Monthly Archives

June 2009


Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is like a gourmet bar, but it’s not a restaurant

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., known for being the center for the largest alcohol ring in the country during the prohibition era, is re-opening as a historic and refreshing addition to the nightlife scene in Philadelphia. The Franklin is located 112 S 18th St, but unless you know the address you might not be able to find the place as it’s entrance is very subtle. On the opening night there was no mistaking where the front door was as you had to be on one of the lists that these young ladies held.
Sandra Grekulavic, Greta Baith, Jillian Hundzynski, Jen Sherlock

The Franklin is all about the table service, not to be confused with bottle service as you are not going to find that here. There is no minimum as long as you have one drink. The bar is very tiny and located in the back of the room, guests are encouraged to take a seat and enjoy table service by a smartly dressed server. There is no VIP section, as all their guests are VIPs as far as they’re concerned.

(Philly Thrillist)

It’s a great place to play table gamesor hang with your favorite girl, Chad Boonswag and Lisa CorrealeEvery drink is made to order by dapper bartenders (tie, vest/suspenders), who start by hand-carving chips from three types of “gourmet” ice (Kold-Draft, nugget, culinary grade); the 20 menu concoctions are broken into six categories: American History, Water of Life, Summer Sippin, Revivers & Tonics, Island Coolers, and Martini Through Time — all more sophisticated than the stuff that caused you to tank American History. Many mixers are made in-house (from lemon juice to grenadine), and all booze is top shelf, from the Buffalo Trace in the Brown Derby, to the Inland Julep’s Siembra Azul Reposado, to the Hayman’s Old Tom gin in the Billy Penn Club, to the Blood and Sand’s Famous Grouse (“Who bled in my sand?”). (Thrillist)
Don Bell and Kristie Gonzales

City Paper Meal Ticket editor Drew Lazor with Michelle Flisek

Phoodie states: … there is that cocktail list. It’s six pages long. It’s epic. And there’s not a single simple-syrup cosmo-tini soul destroyer in the bunch. In fact, The Franklin doesn’t even serve vodka. Not a drop in the whole place. How’s that for Douche Prevention? You are in the provinces of Whiskey and Gin here (along with plenty of other non-vodka spirits), and their rule is firm yet enlightened. We tried the Billy Penn Club (an almost margarita-tasting gin/egg white concoction), the Brown Derby (a bourbon/grapefruit/honey headbanger) and our favorite, the Simó Cup (a gin/Pimm’s/lemon/cucumber salvation). Which is a great start. There’s only five pages of drinks left to try.Veronica Scarpellino and Thrillist Josh Valocchi
Casey, Nellie, Greg Burhart, The New England Patriots Alex Smith, Julie Abrahmson and The St. Louis Cardinals Anthony Becht,

Nate Greene and Philly2Philly‘s Chenoa H Greene

Jayne Hamel, Vicky Martelli, Aly McNichols, Dana Chaby, Jackie Nauen and Rob Beck

NBC10’s “Be A 10 in 10 Weeks” Megan Smith with Louise CastellanoSam Gross, guest, Anne Nikolaus, Chris Prabhu (Thank you for reading PCC), Stacey Kracher, Yuval Yona
Hadas Kuznits interviews head bartender Alex Day.

Although The Franklin doesn’t serve food, they have contracted with Di Bruno Bros for private event catering.
Stylish Bela Shehu and Anthony DiMeo III
VH1’s Tough Love Steve Ward and Angeline Panepresso
Foobooz Editor Arthur Etchells with a friend
Greta Baith and Sandra Grelculaic
Michael Welsh, here with Chris Doggett. Chris is the President/Ceo of the Frankin as well as the managing partner and says The Franklin is going to be a comfortable place with lots of banquette seating and a smattering of small tables. There’s a bar in the back where some people may prefer standing, but he stresses it’s all about comfort, enjoying each other and the drinks. “We’re going to have an expansive drink menu consisting of ‘special’ drinks with top shelf liquor. People are going to come here because we’re going to be serving delicious drinks that can’t be found anywhere else.” The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. is the kind of place you want to go to to sit and enjoy a drink with that special someone, or a few friends. It’s not a S&M bar (Stand & Model), instead it’s a relaxed atmosphere where you can let your hair down and just enjoy yourself.



If you’re in town for the big Philadelphia Fourth of July 2009 celebration, there’s parades, fireworks, museums, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross’ house, the Big Bus tour, so much to do, but did you know there’s a great visitor center at City Hall.

That’s right that big historic building at Broad & Market which is near many of your hotels, not only holds some of our most important offices, but also houses a visitor center with lots of information about the City plus a tour office (Rm 121) where you can pick up timed tour tickets to the observation tower. Call ahead for an appt the day of tour: 215-564-4705 (small fee)
Also an interior architectural tour leaves everyday at 12:30 from the tour office, Rm 121
The City Hall Tour Director is Greta Greenberger, center. Volunteers Ruth and Matilda. Ruth has been a volunteer for about 15 years. Tell them Hughe sent you.
Judy runs the gift shop.
Do you want to own a miniature statue like the one that broke “William Penn’s” Curse on the City. Greta had a larger statue and it was welded to the highest beam at the Comcast Center. The following year the Curse was broken and the Phillies won the World Series. They’re only $10



(UPDATED MONDAY) – ON SUNDAY, a young woman Laura Perille organized a spontaneous dance party on the steps of the art museum. Not sure if you’ve seen these done, but a couple people start dancing out of nowhere and then more join in, then more, then more. It all started with an instructional video on YouTube and then people show up. The point is that they look spontaneous – so you’ll see tourists looking around wondering what’s happening. These things get great viral pick-up on Youtube/Facebook, etc. You can watch the link below

The “Spontaneous” Dance Party

Fulfilling life goals, one SDP at a time…

Sunday, June 28, 2009
2:00pm – 2:05pm
Art Museum
Philadelphia, PA

A “spontaneous” (aka choreographed dance that we are trying to make look spontaneous) dance on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum!

If you don’t know what this entails, check out the following “spontaneous” dances in European train stations:

Ok, now to the one that we will be doing. Here is the link to the instructional video:

At the time of the event, you just jump in whenever you feel inspired by the music. The dance is just over four minutes long, and when the music ends, you just go on your merry way as if nothing had happened, thereby baffling the tourists.

Why should you do this?
1. You would make me VERY, VERY, VERY (etc.) happy.
2. When will you ever get another chance to do this?
3. I’m giving you an excuse to break it down in public.
4. Everyone can dance. YES you can.

This is legit. The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau is interested in using this as a potential promotion for the city. We will be recording this event for our own entertainment as well as for promotional purposes.

In order to get as many people as possible in on this, please invite others who might be interested.

Check out this article in the Philadelphia City Paper:

For those of you who were curious, we will be blasting the music from speakers, so everyone will be able to hear what is going on.

Not to overstate the obvious, but remember that this is supposed to look spontaneous! If you are joining in the dance, you want to make it look like you just couldn’t help but jump right in.



It’s probably too late, but I wish they could add THRILLER



Who said Philadelphia never has celebrities. This paparazzi knows that they are here. Most of the times they come in the form of visiting sports teams to do battle with our guys, (here the autograzzi are trying to obtain a graph from a ball player last Friday. Who did the Phillies play?)The folks I’m after are the A Lister’s, the people that I can get published nationally and get a little notice for Philadelphia. Trust me it’s not about the money, unless you get the shot of Britney doing something crazy or video of a celeb punching another one, we are talking $10 – $20, but priceless PR for our City and since I never became the concierge I always wanted to be, this is the next best thing for me to promote the City.

It’s few and far between when a Hayden, Aniston or a Moore swings by the City, but we do get our fair share of celebrities or folks who would be guest stars on The Love Boat if it was still in production. Here’s Leslie Jordan a recognizable face from TV and the movies, at a Happy Hour at Union Trust last week.
He was in town to appear at Plays and Players in “Del Shores The Storyteller: My Sordid Life” with actor/model Jason Dottley. Jason, Leslie and actor/writer/director Del Shores. Get a copy of “Sordid Lives” by Del Shores, you will be ROFL. Stars Olivia Newton John and Rue McCallahan.

Jane Seymour with Jane Golden. I love this photo of them greeting each other at the Wall Ball
Here’s a shot as it was published nationally on this daily entertainment site:

It pays to know the people who patronize our restaurants. Someone tipped me off to Gwen Stefani and No Doubt was eating at Morimoto’s in Old City a few weeks back.

Although this shot didn’t appear in any print media, besides the Inquirer, a shot like this can be placed on many of websites, and blogs across the world giving Morimoto and Philly a good shot of PR.

The latest movie filming in Philadelphia is “The Best and the Brightest” with Neil Patrick Harris, Bonnie Somerville and Amy Sederis. This week it’s been occupying a house on the 2000 block of Spruce Street for filming. I’ve gone by a few times. Last Friday, June 19, I took this shot as well as a gigantic one that was on the cover of the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday, which I will be writing about next week as I was invited on the set to conduct a series of interviews with producers and observe the filming.

Last night Doogie was eating at Audrey Claire’s and probably had a good laugh as I was scouring the sidewalk across the street looking for him. When I finally saw he was right behind me, he quickly walked past me to the set.

Last night he was eating there again, not wanting to disturb him I waited. This time a producer came out to chat, er distract me, and Doogie came out and walked all the way around the block back to the set. That’s just ridiculous, really who does he think he is Tom Cruise, oh wait Tom Cruise would never do that, not only would he come out, but he would tell you his schedule for the rest of the night, he knows the photos I take are for the fans.


JULY 4TH EVENTS IN PHILADELPHIA – Sunoco Welcome America Celebration

I’ve been getting a lot of hits about what to do in Philadelphia on July 4th since I wrote an earlier piece on it. Independence Day is a big deal here, with most activities around Independence Mall and a few blocks away along the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing. On June 27, 2009 the party gets kicked off with a free concert at 7PM, Angie Stone, and fireworks display at Penns Landing around 9:30PM. Then there’s a week of activities, here’s the schedule. America’s Birthday

The culmination is a huge free concert at 8:30PM, with The Roots and Sheryl Crow, on Ben Franklin Blvd ending in a spectacular fireworks display. Here are a few links to help you plan your trip.

City Food Tour –

4th of July Red, White, & Blue Food Tour

Also on June 27, 2009 there’s a concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center. At the end of the concert there will be a spectacular fireworks display as well.

Here’s a great site with ideas on how to spend the day:

The Mural Arts will be giving their regular tours on that day: Saturday 12:30PM
Most Museums will be open:

The Best Things to do in Philly: Comprehensive list

The Independence Tea Party Association

One of the most important websites: America’s Birthday which has all of the City sponsored events for the day, including the week before.
I will be adding to this list as the days go on. Look for The Biggest and the Brightest entry for next week. I need a bit more time to create it. Best Hughe