Cat Power performs at Underground Arts in Philadelphia, Pa on November 16, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
Rusted Root visit Radio 104.5 performance Theater in Bala Cynwyd, Pa on November 14, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
L to R - Angela Davis and Jamie J. Brunson - First Person Arts event at Christ Church in Old City Photo by A.D. Amorosi
A.D. Amorosi and Ana Castillo at First Person Arts Stratus Lounge event. Photos courtesy First Person Arts
Ana Castillo, Sonia Sanchez and Angela Davis at First Person Arts' Christ Church event. Photos courtesy First Person Arts
A Silent Film visit Radio 104.5 performance Theater in Bala Cynwyd, Pa on November 15, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
Damon Feldman’s Champions of Tomorrow press conference to announce Augie Pantellas, at 69, will be making a comeback after a 34 year absence at Springfield Hyundai in Springfield, Pa on November 14, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
MKTO visit with Maxwell at the Q102 performance Theater in Bala Cynwyd, Pa on November 18, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
Jai Rodriguez with roomate Michael Olson and director of The Attic Dr. Carrie Jacobs pictured at The Attic in Philadelphia, Pa on November 16, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
American Authors visit MIX 106.1 performance Theater in Bala Cynwyd, Pa on November 19, 2013 ©Scott Weiner 2013
Jacky BamBam and Cherie Currie at the Barbary
Jacky BamBam and Cherie Currie at the Barbary
It gets a little tiresome at times, but let’s do this again for old times sake: Long before word came down this week that Mac’s Tavern 2 wasn’t happening at the one time home of Little Pete’s 2 at 1904 Chestnut, I wrote that it wasn’t happening at that intended address EVER, in Icepack, Icepack Illustrated and the Glamorosi site I share with my wife. I never blamed the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia folk (several of its stars along with their old pals from the area who ably run the original Mac’s Tavern in Old City). It just wasn’t going to happen, based on what I knew from real estate guys and lawyers who had been involved with 1904 Chestnut at one-point-or-another. There was one shining moment when it was rumored that the property’s original owners (several peeps inside and outside the Little Pete’s braintrust) had snagged the liquor license from one of the many operators who had leased the bar space (Pearl, Akoya, Industry XIX, pick one), but still, the deal between 1904’s owners and Mac’s never seemed to get sealed — LIKE I SAID IT WOULDN’T. So what happened, now? Pearl Properties more than likely. “They’re on an aggressive buying spree,” says my original real estate source who was in on 1904 initial dealings. In accordance with others who have written about this (PhillyChitChat, for one), word has it that Pearl Properties has taken over 1900 Chestnut, the still-existing Qdoba (“a place-marking development deal at best,” says my anonymous source), and two other addresses surrounding 1904 for a condo development with a large scale restaurant space on its first floor. And what about Mac’s peeps? Don’t cry for them. Rumor has it that they’re already eyeballing available Rittenhouse area spaces such as The Mansion off the Square (it smells though), and a “soon-to-be-vacant spot” (uh oh) between “20th and 21st and Chestnut” states my source. “And don’t count out a deal with the Florida iPic film theater company eyeballing the Boyd Theater” says my realtor contact with a laugh. “Those addresses are their neighbor, and it would behoove them to keep the rest of the 1900 block in their sights.”
Another spot looking to bust up the block and the grounds around it is the demolition of ye old Philadelphia International Records for one of developer Carl Dranoff’s biggest plans yet: a 40 story condo-hotel (a contel? a hodo?) called Avenue Place along the 300 block of Broad. Remember that earlier this year we met with the spot’s owners Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell (who hadn’t seen his property in a decade) who were deciding what they would do with their old studio/offices spaces considering that one of its floors was destroyed by fire. Guess they decided to sell.
One place that we know is happening is the takeover of the old Liberties restaubar spot (across from the 700 Club) along N. Second Street in Northern Liberties. The winner is Alex Carbonell, the chef-owner of New Hope, PA’s Lola (amongst other restaurant-bars). He’s keeping Liberties’ turn-of-the-century mahogany furnishings (“perfect for the Prohibition-era cocktails we have planned”), re-doing its kitchen (“the most disgusting I’ve ever seen”) and menus for a gastropub feel, and renaming the space, Bourbon and Branch. Alex is in the Liberties space now, fixing and fuming. It will shut down completely on Jan 12, 2014, and reopen soon after with everything in and completed. Look for more info in next week’s Icepack in print.
Cohen & Co. Hardware right off Fifth and South has been putting the screws to you, quite literally, for 100 years, to say nothing of giving you elbow joints and water pipes. It’s currently run by Mitch Cohen and his wife AnnaMarie. This Saturday, Nov. 23, the family will get a city citation from Councilman Mark Squilla (around noon), host a slew of food trucks and seek to raise money for the Knights Arts Challenge, all while celebrating their heritage and hard work. “We have established our family’s business by always greeting our customers when they walk in the door, listening to them when they speak, and answering all their questions,” says Mitch. “If we cannot help them find a solution, we will always tell funny stories and suggest other small businesses for their needs. Each and every day of our store’s life , this is what makes us so special.”
NYC’s Page Six reports that the newest Mob Wives VH-1 star, Philadelphia’s Alicia DiMichele, may be monkeying around with a local restaurateur: “Alicia is being portrayed [on the show] as the loving, concerned mob wife of her incarcerated husband. But our source suspects otherwise, claiming that Alicia has been having a dangerous affair with a married man for close to three years.” Page Six goes on to state that the Philadelphia married guy is a local restaurateur who’s a convicted felon, that l’affair is common knowledge within their circle of friends, and that the restaurant owner’s wife tolerates them as a couple. Heyo.
WHOWHATWHERE: My man, pots and pans, Jerry Blavat, did the quick run of Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers visiting Philly: First, he hung with Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and the Gamble & Huff team at the Kimmel’s Marian Anderson Gala that celebrated the Motown chief before heading to the Zellerbach to hook up with his bud Frankie Valli, after which the twosome drove the Blavat Mobile (a fast ride I can attest) to Modo Mio all the way up on Girard off Front. That’s some yon teen haste. Also that same night, Project Runway’s season one winner Jay McCarroll hit up Drag Wars at Voyeur, which is weird because I never got any draft notices on that. When Cat Power way-sold-out the Underground Arts space last Saturday, the newly blonde indie goddess brought with her the French bulldog that’s been the focus of Cat’s Tumblr feed for some time. Cat even let her dog get petted (by video-friendly PR maven Craig Kaplan, by me, A.D.) before the show’s start. WMMR’s Jacky BamBam not only hosted last Friday’s Barbary show with The Runaways’ Cherie Currie. The DoubleBam and the glam-punk icon hung tough at a post-gig meet-and-greet. I was one of the privileged few to be invited to the First Person Arts’ pre-event soiree with activist Angela Davis, authoress Ana Castillo and Philly’s poet laureate Sonia Sanchez at the Stratus Lounge in the Hotel Monaco. Sadly, a delayed flight kept Davis from the pre-party, but the event at the First Christ Church with the three women of politicized prose was packed, and each lady was charming and charged up with the spirit of feminism and the rage of the saints. Prison activist Davis can also be seen in a new ad campaign, Familiar Faces Against Mass Incarceration, with several Philly folk such as boxer Bernard Hopkins, rappers Meek Mill and Black Thought, and radio maven Patty Jackson. The spots, which air on VH-1, Bravo and movie theaters, will educate viewers about prison overcrowding and incarceration for profit. Speaking of ads blowing up, Philly’s own Les Professionnels are behind the “Cookie Dance” video that’s hotter than Hell and tastier than their the chocolate chips. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriguez and his roommate Michael Olson joined Dr. Carrie Jacobs for The Attic Youth Center’s gala celebrating 20 years of smart community service to Philly’s young LGBTQ men and women. Mitchell & Ness just opened a private, VIP shopping space in its Center City flagship store at 12th and Chestnut (you know, so cats like recent shopper Justin Timberlake can hang without hanger-ons) and Philly VIPs such as Chill Moody and several Eagles noshed on nibbles from the Philly Pretzel Factory and listened to DJ Skeme. Celebrity Wrestling’s Damon Feldman finally held that press conference to announce the Champions of Tomorrow’s oldest member, 69-year-old Augie Pantellas will be making a comeback after a 34-year-absence from the ring. They hung tough at the Springfield Hyundai dealership (really?!) in Springfield, PA. The Clear Channel radio tower in Bala Cynwyd got its visitors this week in the form of American Authors (MIX 106.1), MKTO (Q102) and the likes of Rusted Root and A Silent Film (Radio 104.5). Lastly, you know that the Kanye-and-Kim K team visited Chestnut Street’s Wendy’s and 18th Street’s Serafina during their weekend stay in Philly. Has anyone bothered to say what a grand down-market man-of-the-people scheme that seemed after West’s image had been tarnished by everything from cancelling shows to hooking up with a Kardashian? No? OK, consider that said.
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