 16th St &/OR 17th St.

The Locations for Wednesday 10/3/12:

North Side of Spruce St. between 15th St. & 18th St. (biking lane)
No Parking: Both Sides of Locust St. between 15th St. & 18th St.
No Parking: Both Sides of Chancellor St. between 16th St. & 18th St.
No Parking: West Side of 17th St. between Walnut St. & Locust St.
No Parking: West Side of 16th St. between Walnut St. & Spruce St.

Looks like McCanick is filming at the Parker Hotel again as well as a running scene on Juniper between Spruce and Locust.

Spruce Street between 12th and Broad, and along Locust St between Broad and 12th Streets.
Til 2PM Monday


What You Missed at Campus Philly Saturday – Drink This Be Sexier

Lots of swag for your the oversized Gift Bag Ikea would have given you…

Emmy Award Winning Maria Papadakis on stage MC’ing the musical acts. All this the day before Maria’s wedding shower, which is today. Check back on tomorrow for photos from the event. It’s a ladies tea party and me the honorary Man of Honor.

Duke and Winston in the house

Crowds were sparse as it was an iffy weather day, but all in all it turned out to be quite nice and warm.

Blue Hair

Ikea was selling pastries 2 packages for $5

Brendan Kent, cousin and friend. I didn’t have my note book. The gals go to Villanova.

The longest line at the event was the Neuro water line. I asked a few people what the big draw was and they said

The promotion says that Neuro will make you sexier, smarter, stronger, leaner etc and that was the big draw

†These statements have not be evaluated by the FDA (hmmm)


The Saint James Place Sets an Opening Date

It’s October 9, and here’s what you get to look forward to….

ARDMORE, PA – In early fall, two of the area’s top restaurateurs, Rob Wasserman and Chef Michael Schulson, will team up to debut The Saint James (30 Parking Plaza, 610-649-6200),
an American bistro that brings exceptional food, drinks and hospitality
to Suburban Square.  Featuring an affordable and contemporary menu of
satisfying cuisine and three distinct dining areas, The Saint James will
reflect the new standards for excellence in restaurants.  It will bring
avid diners of the Main Line what they’ve been asking for:  a refined
neighborhood restaurant with approachable food that is simply and
perfectly prepared in a stylish and welcoming setting.
and I have known for a while that we wanted to open a restaurant
together,” says Wasserman, who lived in Bala Cynwyd with deep family
ties to the Main Line, and whose Rouge
on Rittenhouse Square is a Philadelphia institution.  “When we found
this space, we knew it was the right time and the right place.  For me,
it’s good to be back and we’re both excited to be a part of this vibrant
A television personality with all-American good looks, Chef Schulson
is a gifted, Long Island-born chef who has earned a sterling reputation
for his expert hand at modern Asian cooking at his restaurants Sampan in Center City, Philadelphia and Izakaya at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ.
The Saint James menu will be Chef Schulson’s culinary return to his East Coast roots and the foods that inspire him to cook, every day.  It will be overseen by Executive Chef Matt Moon, who has worked in top kitchens in Philadelphia and, for the past year, alongside Chef Schulson.  Guests may enjoy hearty oven-roasted and grilled items along with a host of satisfying sides.  Dishes will include:  Trout Dip with “everything” bagel chips; Peekytoe Crab Toast with lemon aioli and dill; Grilled Flatiron Steak with shallot and compound butter; Grilled Tuna Steak with avocado, tomato and chili; Roasted Half-Chicken with lemon marmalade and celery; a variety of sandwiches such as Shrimp Roll with butter lettuce, lemon and tarragon, and The Saint James’ take on the iconic Philadelphia Pork Sandwich, with spicy kale and sharp provolone.  Delicious sides will include:  Cauliflower Gratin; Roasted Beets with horseradish; and Haricot Verts with house-made lemon vinaigrette.  There will also be an extensive Raw Bar, with Tuna Tartare, Oysters on the half shell, Crab Salad and more.  In addition to the regular menu, The Saint James will offer Daily Specials.  Dishes will range in price from $6 to $24.
“This is the kind of back-to-basics food that I prepare at home for my
family and friends – grilled meat and fish that is juicy, vegetables at
the height of their freshness with simple vinaigrettes and marinades
that make the flavors of each ingredient sing,” adds Chef Schulson.
To complement the dishes, the knowledgeable and well-trained staff of The Saint James, operating under General Manager Ryan Reigel, will offer a variety of wines by-the-glass and in bottles, ranging in price from $8 to $12 for glass pours and mostly $30 to $60 for
bottles.  A well-focused local craft beer list and a wealth of
hand-crafted cocktails based on modern versions of classic drinks will
also be served.  Beers and cocktails will range in price from $5 to $12
The welcoming, 120-seat restaurant is designed by Chris Sheffield of Philadelphia’s SLDesign
The rustic-modern space has two expansive rooms separated by a skylit
foyer:  the main dining room and the bar.  The main dining room is
outlined with plush leather booths, wrapping around the entire space and
enclosing a grouping of sturdy wooden tables and chairs in the center
of the room.  In the bar, the showpiece is the 20-foot-long bar with
comfortable leather-trimmed stools surrounded by ample booth seating. 
Both rooms, fronted by floor-to-ceiling windows, are family-friendly and
open, offering comfortable seating for groups of any size, including
accommodations for private parties.  Detailed with elegant wooden
moldings and skylights, each room has custom tiled floors and glossy
white brick walls that pop in the ample natural light.
onto the Square’s stone courtyard is the restaurant’s 50-seat
landscaped outdoor seating area.  Guided by Wasserman’s expertise at
Rouge, one of Philadelphia’s best-loved and most enduring sidewalk
cafes, the seasonal patio will be open throughout the warm weather
months, sure to become the area’s top spot to see-and-be-seen.
Both Wasserman and Chef Schulson
have traveled extensively across America and abroad, and they frequent
the country’s most successful new restaurants.  Together with their
team, they will bring the flawless service, thoughtful cooking, artful
cocktails and casually elegant atmosphere that are the new standards of
America’s dining scene to The Saint James.

The Saint James will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11
a.m. until midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. 
Valet service will be available after 5 p.m.  For more information, or
to make a reservation, please call (610) 649-6200, visit, follow them on Twitter (@St_JamesPhilly) and like them on Facebook (Saint James Philadelphia).


More From Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co Plus Playboy stops by to Party

All year long swarms of investigative reporters from Playboy ping-pong across the
nation, hitting juke joints, mixology meccas, beach bars and dives by
the dozen. “We look under every maraschino cherry, jotting down notes on
wet napkins with steeled nerves and steady hands. To make our bar guide
as definitive as possible, we spare lots of sleep and no expense. If you
know of a drinking establishment that belongs on this list, clue us in.”

Principal owners Chris Doggett and Chris Gali
with friends at last week’s Playboy party hosted by Tanqueray at The

— celebrating Playboy’s Best Bars in America.
The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co. (Philadelphia)
Named for the company that served as the front for what was once the
largest illicit booze ring in the country, this establishment (above
right) is an homage to the pre-Prohibition era: the style, architecture,
music, even the lightbulbs—and, yes, the drinks. (
 Justin Pizzi and guest

Chef Shola Olunloyo and Nicole Rossi stop by too

 Christian LeCornu [Gabello Studios] and guest
 Franklin GM Christina Rando
  Josh and Kristina Jenkins [Where Magazine]
Kylie Flett and Evan Connolly

 Meredith Lindemon, Alexis Lerro, James Zeleniak of PUNCH Media
Folks from Playboy
Lots of smiles checking out the latest issues
The Franklin’s Al Sotack, Christina Rando and Aaron Siak

Yesterday I reported that Franklin was expanding into the upper floor of the building where they are located. A move much anticipated by everyone since the bar is just exploding with accolades every month. In the afternoon Eater’s Colin Flatt posted an interview with  The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. owner Mike Welsh “We’re going to use the space for R&D, and we’re also probably going to open a teaching environment, so people can learn about cocktails and liquor,” Welsh told Eater, as well as a spill over waiting area for people cooling their heels to get into the main bar. No reason to have them freeze outside waiting to get into the party. Most importantly my article dispelled their original plan which was to open a noodle house in the space, which I always found to be odd. Maybe a story just to float out since we have such a ravenous foodie community. (eater)

 P.S. No one on this page tipped me off to the above story, which I sat on for about 2 weeks til I could shoot yesterdays photos.

Juliet Simms & Tony Vincent (& Andy Biersack) – Parx Casino Concert

After landing spots on the NBC hit singing competition “The Voice”, Juliet Simms and Tony Vincent make their Parx Casino debut last Friday, September 21st – Juliet Simms, who killed it in her blind audition doing the Beatles “Oh Darling“; which she later told me was performed after a 3 hour sleep because she had to wait up til 2AM the night before to hear if she was picked for the show, and eventually she ended up being the second
season runner-up, along with Broadway star and The Voice’s famed
contestant, Tony Vincent, took to the Parx Casino 360 stage for a live concert.

The show began at 8pm and attracted fans from around the region including NYC. DJ MARIA LAINA
did the hosting duties in her the beautiful and talented way she does things.

Tony Vincent sang his heart out. He reminds me of Rufus Wainwright with all the emotional and drama in his song choices.
 Juliet Simms reminds me of a kick ass rock star. She has amazing talent and stage presence.
Juliet Simms belted out one of her signature songs:  It’s a Man’s World

 After the performance there was a Q&A
session that will focused on their experience with The
Voice and they discussed their futures.Tony wants to move away from Broadway even though he found great success there with Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar and American Idiot in 2010

 The crowd was strong with lots of questions from their fans. Juliet Simms fans were out in droves.

 A meet and greet
continued with guests in the 360 nightclub until 10pm.
 Fans of all ages
 I love how Parx Casino provided the photos to be autographed, very helpful.

 So excited to meet her idol.

I really have a lot of respect for the people who appear on The Voice. They’ve been in the business for awhile and most are at a crux in their career on whether to go forward or find an office job. They have paid their dues and for what ever reason the door to stardom did not open. I think even getting airplay and not getting selected at the Blind Audition is a success for that artist.

 Check out this rocker fur. She reminds me of a fiesty Janis Joplin. Juliet later told me that that was an honored comparison, but she was going to make a mark on the world all her own.

Andy Biersack of the  Black Veil Brides nearby his lady love Juliet Simms as Tony Vincent signs for a fan

 Tony Vincent and Juliet Simms post together in front of the step and repeat at Parx Casino

 See my signature here?  Parx Casino sometimes auctions these off for charity. How much would you pay for this one?

  Andy Biersack, Juliet Simms and I sat down (with Parx marketing & advertising director Carrie Nork Minelli) after the meet and greet and had a bite to eat. I found the duo to be fascinating, Mensa intelligent, and not too bad on the eyes. Tell me she doesn’t look like a young Demi Moore here?

Juliet Simms and her boyfriend Andy Biersack of Black Veil Bride, who
she had met on the Vans Warped Tour, 2010. Unlike American Idol, The
Voice is for more seasoned performers, singers with a proven track
record (she had been touring for several years with her band Automatic Loveletter) but ones that just haven’t reached the next step yet. A
singer songwriter, she was sought out to audition for The Voice (and
encouraged to participate by Andy who had seen season one of “The Voice”
while laid up in bed from jumping off a balcony and breaking nearly
every rib on his left side, during a stage performance with his band),
which was a 3 month process before “the blind audition” in front of
judges Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Cee Lo Green. 

The show has the contestants review nearly 200 songs. They then pick 75 favorites in the order of their appeal. As they get closer
to the “blind audition” everything happens in a frenetic pace; being moved from one hotel to another climbing the ladder closer to the “blind audition.” You see they might bring several hundred people to Hollywood to audition, then they wittle it down to 200, then 148 then during the blind audition it gets down to the 48 individuals that must compete each other for the title.  After killing it with “Oh Darling”, Cee Loo, Christina and Adam Levine turned around; She choose to work Cee Lo Green
and picked up your life and move to Hollywood to obtain the title of
“The Voice”. It was a life changing experience for her, but also
exhausting to the finale where she was fairly ill for
her last performance when she sang “Free Bird,” and when you see the video, triumphantly, and although she didn’t
win as the voice 2012, I would say 2013 looks to be a year of fantastic success for her,
talent and the love and support of Andy Biersack.  And then lots of off the record conversation was held, but stay tune…


Parx Casino®,
largest and most impressive Pennsylvania casino, is owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. Parx Casino
is conveniently located 20 minutes north of center city Philadelphia,
I-95 exit 37 or PA Turnpike exit 351(westbound), exit 352 (eastbound)
onto Street Road in Bensalem. Parx features
164,000 square feet of gaming; 3,500  slot machines; 120 live table
games; 60 poker tables; live racing & simulcast action;
Parxgrill, an upscale signature steakhouse;
Foodies food court,
Chickie’s & Pete’s,
360 bar and nightclub;
Jax sports bar, Finish Line bar,
SangKee Noodle Bar and complimentary parking
for over 5,000 cars. For more information on Parx Casino, visit


Bar Notes: Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. On The Move

The accolades for

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. (112 S. 18th St.) keep rolling in, so it’s not especially surprising that they changed their minds from opening a noodle restaurant in the old Liquid Hair Studios, above the bar, and instead just expanded the bar upwards into the space.















Word on the street is the opening is within a few weeks.

I stopped by Tuesday and found the place wrapped tight, but there was a little itty bitty rip in the paper near the door, but I was blinded by the light fixture that was shining brightly inside. Can’t wait to see the place.


Party Notes: Jason Matthews & Knit Wit Celebrate Fashion Night Out

A few weeks ago Jason Matthew Salon and Knit Wit participated in Fashion Night Out

Christie Honigman, Melody Isis, and Jennifer Bisicchia

Ann Gitter– Knit Wit, Emily
– Philadelphia Magazine, Melanie Johnson – City Rep of Philadelphia. – Melanie Johnson was key in creating the Philadelphia Collection, along with CCD’s Michelle Shannon. It was marketing genius to marry the excitement of fashion and center city retail. It was Emily
– Philadelphia Magazine and Rakia Reynolds persistence to bring “Fashion Night Out” to Philadelphia. Which was a few days before the Fashion Collection began, but the enthusiasm of the month made both events seem seamless.
Jill Snyder,  Sean McKeever, (are both styling apprentices at Jason Matthews) and Jessica Carfagno.
Jason Matthews recently relocated from Walnut Street to 1735 Chestnut Street  Philadelphia, PA
 Uri Jacobson, Jennifer Bisicchia and Uriel Tedg. Another famous Jennifer gets her hair done by Jennifer Bisicchia; none other than Jen Utley, who told me Sunday night that before she attended Style Wars she stopped by to get her hair done by Jen (she was with her when she was at Giovanni Pileggi too) Another tidbit, last night Jen Utley was feted by her girlfriends (Sabrina T, Nicole C and Lauren C) as they headed over to Hop Sing Laundromat
for a cocktail before heading to Vietnam for dinner. Jen is headed back to LA cause baseball season is over.

Then we headed downstairs to check out the latest in retail therapy at Knit Wit with  Katie Karlsen, Katie English, and Aaron Pierce, Commonwealth Proper

Whose Fall Social is Oct 4th, 5-7 PM

Join us at our Rittenhouse Showroom for a taste of whiskey and good companyWe look forward to seeing you.  Please RSVP here.
 Stephanie Davidow Schultz, Deb Avtaza, and Robin
 Nicole Allen and Debbie Chandler

 Kristin Munro – Philly Style Magazine, Jamie Reibenbach
Addison RE, and Paige Wolf – PR

 Angela Monaco of Concrete Polish Jewels.
Fashion plate on the town: Michelle Boyles – South Philly Fashionista, Brett
– Metro Philly. Just walked in the Rittenhouse Row Fall Fashion show with South Moon Under duds. After a year with Where Magazine, he returned to his old stomping grounds, Metro Philly and was reunited with Boyles and it feels so good.
Kristine and Lindsy Ray of Church Street Studios

 Emilie Pitts, Lyndsy Vaul, Alexandra Sobol, and Tiffany

 Alexis Udine, Laura Stortz, Mollie Elkman, and Becca
Another of my favorite stylists at Jason Matthews is Josh Demarco. Check him out, handsome and talented.

Taylor Ciallella and Ali Ciotto 
Coming up next for Christie & Katie is planning the Harry Potter week in Chestnut Hill.
A few of the highlights coming up in Chestnut Hill:
  • Book Festival September 30th (Ed Rendell is keynote)
  • Fall for the Arts Festival October 7th
  • Harry Potter Festival October 27th weekend

    Thanks to Mike Hirata for shooting this party for


Hotel Palomar’s Square 1682 Renovating

The Kimpton’s Monaco Hotel is just about to make it’s debut. The property at 433 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. will have several restaurants “The Stratus” and the “Red Owl” and

Hotel Palomar’s Square 1682 Executive Chef Guillermo Tellez will wear the chef’s whites at Red Owl as well as oversee the kitchen at Square 1682. At about the same time as the opening of the Monaco restaurants downtown Square 1682 will start to undergo a drastic renovation all the while the restaurant will remain open, so no employees will be effected.

Although the restaurant is a popular spot for lunch & dinner and has a very happy hour, there’s something missing, a steady stream of people, despite having rave reviews for the food, and a great PR team. It’s a shame especially since it’s has the one thing most hotel restaurants want, an exterior door.  I took a random poll of people over the past week or so since I was tipped off, to find out what people would like to see change at Square 1682.  #1 – Of the people who didn’t know what Square 1682 was, I asked them what cues would help them realize it was a restaurant. They said a sign that said restaurant. A menu on both windows and maybe awnings with the name in it over the windows. Several people didn’t like the facade. I hear they’re going to change it so that’s good.

 While the downstairs is being worked on, the upstairs dining area will be opened for business. Then when that is done, the opposite will happen. I loved the look of the downstairs, but when I asked people what they would like to see happen, everyone mentioned regular size furniture and real tables, especially for business meetings while eating lunch.

Everyone had a complaint about the bar. It’s too large, their fannies didn’t fit on the small stools and it should be set back from the doorway. I hear they’re not moving it, but I think they should think about it. Most people said that when it’s too clogged at the front, they don’t even want to bother to see if there’s a table on the other side in the seating area, I concur.

The upstairs is also going to be renovated. I always liked it, but I guess they want it to match the downstairs. OK a few people didn’t like the cushions on the chair as they slid off, and occassionally the air escaping would make an embarrassing noise. 

I hear it’s going to be very modern, with much lighter colors. I’m excited to see the results, and to see a restaurant that does well, do even more fabulous. I hope they move the bar back a tad away from the bar. Wouldn’t it be cute with a table or two in the front window near the door? The renovations begin in November.
** Special Event. The Annual Square 1682 Cheese Steak Contest is coming up again on October 14, 2012


Event: King of Prussia Beerfest Royale Oct 5 and Oct 6

King of Prussia Beerfest Royale

The First Annual Beerfest Royale will be a celebration of local craft
beer and German beer over two days in two tents with more than 3,000
beer aficionados! The two-day festival will take place Friday, October
5th and Saturday, October 6th, 2012 and feature different craft and
German beers from your local Philadelphia favorites to the newest and
hottest craft brews. With two tents and two stages, featuring live
music, and a central plaza with your favorite food and unique vendors,
this is one festival you won’t want to miss!  Amazing food, local craft and german beer, and great live music.


Event: Celebrate Philly Made 10/11/12 – The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

and Michael Araten, CEO of K’NEX,
‘Celebrate Philly Made’
-Thursday, October 11, 2012, 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m.-

Philadelphia, PA  – On Thursday, October 11,
6:00p.m.-9:00p.m., the Sustainable Business Network of Greater
Philadelphia (SBN) will ‘Celebrate Philly Made’ – an event recognizing
the success of local entrepreneurs and business leaders, and their
contributions to not just the Philadelphia region, but the world

Held atop of one of
Philadelphia’s premiere luxury green properties, 777 South Broad, SBN
will celebrate Philadelphia born-businesses with honored guest Michael
Araten, President & CEO of K’NEX, the world’s most innovative toy
construction company, founded in 1992 in Hatfield, PA. K’NEX was
established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading
integrated construction systems for children. K’NEX
construction sets inspire creativity, build self-confidence and
encourage interaction among children and parents. The company proudly
manufactures 90% of pieces used in K’NEX Building Sets, right here in
Pennsylvania. ‘Celebrate Philly Made’ guests will hear from
Araten about the company’s many successes and its return to its
Philadelphia roots.

The event includes complimentary cocktails and tasty hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by visiting Funds raised from the evening will support SBN’s mission to build a just, green and thriving local economy.

Event Details
What: ‘Celebrate Philly Made’, recognizing the success of local entrepreneurs and business leaders
Who: The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia; Michael Araten, President & CEO of K’NEX
When: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m.
Where: 777 South Broad, Philadelphia, PA, 19147
Cost: $75;


About the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia
mission of the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is to build a green
and thriving economy in the Greater Philadelphia region.  For the
Greater Philadelphia region, SBN seeks to be an effective resource for
dynamic, independent, locally-owned businesses that are committed to
improving their environmental and social impacts as well as their
profitability.  The organization is a leader in the creation and
integration of entrepreneurial and sustainable business practices,
establishing new models for business operations that value people,
planet and prosperity for all, leading by example. SBN embraces the
vision of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, the
international coalition of sustainable business networks: “Within a
generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected
local economies that functions in harmony with local ecosystems, meets
the basic needs of all people, supports just and democratic societies,
and fosters joyful community life.” To learn more, visit