As a journalist (yes, journalist) I fear that it'll be impossible to get over the loss of Mike Wallace, his hard-nosed drive for the facts and his impact on tenacious investigative reporting. As a local, it'll be almost as difficult getting around the passing of James S. Herr, the founder of the Pennsylvania's Herr's Potato Chips, and Philly's own Joe Scarpa. First known as Joltin' Joe, the professional wrestler didn't win serious acclaim until he put on a traditional Native American feathered headdress and strutted across the ring as Chief Jay Strongbow. As a kid, I watched as much Wallace as I did the Chief, all probably while munching Herr's pretzels. There goes my childhood. Condolences to all those families.
Four Corners Management (Avram Hornik and co.) opens its version of Ortlieb's — Lounge, not Jazzhaus — on April 17, a six-days live proposition with weekends filled by DJs like Rock Tits, open-mic comedy on Sundays and regular Thursdays with the bluesy Slo 'n' Shakey team. Jazz aficionados will like the Jazz Jam Session Tuesdays starring Mickey Roker on drums and host Pete Souders, who owned and booked ye olde Ortlieb's.
Good rumors: Jen Carroll, of Bravo's Top Chef, Top Chef All-Stars and the upcoming Life After Top Chef, has been seriously eyeballing the recently vacated Marathon spot at 13th and Chestnut for her first restaurant, Concrete Blonde. If she does open there, that would keep her close to her former employer, Eric Ripert's 10 Arts at the Ritz Carlton. And is couture-cocktail couple Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal — late of Farmers' Cabinet — getting into bed with restaurateur Dave Frank? Rumor has it that the Cantina Los Caballitos co-owner and the near-married mix-masters are looking at spaces downtown together.
Philly's hot, odd-popping Bedroom Problems have a new single ("Oceans / Obligated"), a new rhythm section starring bassist and WXPN 's The Key editor Matt Borlik (late of Q and Not U ) and drummer Roxy Lange (ex-Moonmen on the Moon) and a first show at Cha-Cha'Razzi April 20 with onetime members of Pony Pants, now known as Heavy Sons.
That long-vacant corner spot at Sixth and South (the tropical McDonald's), once considered for Stephen Starr's Stella, is now looking like it'll be a convenience store with food prep for takeout purposes. Zoning hearings will take place next week.
The Walking Fish Theatre crew, B. Someday, hosts its educational-outreach program's In-Need Teen Fundraiser at new digs, Mermaid Inn in Chestnut Hill. That's jazzy. Check it out April 17. The next day, April 18, W-Fish opens its apocalyptic burlesque comedy The End of the World. See it before we die.
More ice at the end of the Internet: Critical Mass.