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Bank Building Residences Restaurants – The Arts – Travel August, 2013

AUGUST, 2013

About us… “Well, for me, the thing of the Future is already a thing of the Past” …Bob Dylan

And what is in the future for us? What would we like to see happen in our area of the world? Perhaps the single most important thing would be the ability to purchase a six-pack from a standard beer distributor.

But wait one moment – I asked my local distributor the question as it relates to Pennsylvania and their incredible plan for privatization of our State Store system. They want him to sell six-packs as well as wine and liquor. His answer… “Loan me $1.5 million dollars and I’ll give it a shot. I can hear it now, I want five six-packs – all different brands of beer and three of them will be cold and the other two will be warm. It will drive me out of business. I sell cases, and that’s the end of it!”

Nothing is easy.

The Restaurant Report by Bob Bickell

A New Restaurant Destination; A Vetri chef and “Eat Italy”; “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere”; Dining in Charlotte.

“One of the Top 10 “Best Foodie Streets In America” Food & Wine Magazine - May, 2013

Will BYOB – Chef Christopher Kearse From time to time a new restaurant destination emerges seemingly overnight. Manayunk (of the 1990s) comes to mind as well as the recent amazing turn-around of 13th Street. Collingswood in New Jersey remains a noteworthy destination, and of course, Rittenhouse Square might be the best example possible

Fond – Chef Lee Styer

Now we wake-up to yet another powerful player in the restaurant destination business. East Passyunk Avenue is the latest and possibly, the most surprising of all the above. Of course, a noteworthy destination doesn’t happen by accident. There have always been interesting restaurants in this South Philadelphia community, but adding three outstanding spots certainly helps.

Noord – Chef Joncarl Lachman Perhaps it was the moment Philadelphia Magazine named Stateside (1536 E. Passyunk Ave.) the best restaurant in Philadelphia, and the media has a lot to do with it, but most restaurant destinations don’t happen by accident. In order to produce a major restaurant destination, there has to be tons of planning along with some substantial cash.

In this case there was a specific organization that must take special credit in helping to build this concept. PARC (Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation) is a non-profit entity that owns real estate in the Passyunk retail corridor. The properties include restaurants, retail stores, and apartments. Sam Sherman is the Executive Director, and with a little help from his friends (that would be the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District), the area came alive. Here is all you have to know about Sam Sherman. The first day on the job he walked up to a fountain that was covered by a fence and basically treated as a neighborhood eyesore. His first act was to pull down the fencing and beautify what soon became a meeting place, and the town centerpiece.

Sam’s Fountain

In addition to maintaining and improving the area’s public space, the real work was to help establish a retail community that goes very well with restaurants, and to attract new restaurants that would be the catalyst for rejuvenating the entire neighborhood. Also new apartments (many occupied by the local chef community) and anything

and everything that helps attract people that go where all the people go. Mr. Sherman is the man responsible for adding the three outstanding restaurants to the mix… Fond, Will and Noord (and, of course, the Fountain). In Michael Klein’s recent Inquirer column (“Philly’s 20 Hottest Restaurants”) Fond, Will, and Noord appear. Obviously, East Passyunk Avenue is an ongoing project and there is certainly more to come, but there you have it. The people involved were successful in adding a most interesting spot in our area of the world.

Chef/Co-Owner Jeff Michaud – Osteria And His Book, “EATING ITALY”

Photo by Jason Varney

His “culinary adventure� lasted some three years in Northern Italy with hands-on experience with many of the great chefs of this incredible region of the world. The book is filled with vivid photography of the villages and towns where his unforgettable culinary visits took place. The book (scheduled for early October) has to be great because Prime Philadelphia will be involved in the 2014 edition of the highly acclaimed Tucson Festival of Books with Chef Michaud representing the great City of Philadelphia.

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville…

Success stories have been notably missing in the 2013 version of Atlantic City (until the opening of Margaritaville at Resorts). For the multitude of fans that follow Jimmy Buffett, the folks at Resorts have reinvented “Paradise”. The longs lines of people just waiting to get in tell the story. He probably won’t be there, but it doesn’t matter. Jimmy Buffett is a singer, song writer, and a businessman. He has an enormous following because he has stayed true to his music and his fans. Almost everything he does can be characterized as an "island escapism" lifestyle. This means beaches, water, and

suntan lotion (and things like margaritas). What’s not to like? The folks at Resorts seized the moment, and it’s no surprise that the people love it. Buffet’s most loyal fans are called “Parrot Heads” and they are the most vocal at his ongoing live events. It doesn’t matter what you call them, they are showing up in Atlantic City. It’s a real pleasure to finally talk about something that looks like a roaring success in this area of the world.

“Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville Searching for my lost shaker of salt Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame But I know it’s nobody’s fault”

BLACKFINN in Charlotte

If you find yourself in Charlotte (one of America’s great destinations) here is a spot to consider. You will find tons of Southern hospitality and outstanding food and drink. They have it all – outdoor tables, great music, great bars and Classic Burgers. We had a rather dramatic family event, and we certainly picked the right place.


Prime Spots‌

Not All Spots Are Created Equally!

Prime Spots – Manor Home and Gifts…

The beautiful shop located at 210 South 17th Street is in a class by itself with an amazing collection of home accessories, Italian Ceramics, Dinnerware, Flatware, Glassware, etc., etc. This spot is a unique part of the “Good Life” in the City of Philadelphia.

Prime Spots – Di Bruno Bros. In the Italian Market


In 1939, Danny and Joe Di Bruno emigrated from Italy and opened the classic Di Bruno Bros. store at 930 South 9th Street. One can suggest that the area known as the Italian Market has changed, but a visit to the so-called modern version is like walking into another world – the world of Authenticity. It’s a Philadelphia treasure!

PRIME Arts - Miracle Murals

We love to talk about the Arts in Philadelphia because there is so much to present and discuss. If you walk almost anywhere in the City, you will find one amazing mural after another, and you will wonder what everyone else wonders‌How in the world do they produce such a thing? And many are thinking that it’s 1000% better than so much of the art known as graffiti.

This one is located at 1925 Diamond Street, and it’s the work of a group known as “Art Attack (a partnership with Drexel University and supported by a grant from the Knight/NEA Community Arts Journalism Challenge, administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance).

Another “Art Attack “at 1315 Pine Street

To be sure, not everyone is appreciative of this type of art on Philadelphia buildings, but we happen to love it. In our September issue, we will present a piece on the “Mural People” and what this segment of our art community is all about. It is ART, and it’s free for anyone and everyone who chooses to enjoy it with us.

The “Doc” at 1234 Ridge Avenue

Prime Travel… SANDPEARL RESORT Clearwater Beach, Florida

When you want to get away from it all, it’s just a short flight to this beachfront gem on the white sands of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

If you happen to be a fan of sunsets, you will love this spot.

You will enjoy the beautiful tropical pool with private cabanas and a beachside fire pit. You will also appreciate their relaxing full-service spa and their modern and complete fitness center.

Dining is a gigantic part of this picture.

Enjoy on-site dining at Caretta on the Gulf, Tate Island Grill, and MarketPlace‌

There are rooms and there are rooms‌

SANDPEARL RESORT 500 Mandalay Avenue Clearwater Beach 877-726-3111

You think English is easy? 1) The bandage was wound around the wound. 2) The farm was used to produce produce. 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. 4) We must polish the Polish furniture. 5) He could lead if he would get the lead out. 6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.. 7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. 9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. 10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid. 12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. 13) They were too close to the door to close it. 14) The buck does funny things when the does are present. 15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. 16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. 17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail. 18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.. 19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Prime Philadelphia August  
Prime Philadelphia August  

Restaurants, the Arts, and Travel