Neighborhood

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

Neighborhoods: Bella VistaEast PassyunkLower MoyamensingPennsportPoint BreezeWhitman

Philadelphia Libraries the new scene: Meet, Yoga, Learn

The future for the Free Library of Philadelphia is looking up a year after the big scare that promised the closing of 11 public library branches.

The Free Library of Philadelphia was awarded a $26 million grant from the William Penn Foundation last year. Much of that money went into upgrading and renovating six of the libraries: Central Library on Parkway, and branches of Lehigh Avenue, Logan Library, Lovett Library on Germantown Avenue, South Philadelphia, and Tacony.

Why those six? “With six million Philadelphians visiting the city libraries in person each year, the renovations, which will make the branches brighter and more accessible, are welcome,” reports Siobhan Reardon, President of the Free Library of Philadelphia. At least 50 other library branches failed to receive an upgrade, but local staff have made strong efforts to open keep their doors open to the community.

Philadelphia Library of Whitman Philadelphia

The Whitman Library branch serving Pennsport and Whitman at 2nd and Snyder Ave offers various different classes and events each week. Adult Education Classes are offered to help locals get their G.E.D. or improve their English. LEAP After School Program offers homework help, computer assistance and special programs for children and adults. This library branch also has free yoga for children and adults. They put out new calendars monthly on their Facebook page.

Philadelphia Library

Remember to come out to your local library to support, whether it be to volunteer, donate, or simply read a book!

What’s Coming to 10th and Oregon Ave?

What’s happening at the southwest corner of 10th St and Oregon Ave? The contractors have ripped down the old buildings, dug up the ground, and are amidst a new construction project. One of the buildings torn down used to house Candelaria Produce (2700 S 10th St). The building is in the Marconi Plaza neighborhood and adjacent to Oregon Steak.

Marconi Park

The new structure will be four stories high for commercial uses, with two additional dwelling units. It has been reported that a fabricator business may be moving in rather than the previously rumored coffee shop. It seems Marconi Plaza and Whitman area must continue on with their lack in cafes.

Breezy’s Cafe Not Closing Permanently

Philly.com gave Point Breeze residents quite a scare when they announced in their headline that Breezy Cafe located at 1200 Point Breeze was closing. Kristin from Breezy’s Cafe was quick to ensure fans that Breezy’s Cafe is looking for a new location to move to and will not be closing permanently.

The building where Breezy’s Cafe now resides was listed on craigslist by OFC Reality, which caused a disturbance in the neighborhood. Ori Feibush of OFC Reality was singled out by some locals as a source of the confusion. Feibush addressed the criticisms thrown his way, but the details behind the situation remains unclear.

Breezys Cafe

Kristin’s Facebook message:

Hi friends,
I wanted to reach out and say thank you to everyone who has expressed concern about Breezy’s Cafe “closing”…and to let you know that it’s totally not true! Not sure why philly.com went with such an ominous headline, but we’re not closing! Take a deep breath, go to your happy place, and rest easy tonight on a bed of organic, sustainable greens wink emoticon.
We heard your feedback about the heating and cooling and, as many of you know, we’ve also had some (many) issues with water leaking. Attempts have been made to fix the problems, but so far without success. Since I’ve just been made aware that I will not be getting a new lease, you will not have to worry about those issues we’ve been having any longer!
Let’s worry about a better location to serve the community! We don’t just serve Point Breeze, we’re part of it, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.
Love you guys!
– Kristin
P.S. Point Breeze location suggestions welcome! Send me a message! ‪#‎pointbreezepride‬

Ori Feibush’s Facebook response:

Many of you asked me over the last few days why “I am pushing Breezy’s out” of their current location. I am not.
You asked me why I couldn’t try and make things work. I have.
You asked me why I haven’t given them a second chance. They had a dozen second chances.
You asked me why I had to let them find out through social media that their space was for rent. I did not. I told them 4 months ago.
You asked me why I couldn’t give them the first opportunity to lease their space again. I did.
You believed these tall tails because every story must have a hero and a villain and OCF must be that villain.
The truth is that Breezy’s had an opportunity that no small business owner ever gets. It’s an opportunity others could only dream of. Rather than take that opportunity and run with it, they took a crap all over it.
I spent $150,000 of my own money to help Breezy’s open up at 1200 Point Breeze. That amount does not include the year of free rent which I gave them to get on their feet, the fronting of their security deposit so they could open the doors without spending a dollar, or the thousands I spent with a smile on my face for taxes and insurance to make their lives as easy as possible.
You may also think that I own the building where Breezy’s is. I do not. I leased it for the sole purpose of giving them a real chance after they picked a terrible first location. Any of you who are disparaging my team are welcome to do the exact same thing for their next location.
All of that said, life is too short to hold ill will and I consider this to be a simple reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.
I wish Breezy’s nothing but success and hope they find their new location to be even better than their old.

TD Bank Robber Still Wanted in Whitman

Police and FBI are still searching for a suspect who robbed TD Bank in South Philadelphia last Wednesday, October 15th. The robbery occurred in broad daylight at the TD Bank branch on the 2600 block of South 5th Street in the Whitman neighborhood.

Investigators said the suspect walked into the bank at 3:22 p.m. and handed the teller a demand note. He then escaped with an unknown amount of cash before fleeing east on Oregon Avenue.

Whitman Bank Robber

Police described the suspect as a black male in his 30s, 5’5″ to 5’9″ tall with a medium build and glasses. He wore a black and white jacket, a black and white Nike cap, and dark-colored pants and shoes. This subject is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about this robbery or this subject is urged to call the FBI at 215-418-4000 or the Philadelphia Police Department. There is a reward for information leading to the suspect’s capture and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Additional images of the suspect:

TD Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Whitman Bank Robber

Please help keep the neighborhoods safe and report any crime.

Want to submit a tip anonymously? Use the online form or email tips@phillypolice.com. You can also call 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text PPDTIP (773847)

Halloween for the Family in Whitman South Philly

Halloween is here already! If you and your family are looking for things to do in Philly, look no further than the Whitman neighborhood of South Philly. The Halloween events around the area focus on kid-friendly and family fun.

If you don’t want your little ones wandering the streets late at night to trick-or-treat, consider taking them to trick-or-treat at the Whitman Library! Take your kids to the Whitman Library located at 200 Snyder Ave on Monday, October 26th at 4pm. That will give kids the chance to go home and change after school – if they aren’t already in their costume!

Whitman Halloween

Looking for something a little more interactive for the family? On Thursday, October 29, Mifflin Square Park is hosting their Annual Halloween Park Cleanup & Mask Making Contest at 6th & Ritner Street from 3:30-6:30pm. Bring your joy and share it with the neighborhood!

Whitman Halloween Mifflin Square
Locals paint Mifflin Square Park for Halloween

Philadelphia Fall 2015 Cleanup

Do you want to help keep your city clean but don’t know where to start? Download the Philly Fall 2015 Cleanup Resource Guide to get started. Remember to talk to your block captain and neighbors to organize street cleanings!

Clean Up Philadelphia 2015
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Community Cleanup Resource Guide

Love Your Park Week: Every fall and spring, an Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy work with neighborhood groups to promote service opportunities in our city’s amazing parks. Learn more at www.loveyourpark.org.

Snyder Plaza ShopRite moves to Oregon Ave as Pathmark Closes

A &P’s Pathmark located in Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon will officially close come November 3rd, 2015. The ShopRite store at Snyder Plaza will be moving to the more spacious Oregon Ave location come Spring 2016, according to sources at ShopRite.

ShopRite hopes to expand its store at the new location by offering a sit-in cafe, dietician, and additional upscale features. Sources hint at a grand plan to develop Whitman Plaza and nearby neighborhoods, bringing in new residents, more jobs, and tight security features; all while maintaining the same low cost to consumers. The expected influx of businesses and jobs is intended to draw in new and diverse residents, further developing the neighborhood.

Snyder Plaza ShopRite moving to Whitman Plaza 2016

The building where Pathmark once stood will be completely renovated to give ShopRite a specific modern appeal, the first of it’s kind in Philadelphia. ShopRite was unclear about their planned security features and specific plans to clean up the neighborhood. Their decision to go green will mostly depend on neighborhood associations and nearby residents.

The new ShopRite does not advertise a pharmacy department. Pathmark’s pharmacy department closes October 31, 2015. Prescriptions have been sold to RiteAid Pharmacy. Consumers with prescriptions or refills at Pathmark Pharmacy in Whitman Plaza will have to contact RiteAid to get their prescriptions. Alternatively, customers can have their new pharmacy of choice contact RiteAid and transfer all their prescriptions.

Update: ShopRite announces opening of ShopRite of Whitman Plaza in early 2016 | ShopRite finalizes opening date of September 2016 after months delay

Should I Move to Whitman in South Philly?

Jennifer P. asks:

Where should two young adults move to in Philly? Is Whitman a good and safe neighborhood for us? My friend and I are both young professionals that are planning to move to Philadelphia for work and school. Do you think the Whitman neighborhood would be a good fit for us? We are looking at a few houses near 3rd street, off of Oregon Ave. I would like to live around Passyunk Ave as there are more nightlife activities for us within walking distance, but the houses are smaller and we were hoping to have some grass. I have seen a few houses around Whitman that are really beautiful with a good asking price, I just don’t know how well we would fit in as there are a lot of families and we are single young adults.

Carol answers:

Jennifer, Whitman would be a great option for you and your friend. The homes are definitely affordable, with many homes offering lawns and gardens. City living is tough, but Whitman offers the best of both worlds when it comes to safety and convenience. The neighbors keep an eye out for each other, making the area one of the safest in the city. The grocery stores and Whitman Plaza shopping center is within walking distance. The bus routes run all throughout.

David answers:

The neighborhood will welcome you with open arms. They love young adults who have energy and something to bring to the neighborhood. You will be invited to events, meetings, watch groups, etc if you are only willing to interact with the neighbors. The only downside I can see is that the parties and clubs are definitely lacking. There are taverns and bars, but all small and old school traditional. The newest thing they have in the area is the bowling alley which boasts two full service bars. Other than that, you’ll find mostly grocery and retail shops. You’ll have to trek a little further south for your party needs. On the bright side, the neighborhood keeps it’s peace and tranquility.

Public Transport: Subway or Bus to Whitman and Oregon Ave

Whitman Plaza

The broad street orange line most southern stops are at the intersection of Broad st and Snyder Ave, Oregon Ave, and Pattison/AT&T Station. All of the stations are within walking distance of the Whitman neighborhood, including Whitman Plaza.

Traveling east and west throughout the numbered streets of Oregon Ave is simple too. Simply wait at a bus stop on any corner of Oregon Ave and wait for the G bus or 7 bus. Either will take you west or east on Oregon Ave. For example, you can take the subway Broad Street line to Oregon Ave and wait for the 7/G bus in front of the subway station. Ride the bus east towards Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon, or a little further towards the South Bowl bowling alley.

Best New Restaurants Coming to South Philly

Philadelphia is quickly becoming the best city for foodies. It is only a matter of time before it is declared the food capital of the country. These newly opened and soon to open restaurants are must tries for any food enthusiast.

South Philly Eatery

Los Jimenez Mexican Cocina
Whitman: 2654 S. Sixth St.
Vetri chef Justino Jimenez specializes in the al pastor, succulent bits of pork shaved from a pineapple-marinated spit and served with chopped onion, cilantro and avocado. This new South Philly eatery is a hidden gem on the dated streets of Oregon ave. Arguably the best taco eatery in Philadelphia, Los Jimenez Mexican Cocina is disguised as a small, hole-in-the-wall corner store.

Stargazy
East Passyunk: 1838 East Passyunk Avenue
Opening this Friday, August 28 on East Passyunk is chef Sam Jacobson’s Stagazy, featuring traditional English dishes. The menu will include savory pies, along with other specialty baked goods, puddings and house-made breads. Look for the doors to open Friday, August 28.

Coeur
Bella Vista: 824 S. 8th Street
The latest restaurant to spring from the team behind Memphis Taproom, Local 44 and other superior spots, Coeur is a Montreal-style bistro with approachable, easygoing fare that features options for everyone from meat eaters to vegans. The doors open with a party on September 18.

Neuf
Bella Vista: 943 S. 9th Street
It’s so difficult getting a table at Joncarl Lochman’s popular Noord that he opened up this new restaurant to share more Nordic cuisine with South Philadelphia.

Buckminster’s
Point Breeze: 1200 S. 21st Street
Buckminser’s “neo-bistro” menu will be available later this fall.

Fourth and Cross
Pennsport: 1527 S. 4th Street
South Philly’s Pennsport and Whitman neighborhoods have been sorely lacking on the brunch department up until now. Newly opened Fourth and Cross features a farm-to-table menu that focuses on simple and fresh items like pancakes, burgers and sandwiches.

Hungry Pigeon
Queen Village: 743 S. 4th Street
Chef Scott Schroeder’s creativity knows no limits and soon, with the opening of Hungry Pigeon on Fabric Row, he’ll add an all-day café with dinner service to his restaurant portfolio.

Kanella Queen Village
Queen Village: 757 S. Front Street
Kanella’s previous location in Washington Square West closed down, but chef Konstantinos Pitsillades plans to open a new edition of this famous eatery in Queen Village this fall.