While Union Trust and The Butcher & the Brewer let their liquor licenses lapse like gym memberships, Tommy Up is re-upping and piling on. For a guy known to rock a ’70s porn ’stache, opening a new cocktail joint named for Sylvia Kristel’s bare-assed sex classic Emmanuelle is a no-brainer. After squooshing burger meat between his supple digits at PYT, Up is ready for something fancier and food-free. So he’s placed the 45-seat Emmanuelle — which soft-opened this week and was inspired by Paris’ Le Baron and NYC’s Experimental Cocktail Club — in a nook of the Piazza at Hancock and Germantown, brought in author/mixologist Katie Loeb to design “an amazing list” of champagne cocktails, aperitifs and classics; a bar staff, including Phoebe Esmon and Michael Burleigh, to execute them; and doorwoman Tammy Faymous, to keep things calm. “I really felt that this area could use this type of craft cocktail place, so we did something with a French take on the concept,” says Up. “A modern Prohibition vibe meets ’70s Parisian cocktail lounge.”
Last week I dropped word that David Ansill’s left-hand man David Kane (Pif, Bar Ferdinand) was designing a fresh comfort-food menu for Chris Conover’s configuration of Liberties (705 N. Second, across from 700 Club). This week, it’s time to add DJs to Liberties’ intimate, rarely used Victorian second floor: Welcome City Paper’s own Gair “dev79” Marking and his pal Drew to Black Friday proceedings and very possible DJ Apt One to Saturdays.
The Walnut Street Theatre is pursuing its annual fundraising efforts during its current run of The Music Man and finding things very successful indeed. “When Jeff Coon (the musical’s ‘Harold Hill’ character) asks the audience to give from their hearts, a shocking number of $100 bills have been amongst the donations,” says WST’s artistic director Bernard Havard. Obviously, there’s no trouble in this River City.
Last Thursday’s RAW Artist monthly at G Lounge and its Indie Arts Award Show was a stone-soul groove, so much so that RAW is moving to a larger space. Look for it at Lit (Second and Spring Garden) every last Thursday, starting in January.
Philly rapper Meek Mill dropped his major-label-artist debut LP Dreams & Nightmares on the Tuesday that Hurricane Sandy started its strike. Curious as to how it sold? “First week sales were 164,590. We thought it would be near or around 200K, but not bad considering the impact the storm had on his East Coast fans,” says Maybach/Warner Music Group press maven Roderick Scott. Meek’s preorders totaled more than 23K, which was the highest preorder for an urban artist under WMG after Lupe Fiasco.
There’s always more Icepack — with illustrations — at citypaper.net/criticalmass.