This first week of September is about the welcoming. Always. There’s the full-court press for the dewy Fringe kids eager to shake their Kickstarter-funded tail feathers. There are the leagues of apple-cheeked, red-eyed, out-of-state students lining up at food trucks, popsicle shops and outside the P.O.P.E. There are untried bands and unskilled DJs hitting the boards and the decks for bellyfuls of PBR. There’s an unseasoned slate of bar owners and restaurateurs ready to swizzle and whisk. We want and await you. And Godspeed, y’all.
In my Italian Market neighborhood you will find several of the season’s most highly anticipated nosheries. While the booze-filled Garage and the wiener warehouse Underdogs infiltrate Cheesesteak Row, Eighth Street gets a lift from Growlers (at Fitzwater) courtesy Jay Willard and Jason Evenchik. These veterans of the Starr Restaurant Group and Time, respectively, along with chef Jerry Donahue, a member of the Master Basters team of barbecue wizards, will turn the tall, wide ex-Vesuvio corner into a comfort-food/craft-beer mini-mall, complete with fireside lounges and outdoor seating. (Honest question: on the sidewalk or on the roof?) Further up along Eighth is The Mildred, housed at the onetime location of James (aka the brownest building in Philly). Mikes Dorris and Santoro — you know the latter as the opening exec chef at Talula’s Garden — have been quietly working to launch the just-off-Christian Euro-inspired eatery with a great wine list and newly reconfigured rooms.
Several weeks ago I spoke with Salinas Records chief Marc Oreste about Swearin’, a loud, fast, dirty, thrashing Brooklyn power-pop act on his label that has local ties. Their eponymous debut album was beautiful and brutal and I wanted to know what they had planned for shows when Oreste told me that songwriting singers Alison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride, along with the rest of Swearin’, would be moving to Philly in September. That’s now. With that, I guess you could call their gig with Tenement on Sept. 11 at the Golden Tea House our welcoming party. Quick, somebody make Ambrosia.
It ain’t sexy, but the topic of the newest Sasha Issenberg (late of Philly mag) book The Victory Lab, about “the secret science” of winning political campaigns.
Newer than new, Jiminy Crickets on Bancroft Street in the Western East Passyunk area is looking for its liquor license so it can become a cross between a hipster hot spot and an old-man bar. Word has it that its owner, a mysterioso known singularly as “Louie” (like Khan from Star Trek, or Lêe from Hop Sing Laundromat) has a garage in that same area that he wants to make into a Cha-Cha’razzi 2. Do it, Louie.
More loud, fast, dirty, thrashing at citypaper.net/criticalmass.