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Hughe Dillon

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Cinder Blume’s, Jessica Boyington, Preakness at Piazza is no More,

Happy Spring, last year it snowed. Today we’re getting an epic rainstorm. It’s Thursday, let’s gossip….

But look the Cherry Trees are starting to bloom at the Art Museum

There’s a New Kid On The Block

Speaking about bloom, a few weeks ago I wrote about one of my favorite places to grab a cider and a pizza, Cinder Copper & Lace closing for renovations, and posted a few pixs which looked like they were changing their name and concept. I just received a press release from Kory Aversa, Aversa PR and it’s true. ” From the heat of the glowing embers will rise up a stylish and colorful bar and restaurant that is designed to be light, fun, casual and yet sophisticated. Blume will open in approximately three to five weeks, and launch with lunch and dinner service seven days a week. Look for boozy brunch, happy hour and late night menus to follow later in spring.” “Craft Concepts Group is excited to announce our newest food and drink concept, Blume, at 1500 Locust Street,” said Teddy Sourias. “We are aiming to create a fun, light, energetic and comfortable concept – that also puts the focus on cocktails and natural wine, which is new for us as a company. – Congrats to them. Looks like it will be Rosé All Day at Blume.

STOP THE TRAFFIC
Speaking of rose, my friend Erin Como posted this photo over the weekend of her at a Wawa, near where she lives in DC. I noted everyone’s favorite traffic gal Jessica Boyington like it. Why that is significant is everyone has been writing me to ask what Jessica is up to, and why she isn’t on NBC10 anymore. I am in the dark as much as you, but I did find this article published by Nick Vadala , at Philly.com. I’m sure Jessica would love to hear from you, and although her social media has been silent since 2/7/19, she’s still active on it.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Another popular eating spot underwent a refresh this winter – Rouge. I stopped by earlier this week to see the unveil and it’s beautiful. The bar has been relocated to the wall where a banquette used to be, which allowed Rob Waserman to add 20 additional seats for dining. The menu and cocktails are new as well; the only item that came over from the old menu was Rouge’s very popular burger. I loved the new carpet as well, with it’s vines and rose colored butterflies.
Spotted Around Town

Speaking of dining out Julianne Moore was spotted at Parc on Monday night, she’s in town promoting her new movie “Gloria Bell” which is getting rave reviews. Tyler Perry dined at Scarpetta, he’s in town appearing in Tyler Perrys Madeas Farewell which is at The Met this week. Dolph Lundgren in town for an autograph session, was spotted there the week before. Last week Desean Jackson celebrated his new contract with the Philadelphia Eagles with a steak at Capital Grille. Soon the eatery, which is celebrating 17 years at Broad and Chestnut, will be opening their sidewalk dining area.

I’m Not Horsing Around

I chatted with the organizers of Preakness on the Piazza, a popular event which took place annually for 6 years at the Piazza in Northern Liberties on the 3rd Saturday of May, and benefited the National Multiple Sclerosis Society . The event attracted a millennial crowd dressed in their Derby finest. Despite the rain that seemed to fall every year, the event was always packed and raised nearly $100,000 every year for MS. Geoff Gross, the co-founder of Preakness at the Piazza, tells me he wants to do something different this year, which would still benefit MS, perhaps in the Fall so stay tuned. But don’t fret I have alternatives where you can still wear your bonnets and springtime outfits.

Bow Ties, Big Hats & Bourbon: A Kentucky Derby Party head on over to West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home on May 4th for their annual Kentucky Derby Party. Proceeds from the event will benefit Gateway HorseWorks, a nonprofit which offers transformative Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Services to children, adults, and families in a healing, farm-based environment. (INFO) Also check out other events West Laurel Hill will be having this year to celebrate their 150th Anniversary.

If you’re looking to party on Preakness Day, celebrate 89 years of horseracing on the Main Line. With everything from amazing tailgates, fancy hats and bow ties to the parade of antique carriages and thoroughbreds racing for the finish, Radnor Hunt Races is a day filled with elegance, excitement and fun. I’ve attended for the past 8 years, and it really is fun, it was odd, even though it seemed to rain on the Preakness on the Piazza in the evening, it was often dry at the Radnor Hunt Races held during the day. The event is held rain or shine, and last year everyone looked very fashionable in their boots. Check out the photos here.

Another event happening on Preakness day, is right here in our own back yard – The Rittenhouse Row Festival. Who says you can’t wear your Derby finest to stroll Philly’s Rodeo Drive. Don’t forget this Saturday is the annual
Rittenhouse Row Spring Fashion Crawl 1-4.
Fashion is always in bloom! Jason Matthew Salon, along with numerous Rittenhouse Row retailers, will host simultaneous in-store parties with cocktails and special drinks from our best mixologists. Think First Friday, but on Saturday, and shopping for clothes for spring… See you back here on Friday for more PhillyChitChat, and if I’ve photographed you this week I will post the links from all the parties on Saturday as I do every week. Don’t forget your umbrella today….

Philadelphia

Diner en Blanc 2016 at the Art Museum a Pictorial

Good Friday morning. OMG what an amazing night, everyone who attended said it was the best location. I am busy preparing columns for Philly Mag, Philly Style Mag and Philly Metro but wanted to drop a few shots here for your enjoyment as well. On Monday I will have a column of my fashion, food and table best of pics from Diner en Blanc Philadelphia, the 5th Anniversary. 5,000 were excited to carry tables, chairs, tableware, and dinner to an undisclosed location, a few hundred even travelled as far away as Sugarhouse, Independence Hall *they were bused part of the way, City Hall, 30th Street Station, Eastern State Penn, The Waterworks and other locations in Center City.

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6:15pm to 7:15pm, guests gather at meeting spots around the city before heading to final destination (Please contact us to meet up with groups at departure points)

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7:15pm, arrival at location and set-up

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7:45pm (estimated), tradition of white napkins waiving to mark the start of dinner

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This year’s official caterers are 33rd Street Hospitality Catering, Reading Terminal Market and Luke Palladino Catering. Apothic Wines is proud to be the official wine sponsor of the 2016 US Diner en Blanc series, including Philadelphia.
(Photo Credit: Kory Aversa)

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Table art where guests bring imagination and creativity to their table settings diner

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9:15pm (estimated), 5,000 sparklers to light up the night to signify the opening of the dance floor

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11:00pm, participants gather all their belongings and rubbish to leave the location as clean as when they arrived and invited to attend the after-party at Sofitel Hotel Philadelphia HD1_8788 (Custom) HD1_8803 (Custom) And everyone I asked said they can’t wait til next year.

Check back on Monday for my Best Dressed, Best Table and Best Pix choices, plus I’ll have the links to Philly Mag and Philly Style Mag of the photos I placed there. Have a great weekend. HughE

Philadelphia

OPENING SOON New Restaurants on Chestnut Street – And A Food Review

I took a walk around Philly Thursday and noticed a few new eateries that are about to make the City a little more exciting.

I’m really excited that my favorite pizza place is opening up downtown at 703 Chestnut Street. Luigi’s Pizza Fresca. They have a few stores in South Jersey and one across the street from where I live in Fairmount. For a short time they owned Lulu’s at 236 Market Street, but that place has since closed.
I chatted with the gal at the Fairmount location and she said that within a week the new location should be opened. They use the best cheese and have the best chicken wings.

 Update on Butcher Bar (2034 Chestnut Street.) which is owned by the Valanni/Varga/Mercato’s George Anni. It’s supposed to be completed by June 2015. I’m a big fan of their eateries so I look forward to patronizing this nugget. You can read more here at PhillyMag’s Foobooz.
 Utrecht Art Supplies at 2020 Chestnut St closed a few years back, but seems to be on the brink of new life.
as the KJ Choi Corporation has filed for a liquor license.
You may know them as the folks who own Food & Friends in Rittenhouse Square. It’s a cute grocery store, coffee shop and beer take out place. Now the sign has been up there for a little bit, but I checked with the LCB and the application is still pending. I have no doubt as this will happen as the it’s right near several new residential high rises. (Photos above borrowed from Yelp.)
 The Chestnut Street – Philly Bagels Place is just about to open. I love their Hot Bagels sign. They’re located across from Nordstrom Rack at 17th and Chestnut Street.
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Not on Chestnut, but noteworthy. 
I went to Gyukaku Philly last week. The idea is kinda fun, there’s a hibachi grill in the middle of the table, and you have an option to cook your own meat, and vegetables. Kory and I both had appetizers, and he had two drinks. I had a diet coke. The bill was $101, which I think is a little expensive. I would call this a date place or with lots of friends place. I was surprised that the eatery itself seemed so worn already, unless they were going for that. And now a word from our sponsors.
 The Shishito Peppers are back at Penn 6. I really love them.