Category Archives: Whitman

Whitman, named after the Walt Whitman Bridge located nearby, refers to the South Philly neighborhood between 6th St through Front St and Bigler St through Snyder Avenue with zip code 19148. Sometimes lumped with Pennsport or Queens Village, Whitman is its own unique neighborhood with a rich history – and future.

Read a guide of Whitman neighborhood, which includes recommended landmarks and dining options. For more information, see the Whitman Council civic page, check out the Whitman Facebook page, or Whitman Plaza community group.

Shops at Oregon Market In Whitman

The Oregon Market (Ben Thanh) located at 320 W Oregon ave in the Whitman neighborhood of South Philadelphia is a supermarket that focuses on imported Asian condiments, beverages, snacks, and fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish.

This Asian supermarket and plaza is located next to Whitman Plaza (Septa bus routes 47, 57, G, 7 runs in the area). This Oregon ave spot is not quite developed and pedestrian friendly, but it is transforming. Oregon Market is an interesting place in itself. It’s an excellent place to shop for different spices or condiments or get deals on fresh produce. The market is located near Shoprite in Whitman Plaza and Aldi is only a few blocks away. A smart shopper can take a trip to all three stores and get the best prices on the freshest grocery.

In addition to housing the popular Asian supermarket, the Oregon Market plaza is home to some local businesses such as Pho Ha Saigon (an excellent Vietnamese pho restaurant), Banh Mi Square (a Vietnamese sandwich and coffee shop), and Mr. Wish (a bubble tea/boba store).

Some businesses in Oregon Market Plaza:

Oregon Market – Asian groceries and super market (320 W Oregon Ave, Unit #1, 215-336-5858)

Pho Ha Saigon – Vietnamese pho restaurant (320 W Oregon Ave, Unit # 215-389-1002)

Banh Mi Square – Vietnamese banh mi sandwich shop and coffee (320 W Oregon Ave, Unit #3, 267-273-0986)

Mr. Wish – Bubble tea, boba, fruit tea store (320 W Oregon Ave, Unit #5, 267-606-6868)

Yumi Skin Care – Asian cosmetics and skincare store (320 W Oregon Ave Unit #, 215-468-3848)

Anchor Real Estate Development – Real estate development store

The Yard South Bowl: Outdoor Bar and Games in South Philly

South Bowl boasts cutting edge bowling lanes, pool tables, arcade games, roof deck bar, and an amazing kitchen – all in a spot in South Philly with plenty of on-site parking. It has its own sit-down pizza lounge, which receives high praises. These are probably some of the reasons South Bowl won PhillyMag’s Best of Philly in 2016 for best bowling alley. Did we mention the bar and bowling happy hour?

The Yard at South Bowl (image via South Bowl)

More recently, South Bowl opened up the Yard at South Bowl — an ultimate backyard concept that includes the addition of outdoor games such as batting cages, a bocce court, shuffleboard, horseshoes, billiards, swings, outdoor lounge areas, and additional arcade games. A shipping container has also been added to house a new outdoor bar in addition to the existing rooftop bar and full bars inside.

Outdoor games at the Yard at South Bowl (image via South Bowl)

South Bowl’s brand new bocce court is already in play. And if you want to get competitive, the bocce league meets every Wednesdays at South Bowl during the spring, summer & fall seasons.

South Bowl
19 East Oregon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Mr. Wish Bubble Tea Coming to Whitman, South Philly

Mr. Wish is popular bubble tea and fruit beverage franchise that has made its way to the United States from Taiwan. There are currently five Mr. Wish stores in Philadelphia, including the Northeast, Temple, Chinatown, Rittenhouse and Washington Ave in South Philly. A sixth Philadelphia store is coming soon to 3rd and Oregon, in the Oregon Market next to Whitman Plaza. It should be interesting for this new Mr. Wish shop to set up in the Oregon Market plaza as there is already a Pho restaurant (Pho Ha Saigon) that serves boba smoothies and a Vietnamese bakery/sandwich shop (Banh Mi Square) that serves Vietnamese coffee and assorted drinks.

Mr Wish

Oregon Market plaza is a prime spot for the popular bubble tea/boba store as there is ample parking in this underdeveloped, up-and-coming part of South Philly.

Mr. Wish on Oregon Ave soft opens on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The grand opening is this weekend, with a buy one get one free special for their special tea.

Mr. Wish
Oregon Market
320 W Oregon Ave, Unit 5
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Mifflin Square Park

Mifflin Square Park is a historic park in Southeast Philadelphia, originally built in the 1890s. Located in one of Philadelphia’s most diverse neighborhoods, the park is a center of neighborhood life and one of the few large open greenspaces in South Philly.

Despite the many years since the park’s initial creation, much of it remains similar to how it was laid out in the 1890s. The park is heavily used, but this use has led to many of the features of the park being worn down and in need of replacement and renovation. 

Beginning in November 2016, Southeast Philadelphia residents and organizations came together to imagine the future of Mifflin Square Park. Since then, hundreds of residents have shared experiences, memories, ideas, and opinions to create the ‘Making Room for Everyone’ concept design that was released in 2018 and will guide the reconstruction of the park in future phases. This design can be seen here:

Mifflin Square Park

In 2020, the Philadelphia Water Department will be reconstructing the four corner entrances of the park as part of a large green infrastructure project. This project, part of the City’s larger Green City, Clean Waters program, will help to recreate living landscapes in the City and reduce stormwater pollution entering our waterways. This project provides an amazing opportunity to begin implementing the shared community vision for Mifflin Square Park. 

As part of this renovation of the four corners of the park, a new plaza will be created at 6th Street and West Ritner Street. Neighborhood residents have expressed a desire for the plaza to include decorative pavers to define a real entryway to the park. To fund this improvement, along with decorative paving at each of the three other corners of Mifflin Square, we are fundraising with the amazing perks listed here, including the opportunity to have your name or organization’s name engraved in the entryway to the park! Donors who contribute at least $200 can have their name, their organization’s name, or another’s name preserved as a lasting legacy to your help in implementing the community’s shared vision for the park. 

Any funds raised beyond the cost of funding the installations of new pavers into the park will go towards further park improvements and programming. 

The perks available as a thank you for contributing to the future of Mifflin Square Park are listed to the right. These improvements would be installed in concert with the Philadelphia Water Department’s corner improvements in Fall 2020.

You can learn more about Mifflin Square Park here and donate here.

Vernalicious: underrated restaurant

Vernalicious, once a most beloved and popular local food truck, has gone brick-and-mortar in South Philadelphia. Chef Verna Swerdlow runs the kitchen in this corner take-out or eat-in BYOB restaurant at the corner of Front and Ritner in the Whitman neighborhood. The space is small and unassuming, but the food is always fresh and delicious and the service is warm and welcoming.

Whether you live in the neighborhood or come from out of town, the pulled pork grilled cheese from Vernalicious is an absolute must-try. That said, the vegetable and salad are the true star of the many dishes in the restaurant. Chef Swerdlow really knows how to bring out the brightness and flavors in a salad.

Vernalicious is the place to be if you’re looking for a true hidden gem tucked into a small corner of a quiet neighborhood.

101 W Ritner St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 455-0905
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12-7pm

Whitman row home renovated and flipped on Philly Revival TV Show

On Philly Revival, Rachel Street, a local realtor, general contractor and designer saves best part of Philadelphia’s quaint, century old homes and using those pieces to transform them into show-stopping one of-a-kind properties. From original floors and fixtures, to hidden treasures in the walls, Rachel makes sure every house keeps its original charm.

On season 1, episode 3, Rachel Street tackles a tiny row home in South Philly’s Whitman district. After extending the second floor to add an additional 150 square feet, she makes the space seem brighter and larger by white washing the interior brick and using light colors for the floors and cabinetry. Finally, to infuse some Philadelphia history, she restores a 150-year-old salvaged door and incorporates it into the design. Watch the episode on the DIY network and become inspired.

Oregon Diner ends 24-hour service

Another South Philly diner will be ending its 24-hour service. Oregon Diner, a Whitman Philadelphia staple at 3rd and Oregon ave, will be limiting its hours due to staffing difficulties. The diner, which also serves alcohol, used to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will now be open from 6am-midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and then open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

For generations, Oregon Diner has been serving all-day breakfast, affordable everyday entrée specials, and midnight coffee. Chef Spiro is always cooking up something fresh, and their bakery serves up homemade breads and pastries six days a week. Oregon Diner diner offers an extensive menu and full bar. 

Oregon Diner

With new restaurants and brunch specials popping up all over the city, old time diners are starting to restrict hours and services. As you’re out there enjoying brunch, don’t forget to support your local diner.

Oregon Diner
302 W. Oregon Ave, 
Philadelphia, PA 19148

(215) 462-5566

Coming soon to Whitman Plaza

Some changes are coming soon to Whitman Plaza, according to Breslin Realty’s site plan and flyer. A Goodwill store may soon open up next to Burlington Coat Factory. Dunkin Donuts has also proposed an extension further back into the parking lot.

Goodwill is currently located just blocks away at 2601 S Front St. It seems unlikely that the proposed site is a second Goodwill location for the Whitman neighborhood. It is more likely that Goodwill plans to move from its current lot next to Aldi’s into Whitman Plaza.

The 280,000 square ft plaza still has properties for lease. Current tenants include ShopRite, Ross Dress For Less, Burlington Coat Factory, PetValu, Blink Fitness, PennDOT, Party City, Rainbow, Citizens Bank, Payless Shoesource, H&R Block, GNC, GameStop, Dunkin Donuts, Rent-A-Center, One Main Financial, Kelly Staffing, Flaming Grill & Supreme Buffet, MRCP, and Cavity Busters.

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.) 

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.  


 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.

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.

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.

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.