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Around Town with HughE Dillon

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Let’s Dish: Delicious Eats and Treats, and Tidbits

Sometimes I wear my mask upside down, and no one tells me. Yes please tell me, and if I ever have toilet paper stuck on my shoe as well.
February was full of beautiful sunsets, this one was in Fairmount Park behind the art museum. Fairmount, Art Museum, Spring Garden are really beautiful neighborhoods adjacent to the park.

As we head into March, and the one year anniversary since the shutdown, I have a lot of mixed feelings, as we all do. It was a tough year, but a reflective year. I appreciate people, places and experiences so much better. I have a better clarity on how to live the rest of my life, mostly about connecting with people, nature and health. I appreciate the lessons learned as well always think of the people who aren’t with us anymore and the growth of the country.

Philly retail is bouncing back. I see more and more people shopping, eating and walking in Center City, and in the burbs.

Yesterday I was at Suburban Square. So cute, lots of fun stores and a fire pit. Opening soon, in April

Lola’s Garden
Avram Hornik’s first suburban restaurant coming to Ardmore

FCM Hospitality and Avram Hornik’s first suburban restaurant concept is heading to the Main Line and Ardmore for an mid-spring opening tentative for April. It is full steam ahead and the project is fully under construction as we speak.

As the pandemic continues, and FCM/ Hornik continue to be the experts in open-air outdoor dining large format concepts, Lola’s will offer ample outdoor seating in the concept that takes inspiration from Harper’s Garden in Rittenhouse.

It’s a perfect Boston Market Weekend, and Sunday’s are Prime Rib Day.
USDA Choice Prime Rib slow-spun in the rotisserie for over an hour for juicy goodness. Served with 2 sides, fresh-baked cornbread, beef au jus and horseradish.

Speaking of Prime Rib, I had the pleasure to dine at The Prime Rib at Live Casino on Saturday night with my family, and then again on Thursday night with friends.

Dinner was delicious, I highly recommend the crab cakes, and the scallops, which were so good I had them on both nights.

The ambiance is sweet, loungy and will definitely be the hot spot for power breaking deals and a scene. Always great to see Live Casino’s VIP folks Nick Ryan, Vice President of Casino Marketing at Live! Casino & Hotel, Natalie DiBattista. Director Of Operations Casino Division at Live! Casino & Hotel and pictured here Brian Taylor, Director of Entertainment at Philadelphia Live! Casino along with Jimmy Maransky (missed seeing Nadia), Thanuja Hamilton and AJ Mattia.

Have an awesome day, get out an enjoy it as it’s going to rain all weekend. See you on Monday.

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Dr. Deborah Birx at Love, Pinefish Pivots, David Copperfield Honored, and The Loft Disappears

Hope you had a chance to get out this weekend, we had such incredible weather. Earlier this month the Philadelphia Zoo lit the trees near their entrance beautiful Thank You Frontline Health Workers Blue!!

Then this past week the Philadelphia Zoo welcomed Bea – a 15 month old female giraffe that arrived weeks ago from the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee. Since her arrival, Bea has been getting adjusted to her new keepers and met her new herd mates 18-year-old, Stella and 11-year-old Abigail.

You may wonder what happened to baby Beau: Beau, the young male giraffe born at Philadelphia Zoo in June 2018 moved to the Cape May Zoo in fall of 2019. Working with the Giraffe Species Survival Program, understanding each Zoo’s particular needs, Philadelphia Zoo worked with Cape May Zoo to coordinate the breeding and eventual move of the young giraffe. Today, Beau is doing great and living with a larger herd in Cape May Zoo in New Jersey. Last year, our male giraffe Gus (Beau’s dad) was selected by the Giraffe Species Survival Plan for breeding at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, an off-exhibit conservation center managed by the Audubon Nature Institute.  On November 5th, Gus embarked on his journey to Louisiana, and while Philadelphia Zoo was sad to see him leave, the Zoo was very excited that he moved to a 42-acre giraffe area to live among a herd of eight females.  This significant move will help ensure that his genetics add to the population of reticulated giraffes for years to come.

Thursday night I got a tip that everyone’s 2nd favorite COVID19 favorite doctor was spotted at The Love dining curbside about 9PM. My friends asked me why is she here, at the time I didn’t know but the next day she was interviewed by 6ABC’s Ali Gorman, in Camden where the good doctor was consulting with someone. Check out Ali’s interview here.

Pinefish pivots for the winter serving delicious comfort food by Chef Ritchie Vargas , who prepared delicious meals at The Palm for over 20 years. NOW We can all enjoy The Palm’s chicken parm again.

Palm inspired Meat Loaf (Instagram post)

pinefish.fish
What’s for take-out dinner tonight? Palm-style Meat Loaf dinner from Comfort Philly! Link in bio. Pinefish is temporarily closed; enjoy our new pop-up winter kitchen. #OnlineOrdering #GrubHub #UberEats #LocalDelivery #Meatloaf #PhillyEats #EaterPhilly #PhillyFoodies #Pinefish #ComfortPhilly Check out the menu here.

Photo Credit: DCDI

On Saturday night, National Museum of American Jewish History NMAJH inducted magicians David Copperfield and Harry Houdini into its Only in America Gallery/Hall of Fame. The free virtual gala was emceed evening was hosted by actor Brad Garrett. An honor bestowed to just 21 prior inductees, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, Emma Lazarus, and Irving Berlin, the award recognizes the achievements and contributions of American Jews who share and exemplify the ideals of the stories explored in the Museum. Check out the virtual gala on their FB page here.

After bouncing back and opening after the spring pandemic, and then civil unrest, the Loft location at 1729 Walnut Street has now closed. Don’t blame it on those incidences though, as their parent company Ascena Retail Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to close approximately 1,100 stores. Although not on the initial list as nearby Ann Taylor was, it is now closed, along with at least nine LOFT stores, 21 LOFT Outlet stores around the USA. The Loft still has stores in our area, University City, KOP , Cherry Hill and Deptford. See you on social media. Today I’m doing a really cool thing,.

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Aldi About To Open, Pet Food Giveaway, The Pub Buys The Library and More Around Town with HughE

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, well as much as possible in 2020. It was low key except for photographing a few events, yes a few socially distant events. It was nice to get “back to work”, I realize more than ever I thrive mentally when I am covering events and seeing old friends. Speaking of events, Chestnut Hill has kicked off Holidays on the Hill for all your shopping needs. Every Wednesday in December is Stag & Doe with specials, music and sales. I’ll be there this Wednesday, hope to see you. Hello new followers, I see I have about 27 more since the last time I wrote last week. In a non pandemic I post about 5 times a week, these days I’m doing about 3. I’m glad you’re here… Today’s column is Around Town with HughE. I cover fun gossip, what’s new and observations.

It’s Here: The Fairmount Ave ALDI is opening this week , Thursday December 3 at 1300 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19123. The store is the first Philadelphia Aldi that’s part of a mixed-use development, taking up the ground floors of a 14-story apartment building.

The ALDI sits at the base of a 478 apartments, next door to a playschool. There’s a parking garage located next door for patrons of ALDI as well.
Head to Billy Penn for a story on the Philly supermarket boom.

Giving Tuesday:
A night at home supporting @jeffersonhealth heroes. Get your tickets to a Better Together event, a night of food+fashion+fun. Each comes with a specialty @dibrunobros cheese tray and @boydsphiladlephia gift box. Limited tickets available
Join Us Thursday 12/3 http://ow.ly/1vSi50CwHDh
InBox

Philadoptables wrapped up their 11th annual pet food drive this past weekend, a program that provides pet food for families in need. Donations were collected at various locations throughout the Delaware Valley, as well as online. The pet food will be distributed at a pet food pantry event on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 12pm until 4pm (or until supplies last) It will be hosted at Philly Auto and Parole (PAAP) at 5224 Woodland Avenue in Philadelphia. People needing assistance feeding their pets may attend.This event is also made possible through a $2,500 grant from Finance of America Cares, an employee-funded and company-matched nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen communities, enrich lives and inspire caring.Continued support in the form of money or pet food donations are accepted year round. For more information, visit www.philadoptables.org. Donations support various initiatives to help foster parents,community cat feeders, and local rescues.

John Bolaris hung with Adam Sandler on set of his new movie Hustle. How did that happen, when the production team for the movie was looking for a home for Sandler to live during the filming they turned to Bolaris’ Black Label Luxury Real Estate. Since we last reported on Hustle, legendary Robert Duvall has joined the cast. Currently the movie is filming inside a studio nearby.

PA 30 Day Fund announced it will be distributing 54 forgiveable loans to childcare centers across Philadelphia totaling $162,000 to aid them in funding essential needs, staffing and business operations during this challenging time.
 The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund is a non-profit, founded by Jeff Bartos, Jeff Brown, Richard Phillips, and Roger Braunfeld, with a simple mission: to save as many small businesses in Pennsylvania’s communities as possible. The PA 30 Day Fund accomplishes this with $3,000 forgivable loans to small businesses to cover payroll expenses, healthcare, rent, replenish inventory, and pay operating expenses at this challenging time. To learn more about the PA 30 Day Fund, or to apply for a forgivable loan, please visit https://pa30dayfund.com/.  

Bravo Brauhaus Schmitz South Street love it. Stop by to see the rest of the building decorated in it’s holiday best. Thanks for stopping by.

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Kate Winslet Spotted; Dispatches From Elsewhere to Wrap; Celebrity Sightings & Weather Engagements

Happy first day it feels like fall. Lot’s happening this week, parties, festivals, Halloween happenings and celebrity sightings. Philly is Having A Moment. Interesting I heard a few people say this over the past year, and now it’s become somewhat of a slogan. Let’s hashtag that and I will feature your moments on PhillyChitChat once a month.

PhillyWood is having a big MOMENT

Kate Winslet has arrived in Philadelphia for a new HBO series “Mare of Easttown”, which films until APRIL. The show will be mostly shot in Delco, in eerie quaint towns my sources tell me. Mare is directed by UofP graduate (This morning I was at an event and one of his friends told me his connection to Philly and this is what I found): Gavin O’Connor who once held the career sacks record at the University of Pennsylvania (The Philly Voice). Mare Of Easttown stars Winslet as a small-town Pennsylvania detective whose life crumbles around her as she investigates a local murder. The cast also includes Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Evan Peters, Cailee Spaeny and David Denman. Additional cast-mates have been added (Info). Robert Deniro‘s film with Shia Labeouf scheduled to start in November, now scheduled to start in January. Brrr. But actually much better for me, social season is slow then.

Richard E Grant on set of Dispatches from Elsewhere October 15, 2019 in Philadelphia top left two photos. Eve Lindley and Jason Segel on the set during the evening. The scene was the characters on a “date” sharing a cheese steak from both Geno’s and Pat’s. Good idea. There are 3 more weeks left for filming the AMC TV series who’s cast includes Sally Field and Andre 3000.

The last photo in this set is from the scene I mentioned on Fox 29 on Tuesday, where Octavia played by Richard E. Grant, center photo, jumps in a waiting limo and Andre3000 character jumps into the trunk. For some reason they filmed it out of sequence. I had a chance to see the Call Sheet and it is the same scene as they were trying to match up the protestors to mimic the earlier shoot.

Last weekend Jason Segel headed to the beach for the 3 day weekend. he was spotted in Cape May as well as at the Original Fudge Kitchen in Stone Harbor.

I was on Fox 29 earlier this week chitchatting about the film. It was interesting the scene they shot with Richard E. Grant will be spliced together with a scene they filmed over the summer with Field, and Andre 300. I remember watching that one as well.

Bryan Stevenson, Karan Kendrick, Tim Blake Nelson and Andrew Lanham attend The 28th Philadelphia Film Festival opening night premier of “Just Mercy” at Philadelphia Film Center on October 17, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 10 days of film for you to enjoy through 10/27.
Marie Roda from the MTV shows The Challenge and Ex on the Beach was shopping at Kin Boutique last weekend. She is pictured with the store’s owner Joey Clark and was in town for an event with other cast members at Punch Line Philly. She is wearing a tie dye a sweatsuit from Stateside that is still available at the store. Kin is located at 1014 Pine Street. (provided)

The weather is looking gold for two meteorologists we know…

Central Bucks West High School‘s Caitlin Roth, who used to be the meteorologist at Fox29 before heading to DC’s Fox5 in 2015, recently got engaged to her co worker, meteorologist Tucker Barnes!! Congrats you two!!
More good news, looks like the Trader Joe’s near Broad & Arch is about to open on Tuesday.

White Dog Cafe wants to prepare your Thanksgiving Meal. INFO
Thanks and have a fantastic, safe weekend….