2 Steak Houses Sell, Tan Eats Out, Local Celebs Celebrate

Now we rest after such an active July 4th celebration. Literally I’ve been sleeping the past two days after a whirlwind week. Yesterday I was up and about checking out the wicked storms that rolled through. We can no longer say we don’t live in an area that rarely gets tornadoes now that we’ve had so many and two just yesterday. OK let’s chit chat…

I got a note from Mary Ann Ferrie from Chlöe 232 Arch Street. “We had some special guests for dinner tonight. Tan and Rob France.” Read the story behind how Mary Ann and her husband, Dan Grimes, fell in love in this story on The Netflik’s series, Queer Eye has been filming in our area the past couple weeks. Last week they filmed in Delco, this week they’re in Powelton Village. They even filmed over the weekend according to Karamo’s Instagram.

Steaks at Stake
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm L Catterton. The agreement was unanimously approved by Del Frisco’s board of Directors. The transaction is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to approval by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group stockholders. Last summer DelFrisco’s purchased a company that included Barcelona Wine Bar (there’s one on East Passyunk.) Philadelphia has two Delfrisco branded eateries, one recently opened in the Cambria Hotel on Broad Street, and the one at 15th and Chestnut which just celebrated it’s 10th anniversary (they’re my advertiser as well, nearly 10 years.) AND I just heard that Bryn Mawr’s Marsha Brown, owner of three Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse has sold her stakes in the recently relocated Center City spot at the Sonesta Hotel, the King of Prussia spot (not too far from Nick Foles’ dad’s investment Eddie V’s)and the one she owned in Long Island, NY, back to the corporation. (This story came from a tip, and this article)

What did some of our local celebrities do on July 4th!! Two of our favorite forecaster’s 6ABC’s Cecily Tynan worked the holiday, and in between shifts ran home and enjoyed a family BBQ. Adam Joseph, Karl and the kids hit the beach. (BTW you can click on the photo to see it bigger)

Former star of One Life to Live and General Hospital’s Philly’s own Kristin Alderson spent the week with her family and friends in Ocean City, NJ. Next weekend in Ocean City is the 65th annual Night in Venice is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019. 6ABC’s Melissa Magee also spent July 4th at the beach, while Fox29’s Mike Jerrick headed to the July4th concert where he snagged a photo with Meghan Trainor backstage. What a nice dad as Fox29’s Richard Curtis built his kids a tree house.

CBS3’s Jim Donovan went from a swim demonstrating that not even water can permeate his ‘do. Brittney Shipp, Tracy Davidson and Vai Sikahema held down the fort at NBC10Philadelphia, Eyewitness news’ Meteorologist Katie Fehlinger gave us JAWN. And we bid bon-voyage to Alex Holley, Fox29 who’s headed to a tropical paradise for a well deserved vacation.

Congrats to Patty Jackson!! See you tomorrow, right here on Philly Chit Chat for more coverage on the parties and people in Philly. Have a great day!!


July 4th Popping Pics and Thanks You’s

What a whirlwind week, and now I have had some time to sort through the photos I took. The past few days a lot of my outlets have had off except for CBSPhilly and Philly Voice where I have placed pixs from the weeks events, thanks so much to my editors. I also have created columns for Philly Style Mag, and for Septembers issue of Philly Mag (BTW there won’t be a column in August’s issue of Philly Mag as the whole magazine is dedicated to Best of Philly. The party this year is September 12.) Here are a few of my photos from July 4th’s Concert on the Parkway.

It was a crazy hot night, but that didn’t stop folks from coming out to the Wawa Welcome America sponsor, friends and family party on the Parkway. Photo top right: Dave Maser, Dotti Giordano, Frank Giordano, President and CEO The Philly Pops, which by the way played at three big Fourth of July events between July 3 and July 4th – The Philly Pops at Independence Mall, July 4th Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, and the Concert on the Parkway, Buddy Scheerer and Chris Elliott. Wawa folks, Chase Folks and Mark Segal, Jason V, Clayton Fennell, Valintine Bigil – Fennell and Carmen Fennell.

Hey Chill Moody what’s with the Chicago White Sox’s jersey. There must be a story behind it. City Rep Sheila Hess presented Meghan Trainor with a Phillies jersey with her name on it. Wish she had worn it, lol.

Daybreaker PHL at Stratus // Midsummer Morning’s Dream July 24 6am (The day after my birthday)

Loved icon Jennifer Hudson‘s set, and outfit. She set the tone for the evening. I loved that the Philly Pops accompanied her.

25 year old Meghan Trainor kicked off her set playing her biggest song – It’s All About the Bass, followed 3 songs later by her next biggest hit “Your Lips are Moving”. She even brought her 70 year old dad out for her song – Dance Like Yo Daddy. It was a great set, even though we all felt for her as she was dressed in a black track suit and mentioned how hot it was.

Great job City of Philadelphia, City Reps office and Rob Nonemacker, who produced two of the events during the week – the Patti LaBelle street naming event and Celebration of America July 4th. On stage with co-worker Elka Battle-Murillo. Michael Delbene, President & CEO of Welcome America, who did an amazing job for his first Wawa Welcome America week of events, with all it’s moving parts. It was seamless. I especially love the new set up with the Friends, Family and Sponsor party as it’s now one big continuous party with a spacious picnic area and seating for guests. I love how it’s now more apparent for the public on who gets a chance to sit in the white seats in front of the stage, you fill out a form which is on the Welcome America website. Plus adjacent to the seats, stage right, is a picnic area where tickets were given out to folks in contests, and who gathered on the Parkway. So many happy people surprised with tickets during the day got to move up front. Thank you to all the sponsors including Wawa, Visit Philly, The Philly Pops , Live Nation, Comcast and all those who came through and supported this wonderful event to celebrate the Fourth and our City. Check them out here. Welcome America!!
Sunday I’ll have some tidbits, fun gossip, and chit chat you’ll want to know about in my weekly HughE Around Town column, what did the celebs in Philly do this past week. Have a cool day, no really!!


A Few Photos From July 4th Morning

This morning I headed over to the historic area, in the shadow of Independence Hall (actually there were no shadows, it was hot) for the Independence Day Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and the Salute to America Independence Day Parade, a flag-waving, stars-and-stripes, big-city spectacle with a small-town feel. I took a few photos, ok I took way too many photos, come of my favorite are here.

Mayor Jim Kenney presented the fourth annual Magis Award to Connor Barwin at the City of Philadelphia’s annual Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall on July 4th, the final day of the Wawa Welcome America festival as Jason Kelce looks on. 

The Declaration of Independence was read by Philadelphia’s very own Patti LaBelle, the legendary songstress born in Philly, known and loved by the world, who still lives nearby. My BFF in my head, and I can’t believe she knows my name, and I’ve been to her house. I am STAN for her, and can’t believe after years of fandom have met her many times. Literally when I came out in the 1980s, was homeless or couch surfing, her music soothed my soul.

It’s the celebration of the birth of our nation, it didn’t happen without protests, protection and pride. Happy 4th of July everyone of us, as we move towards a more perfect union!! 


Scenes From Patti LaBelle Way Ceremony – Boyz II Men repped in the house…

The legendary Patti LaBelle was honored with the renaming of the 200 block of Broad Street yesterday in her honor – Patti LaBelle Way….

Hey there’s Joe Cox, who’s running for City Council at Large, in the pink hair. His flyer says he’s not taking any oil donations.

Another legend in radio Dyana Williams, (r) who is heading back to the airwaves full time on Monday, July 15. She will host the afternoon drive from 3 to 7 p.m. on Classix 107.9 FM, Monday through Thursday, while continuing Soulful Sundays show on WRNB-FM (100.3) with Derrick Sampson . Congrats Dyana!! More on the good news on

Garces Events. How clever veggies in a “tool box.”
Ric Harris President and General Manager of NBC10 Philadelphia with Little BigSister Band and WanMor Band (Boyz II Men member, Wanya Morris, has formed his own singing group that consists of his four sons!)
Patti poses with the Kimmel Show Stopper Singers!! Congrats Miss Patti, who is getting recognized for her talents, contributions and creating beautiful music for the world. See you on July 4th for the ceremonies (BTW it’s the first time I’m attending as I usually head to the SNJ small towns to photograph their cute parades.) Then catch Patti LaBelle at Parx Casino next Friday July 12!! You know where I’ll be, and it’ll be my 19th show.

What You Need To Know for July 4th Party on the Parkway

Welcome America has designed a new layout for the July 4thParty on the Parkway and July 4th Concert & Fireworks which will offer families and guests an enhanced experience. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will now feature dedicated entry points and a perimeter that will allow guests to enter in a smooth, more orderly fashion, then roam freely to experience all the iconic Party on the Parkway has to offer.

Party on the Parkway runs from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 4th and is followed by the July 4th Concert and Fireworks from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Once guests enter the Parkway, they will be able to roam freely and experience all that Philadelphia’s iconic July 4th party has to offer from food and drink, to games and rides, to entertainment. This year’s enhanced family-friendly experience includes the free PECO Kids’ Zone featuring a zip-line, acrobatic dunkers, bungee jumping, games, arts & crafts, storytelling, face painting, and more. Party on the Parkway runs from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 4th and is followed by the July 4th Concert and Fireworks from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Once guests enter the Parkway, they will be able to roam freely and experience all that Philadelphia’s iconic July 4th party has to offer from food and drink, to games and rides, to entertainment. This year’s enhanced family-friendly experience includes the free PECO Kids’ Zone featuring a zip-line, acrobatic dunkers, bungee jumping, games, arts & crafts, storytelling, face painting, and much more. As always, guests are permitted to bring picnics and small personal coolers.  A full list of prohibited items can be found on

23rd Street & Pennsylvania Avenue north side entrance

All entrances will be open from noon until 9 p.m. (That means you can not enter after 9PM. So get here early to find your spot for the fireworks, or watch them on the side streets) Guests are highly encouraged to enter through the Main Welcome Gates at Logan Circle. Other entry points include:

·        20th Street & the Parkway from both the north and south sides

·        21st Street & the Parkway from both the north and south sides

·        23rd Street & Pennsylvania Avenue north side

Entry signage will be clearly visible at all gates, and Wawa Welcome America Ambassadors will be on hand to help guests find their way.

Road closures and more info about Wawa Welcome America on Philly Mag
but I wanted you to see what the fencing looks like on the Parkway. Basically just like Made in America, or when the Pope came to Philly, the area is fenced off and there are entrance points. It’s for convenience and your safety. It’ll definitely be a much better experience than in years gone by when there was a rush of people at the last minute jockeying for a spot to watch the fireworks, as well as folks lighting their own fireworks off in the crowd. Bring the family for the day long Party on the Parkway, then enjoy the free concert and fireworks.!!


Scenes from World Pride NYC

I have to confess, I didn’t take as many photos as I have in previous years. It was so crowded and hot that I just didn’t have it in my, but I want to chronically what I did see for my future self.

The biggest heroes right after the pioneers who fought the police 50 years ago, who were constantly harassing us, shaking us down as well as the business establishments and raiding the bars (BTW they were still doing that in the 80s in Cherry Hill and in Philly as I was in bars which were raided to harass us) are the Allies of the LGBTQ like this guy proudly wearing his Ally shirt!! Thanks!!
I’ve heard some of the youngins are upset about how corporate the parade has come, we welcome them. We boycotted anti gay, anti civil rights corporations until they heard us. We tried for years to get them to acknowledge our buying power in order for them to respect us. NOW THEY HEAR US, we fought for this and this past year it’s been overwhelming with the rainbow colors on every store front.

I was so excited to spot my mentor Carmen Valdes on the left, who taught me to be a celebrity photographer while I lived in NYC in the 00s, long story. She’s photographing Sen. Chuck Schumer.

I was so excited to find the Visit Philly – Philadelphia Pioneers – On the Road to Stonewall float. A beautiful float which was in Philly Pride, and will next be seen at July4th Parade this week. The float was created by President Todd Marcocci and his team at Under the Sun Productions, Inc.

Check out my instagram for more photos, and click on #nycpride for additional photos on instagram including Madonna’s special concert last night.


Scenes From Summer Ale Festival

Lions, and Tigers and Beers oh my what a wonderful night. Last Saturday I covered the Philadelphia Zoo’s annual Summer Ale Festival, an after hours, over 21 adventure in the zoo.

Nearly 4000 people attended the event on a gorgeous Saturday night.

Philadelphia Zoo’s Summer Ale Festival –  This legendary event features delicious food and cold craft beer and cider, live entertainment and games with majestic great apes, astonishing big cats and other wildlife that call America’s first zoo home. This is an adults-only experience. 

Check out addition coverage on Philly Voice, CBSPhilly and Philly Style Magazine


Your Chance to See Queer Eye Fab 5 This Weekend

Happy Thursday. Let’s cut to the chase, for the next few months I’ll be covering the Queer Eyes every where about here on the blog, as well as my social media. I hear ya, you all watch them and want to meet them. My inbox/DM’s are full of requests like never before. I think it’ll be easy to find them, there’s 5 of them and after only being here for 3 days they’re out and about. Let’s see where the Fab 5 have been spotted so far, and where you might get a chance to see them….

A reader sent me this photo which was taken on Monday by one of their friends. The friend was questioning if this was Tan France. IT IS Says my other readers. That’s his husband, Rob France next to him. They were crossing the street at 2nd and Market Streets. Monday I was also tipped off by another reader that next week the fab 5, will be making over a straight man and his family in DelCo, which I tweeted about and got some hysterical responses from my readers.

DrewDwarves – ExtraLife2019 Team ThreadRaiders!‏ @DrewDwarves8h8 hours ago Replying to @HughE_Dillon

where do yous think they’ll go shopping at? The Target in Springfield or the other Target in Springfield?

Hysterical Female tweeted: If they don’t do at least a whole five minutes trying to learn how to properly say “down the shoore”, it will all be for naught. I have faith though…

tejida‏ @tejida11h11 hours ago Replying to @HughE_Dillon@QueerEye

When he says our and it sounds like R, it will show he’s a native.

PJ‏ @TheRealPJG18h18 hours ago Replying to @HughE_Dillon@QueerEye

“Yous don’t think I should wear sweat pants to a wedding?”


Tan was at Old City Sweat this morning (Wednesday). And pretty sure Bobby was sighted on Race Street last night.

Lindarellapang is inviting the Fab 5 to Sunday’s Delco’s Pride Parade in Media, Pa. The borough will celebrate on that last Sunday, June 30, from 1-3 p.m. on Plum Street Mall between State and Front streets. The proclamation welcomed everyone to “reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equality and mutual respect in our community.” (source)

#NKOTB in town for their concert tonight. @joeymcintyre just took a ride to @rockystatue WTG wearing your helmet Joey!! Have a great concert tonight @WellsFargoCtr#phillygossip #celebsinphilly ~ ‪Guess who’s @Wahlburgers @livepiazza (215pm) #mixtapetour

Lady Gaga at Kimmel Center; Starbucks Moves; Queer Eye Sighting, The Billies This Week

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Lots of star sightings in Philly, and interesting rumors to keep the water cooler buzzing today.
Burning up the telephone lines over the weekend was the story that Lady Gaga was in Philly to catch Bradley Cooper who was appearing with actress Carey Mulligan in Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir. It turns out that it was just a rumor, and not true. The Philadelphia Orchestra reached out to me today and a spokesperson confirmed that Lady Gaga was not in attendance. (Not a rumor: The Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director, Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will make his Mann Music Center debut conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the centerpiece of the night tonight at the Mann Music Center.) Oh well the romantics in us could only dream, maybe they’ll be together this weekend at Glastonbury Festival 2019 as the rumors are Bradley Cooper and Gaga are performing a secret set. You’ll recall a few of the concert scenes in their movie “A Star is Born” were recorded there. BUT I’m thinking it’s just another unfounded rumor, would possible Gaga really miss the 50th Anniversary of Gay Pride in NYC, which is also this weekend? BTW Marilyn Russell and I are not fans of the “couples” tagline, Bradga and we have other suggestions on a poll on twitter. What are your thoughts? Twitter
Speaking of Marilyn Russell, she joined Thanuja Hamilton and Clare Morrison for brunch at Devon on Rittenhouse Square yesterday. They ran into legendary chef Georges Perrier who was strolling by. Also strolling by, and waving was actor Jason Segal, who is basically a Rittenhouse resident as he is always out and about in the area. On Saturday I hear Bradley Cooper was spotted in the Square strolling with friends, but not Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
Speaking of Clare Morrison, Thursday night she hosted the 2nd annual Mewtiny on the Moshulu benefiting the Mac Fund , who’s mission is dedicated to the well being of community and shelter cats in and around the Philadelphia area.  We support local rescue organizations  through education and financial assistance.  Spotted at the event was Marilyn Russell, 98.1 WOGL, Clare, CATS cast member Tricia Tanguy , Lucy Nolan, former Fox 29 anchor, and animal activist, Clare’s husband Steve Morrison, WMMR’s Preston & Steve Show, Ann Marie Nacchio, Jaimi Rubin.

Queer Eye begins it’s production in Philly this week (I wrote about them coming back in April). I hear they’re filming in Queens Village for a few days. That is definitely not by accident. I hope to wander the streets sometime this week to catch a glimpse of the queens themselves.

Rumor has it that the Starbucks at 12th and Walnut on the NW side is moving across the street to 12th and Walnut on the SE side. I drove by on Friday night and the windows are covered in brown paper and the lights were on. Stay tuned…

Wednesday I am attending the Billy Penn Awards Gala “The Billies: presented by Pat’s King of Steaks on June 26. I am presenting an award with my buddy Kory Aversa in the category of “Never Delete Your Account”, which is a perfect pairing if you want to know everything that’s going on in the City definitely follow us. But for arts, activism, entertainment and beauty the nominees in this category are Gritty, Conrad Benner, Faviana Ferraini and Al Lee. Great choices who cover a variety of social, health, beauty and slapstick humor to ease the day. Hope to see you there. Have a great day!!


Photos: Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan Narrate Philadelphia Orchestra Performance of Candide

Thanks to the Philadelphia Orchestra for sending me these photos and copy. So bummed I can’t make any of the performances as I am already booked each night, but you can still see the show as it plays two more times, tonight and tomorrow night.

In a capstone to our Leonard Bernstein centenary celebration, we present his quirky, complex, irreverent, and very humorous operetta Candide, with orchestral staging. First performed in 1956, the work has come into its own in recent decades, thanks to Bernstein’s endless musical inventiveness and collaborators from Stephen Sondheim to Dorothy Parker (and of course, Voltaire, who wrote the original story, published in 1759).

(L-R) Alek Shrader (Candide), Timothy McDevitt (Maximilian), Carey Mulligan (Narrator), Bradley Cooper (Narrator)

Stage Director Kevin Newbury set the production in 1992, unfolding in a high-school classroom and inspired by films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dazed and Confused. The characters are portrayed as the archetypes of early-1990s high-school life: Candide as the bookish nerd, Cunegonde as the ambitious head cheerleader, Paquette as the introverted goth, and Maximilian as the flamboyant drama club president. The story traces how these characters change from naïve teenagers to expectant graduates.

Curtis Bannister (Ensemble Member), Timothy McDevitt (Maximilian), Daniel Rowan (Baron), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Erin Morley (Cunegonde), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Erin Morley (Cunegonde), Yannick Nézet-Séguin(from left to right) Erin Morley (Cunegonde), Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Amanda Lynn Bottoms (Paquette), Brittany Bigelow (Ensemble Member), William Burden (Governor), Isabel Santiago (Baroness), Daniel Rowan (Baron)
(from left to right) Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Denyce Graves (The Old Lady), Ward Billeisen (Ensemble Member), Nicholas Cunningham (Ensemble Member), Alek Shrader (Candide), Erin Morley (Cunegonde), and Curtis Bannister (Ensemble Member)
(from left to right) Merdith Lustig (Ensemble Member), Brittany Bigelow (Ensemble Member), Benjamin Krumreig (Ensemble Member), Daniel Rowan (Baron), Kevin Vortmann (Dr. Pangloss), Amanda Lynn Bottoms (Paquette), Alek Shrader (Candide), Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Erin Morley (Cunegonde), Denyce Graves (The Old Lady), Timothy McDevitt (Maximilian), William Burden (Governor)

A few tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday night shows.

This blog entry is dedicated to my friend Scott Righter, who passed away earlier this week and we will be sending home tonight.