Category Archives: Neighborhood

South Philly neighborhood community news, developments, and local interest.

Neighborhoods: Bella VistaEast PassyunkLower MoyamensingPennsportPoint BreezeWhitman

Whitman Library Events

Did you know that the Whitman branch of the Philadelphia Library hosts weekly events, classes, and clubs? Activities range from video games club to study groups, yoga lessons, health screenings, and more. There’s never a dull moment at this library. Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!

Whitman Library
200 Snyder Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148-2620
(2nd St. & Snyder Ave.) 
 215-685-1754

Many activities and meetings are recurring. Here are some events coming up this week:

Video Game Club

 Wed, January 23, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Video Game Club is a weekly group for kids and teens to play new games. For avid gamers and newbies, play different games each week for some healthy competition.  

Yoga 

 Wed, January 23, 2019 6:30 p.m.

A free, inclusive yoga class for people of all skill levels and abilities. Mats are available, or you can bring your own. Wear something comfortable and come to the library for wellness, stretching, and relaxation. 

Get on the Bus!

 Thu, January 24, 2019 4:00 p.m.
W

Children will read Last Stop on Market Street , discuss their own bus experiences, and create 3D paper buses to drive along a large map of Philadelphia bus routes.   

SmART Readers

 Fri, January 25, 2019 3:30 p.m.
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Students ages 7-12 can join us for an exciting visual art and literacy program! A visiting artist will engage students in fun art making experiences tied to literacy skills. This program is sponsored by the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership. 

Free Health Screening from Drexel Medicine 

 Mon, January 28, 2019 12:00 p.m.

Drexel Medicine will be in the Community Meeting Room for easy, confidential, and free blood pressure screenings and rapid HIV tests. Get educational materials on topics like PrEP, HIV/AIDS, and Hep C, and more. Free condoms will be available.  

Family Board Game Night

 Mon, January 28, 2019 5:00 p.m.

Bring your family to the library for board games! Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, and more games will be available to play in the children’s area. LEAP (Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program) homework help and literacy activities offered for grades K-12 while school is in session.

South Philadelphia UA Riverview Plaza $12 Million Renovation

The UA Riverview Plaza movie theater in Pennsport, South Philadelphia is expected to receive a $12 million renovation starting Spring of this year. This is the beginning of a larger plan by Cedar Realty Trust to transform the aging Riverview Plaza strip mall in South Philly into a waterfront row of luxury apartments, retail shops, and lively restaurants, anchored by the center’s soon-to-be-transformed movie theater.

The real estate trust plans to redevelop the center over 7 to 10 years in three phases. The first two phases will consist of about 260 apartments and 125,000 square feet of retail. The redevelopment will start at the shopping center, which spans the western side of South Columbus Boulevard, from Washington Avenue to Dickinson Street, in the city’s Pennsport neighborhood.

These plans come amidst the beginning construction of stadium district’s South Philadelphia Live Casino, soon to be opened at 900 Packer Ave. It is to be expected that major projects and developments in far South Philadelphia will erupt in the next few years and enliven the neighborhoods with new restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife.

Riverview proposal plans and photos can be found on Philly.com.

Whitman vacant lots on sale

Last Friday, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority placed 26 city-owned properties on the market and took their first step towards a resolution for the backlog of undeveloped, municipally owned land that pocks the city’s neighborhoods.

Click here to check out the current RFP/RFQ/Competitive Sale Bids.

The properties going out for competitive bid include 24 vacant lots and two empty buildings within City Councilman Mark Squila’s First Council District, which runs along the city’s eastern edge along the Delaware River between South Philadelphia and Port Richmond.  The parcels are clustered in sections of Kensington and Fishtown and in the Whitman and Lower Moyamensing sections of Squilla’s native South Philly.

Lipkin’s Bakery opens in Whitman, South Philadelphia

Lipkin’s started their kosher bakery at 4th and McKean in South Philly nearly 50 years ago. The famous bakery then relocated to Rhawnhurst, where it became a staple for breads, pastries, cakes, and knishes. Now, Lipkin’s is coming home to South Philadelphia!

Lipkin’s Bakery recently opened up a new storefront in the Whitman neighborhood of South Philly at 2153 S. Hancock St. South Philly residents anxiously awaited the opening. The line was around the block!

Residents waiting to enter Lipkins Bakery in South Philly
Residents waiting to enter Lipkins Bakery in South Philly

Wander Inn opens in Whitman

Otis & Pickles didn’t last very long, but luckily Wander Inn is here to take its place.

Last year, the owner of The Dive and Watkins Drinkery purchased the taproom at Third and Porter Streets in South Philadelphia that last operated as Otis & Pickles. He renamed the gastropub The Wander Inn, after the historic Wander Inn that once stood at 18th and Federal Streets in Point Breeze before becoming the home of American Sardine Bar.

Wander Inn South Philadelphia

We haven’t read any recent press releases or announcements about the opening of Wander Inn, but at least a soft opening must have happened over the past weekend (according to all the untappd checkins we’ve seen).

The Wander Inn
2500 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Step aside, Cantina: Pistola’s Del Sur is here

Mexican dining on Passyunk with attentive staff and good service? Count us in!

Pistola’s Del Sur, the East Passyunk edition of Casey Parker and Joe Gunn’s popular modern Mexican hot spot serves fusion tacos, Mexican flatbreads and more creative fare by chef Adan Trinidad. The buzzy restaurant & bar serves inventive Mexican eats, beer, tequilas & more in a lively and intimate setting.

Pistolas

Pistola’s Del Sur
1943 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(267) 519-2329

Squilla criticized for cutting green agenda

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Inga Saffron criticizes Councilman Mark Squilla’s recent legislative choices as regressive. According to PlanPhilly, Saffron focuses on the measure that “exempts Society Hill from having to comply with a zoning incentive designed to encourage the construction of rain-absorbing green roofs” and references an earlier bill that suspends a program allowing electric vehicle owners to create EV-only parking spots in front of the curbside electrical outlets.

Many philly.com readers agreed with Saffron and criticized the councilman.

Squilla, who allegedly ‘represents’ me, doesn’t represent me or my values. And further, I don’t think most City Council people do. They should be out of development, city planning, and urban design issues, allowing the City Planning Design Office handle these through a robust city-wide effort. The best cities do; as we did many years ago. Unfortunately, the piggish, self-serving representation, turning the neighborhood districts into their own fiefs, is appalling. They haven’t a clue about sustainability, design, urban design, Smart Cities, the progressive initiatives of the Water Department saving the city from potentially billions of dollars of infrastructural replacements, or any other aspect of making cities safe, clean and wonderful places to live.

Personally, I would wish that Mr. Squilla resign. And the rest of Council. The government of this city is not for the people but for themselves, time and again. Short sighted, parochial, profit hungry, and likely still paid on the side.

New Bus Shelters in South Philadelphia

There has been a quite a few transportation developments happening in deep South Philly as of late. Septa recently announced that bike racks are coming to their Oregon station on the Broad Street Line. On a larger scale, the Philly Transit Shelter Project, which aims to bring 600 new transit shelters to the city, has started making some moves in South Philadelphia.

Today, we got report of the new bus shelters being put up on the Southwest corner of Broad St and Oregon Ave, where route 7 and G runs.  We received some inquiries last Friday when the old bus shelter was torn down and completely removed. In less than a week, the new transit shelter is up and almost functional.

Transit Shelter Town Down
Old bus shelter at Broad and Oregon was removed last week

Transit Shelter Rebuilt
New bus shelter at Broad and Oregon is almost complete

That is a pretty quick turn around time for this area of the city. Let’s hope the new shelters on the other routes will be built just as quickly.

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy expands: brunch, kitchen, events

When we first wrote about the long-awaited opening of Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, we were expecting craft beers and cocktails in an unassuming and intimate neighborhood bar. Following up on Otis & Pickles now, we see that this local South Philly bar has already expanded to offer so much more and to so many people. Whitman and Pennsport neighbors show their gratitude by making frequent visits, but travelers from outside South Philly also brave their way to this humble bar.

One not so local reviewer states, “O&P is located in a quiet South Philly neighborhood just off of Oregon near Tony Luke’s. I mention this because the next time you head this way for a late night sandwich, I suggest checking out O&P instead. You won’t be disappointed.” That is an impressive feat for such a small business.

In addition to their expansive drink options, Otis & Pickles Speakeasy has expanded to a full menu with brunch, all served on their distinctive trays. Their food is available for delivery on Caviar, for the homebound types.

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy Wings Otis & Pickles Speakeasy pickles platter

On May 6th, Otis & Pickles will host a Cocktails and Cupcakes event from 1-10pm. The theme for May’s event is the Rum Diaries, so expect movie showings starring Johny Depp and wide selections of rum infused cocktails.

If you have never ventured this far South, make a point to stop by for a drink and check out the interesting concept. Don’t expect anything fancy or pretentious. It’s a dive in the Far South, but one that should make anyone feel welcome.