Otis & Pickles Speakeasy, a craft beer and cocktail bar in the Whitman/Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly, is expected to open its doors January 2017.
Located at the former Cooley’s Bar at 2500 South 3rd Street, Otis & Pickles is a new bar that will be inclusive of new Philadelphians, without alienating any of the old residents. The owner, Collazo, suggests the bar will uphold the fun and rough essence of South Philly, without tolerating any “douchebaggery” of pretension. Otis & Pickles will be “a bar where you can have some fucking fun.”
The vacuum repair shop has closed and is transitioning into Valena’s Simple Cafe! Pennsport and Whitman neighborhood have been sorely lacking in independently owned coffee shops. This new cafe, opening right at the border of Pennsport and Whitman, will be located at the corner of Front st and Snyder ave.
There are two major issues that get South Philadelphians riled up: street cleaning and parking. And since the only major criticism against street cleaning is that it requires parked cars to move, the only issue that truly troubles South Philadelphians seems to be parking.
Illegal median parking on south Broad Street has long been a topic of discussion and debate. Cars park on the median of Broad Street, Oregon Ave, Washington Ave, and wherever it the PPA and Philadelphia police turn a blind eye. Other neighborhoods don’t get it, and South Philadelphians don’t really think anything of it. It’s the way it has always been, legal or not.
Since the Democratic National Convention, when median parking ban was enforced, the controversy has only escalated. Median parking practice is technically illegal, but is it dangerous? 5th Square, a political action committee, seems to think so. 5th Square started an online petition to ban median parking that has since gained over 900 supporters. The organization recently hosted a fundraiser, “No Parking on the Dance Floor” at our own Dolphin Tavern to support the banning of median parking. According to 5th Square, the funds will be used to “pay for the next phase of the Broad Street campaign, which will include professional planning and design work, and multiple public engagement sessions that empower South Philadelphia neighbors to reimagine what Broad Street can be.”
Leading the other side of the median parking war are many vocal long-term South Philadelphia residents. Most notably, the administrator of Taking our South Philadelphia Streets Back (TOSPSB), a local pro-police/anti-crime Facebook group, has led a social media campaign to support maintaining illegal median parking in South Philadelphia. The TOSPSB Facebook group is a page for community residents to warn each other about local crime and share events to support the PPD. The Facebook group identifies as diverse, with majority vocal members being traditional, long-term South Philadelphia residents.
“The mayor, the PPA and members of the administration met to discuss the median parking issue a few weeks ago, before the administration met with 5th Square this week,” said Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. “In that meeting, we agreed that PPA should ticket in the median when a car is fishtailed, in the turning lane, and in the crosswalk. We also agreed that any other changes should be community-driven.”
Polls, action calls, and surveys are flooding Facebook, with South Philadelphians split nearly 50/50 between the sides. Enforce the law and ban median parking or continue the South Philly tradition and let it be? Is it simply a battle of new residents vs old residents? Will Mayor Kenney’s efforts be enough to peacefully settle this deeply divided issue?
Philadelphia city’s bike-sharing system, Indego, celebrates its first birthday last Thursday. Playing off its wide success from the first year in the city of brotherly love, Indego will implement 24 new docking stations throughout the city this coming year, including the inclusion of 300 brand new bikes.
Once again, the new bike share locations will include very few locations in South Philadelphia, drawing negative feedback from South Philadelphia residents. Concentration of regular bikers are most dense in South Philadelphia, where supplies of biking stations are fewest. Higher supplies of bike-sharing stations would help lower the demand for parking in the already congested South Philly neighborhoods.
The new NACTO bike share guide suggests that studies show that “bike-share stations placed within a 3- to 5-minute walking distance of each other throughout a contiguous service area are essential to a system’s success.”
Indego stations to be added:
10th and Federal Streets
11th and South Streets (Magic Gardens)
15th and Market Streets
15th and South
19th Street and Girard Avenue
22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
24th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
26th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
26th and Poplar Streets
27th and Master Streets
29th and Dauphin Streets
29th and Diamond Streets
31st Street and Girard Avenue
33rd and Dauphin Streets
33rd and Diamond Streets
33rd Street and Reservoir Drive
34th Street and Mantua Avenue
42nd Street and Lancaster Avenue
46th and Market Streets
4th Street and Washington Avenue
Front and Berks Streets
Moyamensing & Tasker Avenues
Delaware Avenue and Beach Street (Penn Treaty Park)
Columbus Boulevard and Race Street (Race Street Pier)
Shoprite of Snyder Plaza will finalize its move to Whitman Plaza this Fall. When Shoprite purchased bankrupt A&P’s Pathmark in Whitman last year, they promised an early opening in Spring 2016. It seems that the old Pathmark building required a lot of fixing up because the final move and opening date is now set for September 2016, months behind schedule.
Shoprite is now hiring for their new location at Whitman Plaza on 3rd and Oregon. The new renovations and expanded space includes plans for their nutritionists and a sit-in coffee shop. There has been no word of a new pharmacy opening to replace the closed Pathmark pharmacy that previously serviced the neighborhood.
In the spirit of Philadelphia’s annual Spring Cleanup, local organizations are hosting additional cleanup and volunteer events throughout the season.
Volunteers helped clean over 17,000 lbs of debris and recyclables from the Delaware water and it’s banks during the last two events hosted by United By Blue. This year, the clothing and coffee retailer returns with a special Tuesday evening service project for staff and students of the Youth Volunteer Corps of Philadelphia.
The event takes place on Tuesday, April 19th from 5-7pm. Cleanup volunteers will meet at Pier 68 and fan out to the North, up to Washington Ave, and to the South beyond the piers.
The Delaware River has a significant fish habitat, identified by the Philadelphia Water Department, and many fisherman enjoy the pier for recreation and solitude, despite the polluted waters. The DRWC helped to transform the previously abandoned Pier 68 into a new waterfront destination for active recreation and waterfront enjoyment. Because of heavy use, the newly developed and still abandoned piers alike collect trash left by visitors and debris blown over from Columbus Blvd. and beyond.
Our editors received this neighborhood complaint from a concerned South Philadelphian last night. We are still trying to follow up and verify the issues brought up in this email. If anyone has any updates or information regarding the issue, please share.
The source reports that Oregon ave, neglected by the city, has succumb to becoming a literal dumpsite. Utility poles and infrastructures are dangerously unstable and are currently being held up by wires to help support the weight.
The source reports:
“Our neighborhood has many problems that is not being addressed by local law enforcers. We’ve made multiple reports to 311, the police department, and councilman. No parking authority or personnel even comes by or responds. Trash cans and trash bags are being placed right in the center of Oregon Ave weekly. Literally on the median of 10th and Oregon Ave, the middle of the street where cars are illegally parked. Cars parking on the median and left turn lane without getting fined is one thing, but having trash bags left on the median is another story. This is highly unsafe and illegal. We can ignore the trucks and seafood mobiles double parking, auto repair shops taking up the public sidewalk with tires, cars, signs, and chairs. At this point, a little something has to be said so that we don’t officially become the dumpsite and trashcan of South Philly. Poles are going to fall soon and some buildings are bound to collapse.
Oregon Ave is not a rich area and we don’t have a lot of representation like the more active neighborhoods, but we pay our taxes. We may not be rich enough, not vocal enough, not urban enough, and not young enough for media attention, but we don’t deserve to be completely neglected either. If you go down the lower streets or Oregon, the utility poles are literally being held up by strings because the poles are getting too old to stand on their own. Live wires are hanging dangerously right in front of Oregon Diner, even though they have been reported many months before. Please help us get heard.”
Brunching is one of the fasting growing hobby in Philadelphia. With dozens of brunch cafes and restaurants opening annually, it can be difficult not to overlook the best brunch spots.
Here is our list of the best must-try brunch places for your brunching adventures, boozy or not.
Cafe La Maude
816 N 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
This French-Lebanese cafe serves breakfast, brunch, lunch & pastries in Euro-style digs with sidewalk tables. They’ll serve your coffee in the most adorable mugs.
Avenue of the Arts
428 N 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19123
This popular American brunch and lunch cafe offers a chill vibe, featuring art on the walls in an industrial space.
Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
800 North 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Honey’s is a Cash-only, BYOB diner offering a menu of Jewish & Southern comfort eats in a basic space.
302 W Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Oregon Diner is an old school, traditional diner that has kept up with modern times. It has been a South Philly staple since the ’60s for filling diner fare served 24/7 in a booth-lined setting. It keeps intact that close neighborhood, old diner feel but has implemented new menu items to serve Philadelphia’s growing brunch needs. They also serve all the alcohol you can possibly consume on a Sunday morning, which is a lot.
910 Christian St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Sabrina’s has three locations in Philadelphia, including locations in the Art Museum and University City, but the Italian Market location takes the number 1 spot for brunch. It’s original, BYOB, and gives you the real unique experience of city brunching.
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.
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?
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.