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Philadelphia Gay News Apr. 18-24, 2014


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PORTRAIT from page 35

coop. Wanted some freedom.

Miami, the next business neighbor might be a block away.

PGN: Back to South Street, it’s nice to see so many businesses have made it through. DC: Yes, there are a lot of family connections. There’s my uncle and me; John Foy from Bridget Foy has his daughter; Abbie Silver used to have Jim’s Steaks, now his son runs it. We’ve developed great communication between the businesses in the district. And we are getting some great new upscale businesses and drawing more sophisticated crowds. Doing things like the street festival really helps bring people in to see what South Street is about now.

PGN: What’s your guiltiest pleasure? DC: [Laughs.] I drink too much!

PGN: Random question: What’s a food you would never eat? DC: I would try just about anything except tripe. It just looks so foul I can’t even get with that.

PGN: When do you lose your temper? DC: I never lose my temper. I think people would be shocked if I did. I just don’t get upset easily.

PGN: What’s great about having a restaurant on South Street? DC: It’s easy to market because everyone knows where South Street is. When we did an ad, the announcer said they usually spent six to seven seconds telling people where they are. With us, all he had to do was say the corner of Fourth and South. Personally, I love the camaraderie between the businesses. I know all my business neighbors and I’ve made a lot of friends. There is a great sense of community. In

PGN: Well, Copa is known for its margaritas. DC: I know, I love margaritas. I love Old Fashions and martinis. I generally don’t drink the same thing more than twice. I’ll never drink the same beer twice. And I love wine, which is probably why we have such a large wine list. It’s nice because anyone trying to sell you a bottle of wine is going to give you one to try first!

PGN: What would you want as your last meal? DC: Give me a ribeye steak and a lobster tail and I’d be as happy as pie. PGN: What happens in your recurring nightmare? DC: Back during the lean years, having the electricity shut off because we were so cash-poor. I was afraid to let someone in the door in case they were there to shut us off. Thankfully, we’re far away from those days.

PGN: Celebrity encounters? DC: When Nola was still open, we had a number of celebrities come through: Billy Joel, Rick Springfield, Donald Trump and Marla Maples when they were together. At Redwood, we get a lot of sports figures, as well as musicians from TLA. Our chef is a big fan of the group Polyphonic Spree so when he heard they were coming to town, he emailed them and invited them all to the restaurant. PGN: I’m embarrassed when ... DC: I have to speak in public. I’m generally shy, but they conned me into being the board chair for South Street Headhouse District. When the city was trying to impose the new alcohol tax, I had to testify in front of everyone. I stumbled through it. PGN: What’s in store for the district? DC: South Street has really become known as a place to come hear music, whether it’s at Dobbs or TLA or Twisted Tail — South Street has a real music presence. At the Spring Festival, we’re celebrating South Street Headhouse District’s best tastes, sips, sounds and sights. We’re going to have live music from three main stages and eight other performance areas. The festival goes from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and people can enjoy a free, all-ages outdoor party that will close down South Street (between Front and Eighth), and also run

along the Second Street Plaza (between South and Lombard). We have at least 30 restaurants and bars that will serve signature and special dishes, brews and cocktails, and all sorts of things. In conjunction with the festival, Brauhaus Schmitz will host the second annual German Maifest on the 700 block of South Street, with German beers, dancers, music, food, flower headbands and even a maypole. There’s a free kids zone and at least 40 artists, crafters and retailers. I hope people come out for that and for Dining Out For Life on April 24. Both of our restaurants, Copa and Redwood, are participating. PGN: So to end, are you sick of the song yet? DC: No! You don’t hear it enough around here. It was a different story when Barry Manilow put out the song “Copacabana.” We were actually named Copabanana and opened before the song ever came out, but that doesn’t stop everyone from singing it. But it’s all fine — as long as people are having fun, that’s all we care about! ■ For more information about Redwood, visit For more information about South Street Headhouse District, visit To suggest a community member for Family Portrait, email portraits05@aol. com.

PGN April 18 - 24, 2014  

"The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond"

PGN April 18 - 24, 2014  

"The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond"