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ComeBack Kids: Doc Martens, & Cosi re open in Philly; Destination Dogs on Deck

Happy New Year, although today those words feel empty as I try and navigate all that is happening around us, as well as losing a friend – Jeff Guaracino. I’ll be writing more about Jeff tomorrow, posting photos I’ve taken of him over the past decade, and for the past year leading into the pandemic as his personal photographer capturing him at events and providing him with photos for his social media, and records. Let’s see what’s been happening around town.

I was fairly busy for most of the fall, I’m so grateful to have work, I really thrive when I am busy capturing Philly and Philadelphians. I did get a break and finally had a moment to run to Pennypack Park and photograph the Mandarin Duck which had been spotted in November. So pretty. Billy Penn has a nice article about it. People have since told me that it was probably a pet and let go at some point. It’s still there, I saw photos over the weekend. If you want to go see the Mandarin Duck, head to the Pennypack Environmental Center 8600 Verree Rd. The duck is nearby, above the dam with his girlfriend, the wood duck. Or just look for all the photographers, he’s a big hit.

Got Bread:
Hey Cosi, we thought you were long gone and now here you are popping up at 10th & Chestnut. Thanks to Nicole Michalik and Bill Reichert From South Philly for sending this nugget along. Seems Cosi has a new concept, and it’s perfect for the times. It’s a take out, delivery and catering concept, which is perfect for social distancing and enjoying the Signature Salad I miss so much.

A welcomed sight on Walnut. Dr. Martens has re opened a few doors down from their original store, which you know burned down in 2020 along with Vans and McDonald’s. It’s been open for about two weeks, and everytime I go by there’s a line of folks waiting to shop. Rumor has it, and here at PhillyChitChat we do rumors, the three lots where the fire destroyed the interiors of 1706, 1708, and 1710 Walnut, will be developed into a 12 story apartment building with retail on the first floor. I wish I knew more details, especially on how the deal was brokered as the three lots are owned by 3 different people. A commentator on my Instagram, where I first posted the news, mentioned that the Vans store is also reopening on Walnut.

My friends Laura and Chika checked out the Sugar Factory (Located in Midtown Village at 1216 Chestnut St.) a few weeks ago. The two story, 187-seat, restaurant, formerly Porta, was packed; Although we didn’t have a reservation they were able to sit us at the bar for a bite (banana split) which was great. Everyone looked like they were having a good time, the place is beautiful and I think it’s a great addition to the Philly food scene if you’re not looking for gourmet dining, but a kitschy fun, Instagramable spot. Plus they’re open for late night dining, which is great since most of the diners in Philly have been closing at 10PM. The official opening is this Saturday, when DJ Pauly D kicks off a set to celebrate at 9PM.

Who knew?

On New Year’s Day, the White Dog Cafe celebrated 2022 with a pajama brunch! The restaurant has been celebrating New Year for 33 years, and the pajama brunch is a great way to welcome the new year! Despite the frightful weather dozens of patrons enjoyed the award-winning contemporary American Cuisine and each other.

Speaking of dogs, I saw an orange liquor license sign on the former Crisp Kitchen at 1900 Market St. signaling Destination Dogs would soon open here. Of course we’re in a pandemic so soon could be a year.

I’m feeling a little better already, sharing news, championing the Philly scene, getting back into the groove.
Happy New Year readers, and thanks for all your support. It’s year 15 for this little blog of mine. xo HughE