Neon Lobster opens in South Philly

Neon Lobster, a gourmet Seafood takeout restaurant, opens at 2101 S. 3rd St, on the corner of 3rd St and Snyder. Neon Lobster stands at the boundary of the Pennsport and Whitman neighborhoods, technically belonging in the latter.

Neon Lobster
Neon Lobster sign via Neon Lobster Facebook

Last we heard, Neon Lobster was finalizing renovations and serving a limited menu of breakfast and La Colombe coffee. The full menu has not yet been made available, but they are accepting orders for holiday platters.

Neon Lobster Philly Platter
Neon Lobster announced order availability via Facebook

Justino Jimenez sells Los Jimenez

In November, chef Justino Jimenez sold Los Jimenez Mexican Cocin at Sixth Street and Oregon Avenue in the Whitman neighborhood. The loss of Jimenez, a previous Vetri chef, was a big disappointment for the residents of South Philadelphia.

Under new ownership, Los Jimenez has been rebranded as San Miguelito and continues to serve Mexican cuisine to the residents of South Philly.

Jimenez himself has taken over Logan Square Pizza behind the Franklin Institute and renamed it the Logan Square Pizza and Cocina. Logan Square Pizza and Cocina now serves al pastor in addition to their original pizza and menu items.

Fish Tacos from Los Jimenez
Chef Jimenez’s famous tacos will be missed in South Philly (via Michael Klein)

What was the reason for the big move? Is it the expansion of an empire or was South Philly simply too difficult to maneuver and profit?

Philly neighborhood civic group steals money

Is your neighborhood civic group siphoning off money from residents? Neighborhood civic groups are made to empower residents and give them a voice in the community and city. Civic organizations are supposed to be nonprofit; money gathered should ideally go to support projects that benefit the neighborhood.

We’ve received a report that a civic organization may be using some of that government grant money to either line the pockets of their board members or invest in projects that are of little benefit to their neighborhood. The organization is currently under investigation.

How transparent is your neighborhood organization? Do you know what money comes in and where they go? More importantly, are your neighborhood needs being met? Are the residents fairly represented or do board members keep you in the dark?

Just recently, developers of Live! Hotel & Casino agreed to grant approximately $750,000 a year to five South Philly neighborhood groups in order to win their support.

The grants will be administered by a community advisory board with members from the five community groups:

  • Sports Complex Special Services District
  • Stadium Community Council
  • Veterans Stadium Neighbors Civic Association
  • Whitman Council
  • South Philadelphia Communities Civic Association

This is a lot of money, but the exchange is allowing gambling in the residential neighborhoods. The casino will be paying the community groups, but will the groups ensure the money benefit the residents?

Pennsport Beer Peddlers: a successful opening

Philadelphia’s most recently opened beer retailer has been enjoying the fine weather and support of local beer enthusiasts. Beer Peddlers, located at 1942 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly, has seen tremendous success since it’s opening last week.

Part of the success may be due to the fact that is located next to Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store. Mostly, we think it’s due to their large selection of craft, import, and domestic beers.

Pennsport Beer Peddlers
Beer Peddlers is located right next to the liquor store (image via Beer Peddlers Facebook)
Pennsport Beer Peddlers Opening Doors
Beer Peddlers opens their door wide in support of the fine weather (image via Beer Peddlers Facebook)

Art & Craft Beer: Black Cat Tavern coming to South Philly

Black Cat Tavern plans to open at 12th and Oregon, where Cheech’s Beef & Ale once stood. Owners Marlise Tkaczuk and Tom Ball reveal that their draft will include craft beers and the bar menu will be Polish inspired. Tkaczuk will also be utilizing her talent to curate art shows at the bar.

Black Cat Tavern is scheduled to open in the Lower Moyamensing in January 2016. This tavern is the something new, artistic, and cultural that South Philly has been awaiting.

Cheech's closes for Black Cat Tavern
Cheech’s Beef and Ale will be gone and Black Cat Tavern will make it’s grand opening

Unconstitutional Rittenhouse Square Residential Area Bill Amended

A bill that would have banned college students from renting apartments in Rittenhouse Square and its surrounding neighborhood was amended and now will only apply to the single block of 2000 Rittenhouse Square.

Initially, the bill sought to prohibit “housing, not owner-occupied, for students” along with boarding homes in an area bounded by Spruce Street to the south and Walnut Street to the north between 17th and 21st Streets.

Apparently student housing and boarding homes are okay to plant in any other area of the city (look at UPenn or Temple campuses), but not where the city’s most elite live.

The bill is supported by Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilman William Greenlee, who supposedly receive a large sum of support from Rittenhouse’s elite.