Monthly Archives

November 2010



I’d never eaten at Roy’s but I did run in and get a few snap shots of him last year when I heard he would be making an appearance at the restaurant that bore his name. Above the James Beard award winner Chef Roy Yamaguchi.
I also grabbed a few shots while I was inside. Phileb NBC10’s Bill Henley at the food bar with his wife Susan, who is blocked by the flowers, but I would recognize her beautiful eyes anywhere. They’ve been together nearly 20 years, and are vegetarians.
The open kitchen, which in the new restaurant by the Grasso brother’s remains with the same concept.
Standing near the 15th Street entrance looking right. I didn’t venture into the restaurant too far as this was a stop off between Meritage and Union Trust where Michael Vicks was having his first meal after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. At the time I didn’t know the Grasso’s owned both buildings, as well as Del Frisco’s. (How lucky is our City to have so many restaurant entrepreneurs that see a vibrant Philadelphia foodie scene. Garces, Grasso, Starr, Val & Marcie and a handful of others.)

Roy’s suffering from the economy, closed last July. The owners of the property Joe and David Grasso decided they wanted to open a little something there themselves. At first they were going to open a seafood bar. But that’s all changed now…
Note the windows at 500 Degrees, extended to the ground. I never realized that 500 Degrees was part of the “Roy’s” building. The Grasso Brother’s are giants in the commercial property industry here in Philly. Owning many of the building’s that house some of our most delicious restaurants.
Walking home one night I noticed that one of the windows at the old Roy’s was being extended too. So I decided to go back the next day to investigate. Was the new restaurant starting to emerge.

Lo and behold two windows had their bricks knocked out. I went into 500 Degrees to take the time to wonder what was going on inside, and how was I going to find out. (If you go back now this whole side is knocked to the ground under each window.
BTW 500 Degrees is open Fri & Sat til 3PM
When I left the burger place I found two guys working on the windows. Later I would learn that the guy on the left was Joe Grasso. I introduced myself and Joe said it was nice to finally meet me. He then graciously invited me into the new restaurant to check out their progress.
Which was basically a gutted Roy’s. Joe tells me that many people think this building is historic and wondered if their hands would be tied with the renovations, but in fact it was built: 1948

The restaurant/bar is going to be geared more towards a sports bar with a comfort food menu. The center of the room will house the longest bar in the City, surrounded by tables to satisfied guests more intimately. On the far wall will be the ever popular open kitchen (in this picture). Above the mezzanine will wrap around the entire restaurant so everyone gets a view, and al fresco, they’ll have it. Opening date is set for February 2011. The same month the basement club headed by Mark Marek plans to open. No name has been made public for either space. Since leaving G Lounge, another sub floor night club, last year, Mark Marek has been a regular promoter on the dance club circuit, executing successful parties in Atlantic City all summer; no doubt taking notes and incorporating the best elements into this new dance club, his club, he’ll be calling the shots.

Look for a few surprises in the sub dance club that you won’t find anywhere else. Did you know this building used to be a bank, and guess what’s down there? Mark Marek, is having a contest to name his new club. The winning name gets VIP Bottle Service on opening night (I sent in a half dozen suggestions). Oh Bottle Service you say, I hear that it will be very limited and the club will cater to all, with seats for the non-bottle buying public too. What’s going on in this City, finally there are choices to dance in Center City, good news for all. Both business will be run separately, but in a complimentary way. On the right of this picture will be a large see through glass door which will lead to the new club. And with that Center City gets exciting just a little more, and 15th and Sansom comes alive. I think the new hours of 500 Degrees is a good thing, as that place will be a gold mine this time next year. UPDATE: The Name of the New Restaurant: American Oak


EYE CANDY: XIII ON 13 – Unique Holiday Gifts in Philly – Part 1

Today’s Eye Candy is everything I found in this cute little store on 13th Street near Locust St. XIII on 13 and is a kitschy little place with practical gifts, fun stuff, one of a kind items that will put a smile on your face. They also carry glassware, vases, candle sticks, hostess gifts, dishes, but for today’s entry I’m gonna focus on the fun stuff.
Louis Hauser & Izzy who are available to attend your every need in retail therapy.

Lunch Boxes are back in style (Reminds me of that Pink song “Raise Your Glass!”
Store Hours:
Closed On Monday. Tuesday thru Thursday – 10:00AM to 7:00PM
Friday & Saturday – 10:00AM to 8:00PM Sunday – 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The two M’s. There was also more serious jewelery pieces too that you just have to check out.
If you have road rage, you might need both of these car fresheners
Who doesn’t Love Lucy?
Eye Candy of the day: XIII on 13 – 211 South 13th Street – Snatch these up for your favorite Phillie’s Fan (Tell them you read it on PhillyChitChat)
00PM to 6:00PM


Invincible Pictures & Philadelphia Sound Stages “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

PhillyChitChatter Hey hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Last night I covered the “Four Seasons at the Four Seasons” and decided to share the wealth with the pixs to give Broadway Cares more press than if it was just on my site, which I know has a lot of readers, but the event had a thousand stories to it and well I wanted to get maximum exposure for it. SO look for those shots & my stories on Thursday. I’m still about 10 events behind so I will be doing two entries today, this one and a little closer to 11AM another story will go live.

I hear that Ryan Seacrest was in town yesterday doing his E! News Daily Show from the lobby. I wish I knew about that earlier, I had stopped by Comcast to check out the Holiday Show, which I will be writing about tomorrow.
Today I have a sponsored blog entry by Invincible Pictures. The photographer is Chamyang Unkow. So enjoy, and check back later for the cutest store I found, that is inexpensive to boot.

Have a great day. HughE

Philadelphia Sound Stages, the only full-service motion picture studio in Philadelphia. It is amaaaazing. Two full soundstages, with the lights/wattage to light up Broad Street – you won’t see another space like this in Philly – my source tells me
Tom Ashley and Brad Heffler from Invincible Pictures and Andrew Greenblatt from the Philadelphia Film Society. According to’s Matt Godfrey At first glance, the setting seems sort of odd: A dozen mock houses, complete with fake grass, roadways and even a white picket fence, on the second floor of a renovated warehouse along North 5th Street in Kensington. What’s even stranger is that there are some restrictions on “living” here, if you would, in fact, wish to do so. Welcome to The Neighborhood, the newest addition to the ever-growing Philadelphia Soundstages, a 50,000-square-foot film and television production facility. The houses that make up The Neighborhood are not actually living spaces at all. They’re affordably priced office spaces for smaller film and entertainment production companies and individuals looking to connect with the larger entertainment community. “What we’re trying to do is create an incubator environment for smaller production companies,” explained Soundstages founder and CEO Tom Ashley, who is also the brains behind The Neighborhood. “A big part of what this is all about is bringing everyone together.”

Philly’s Gwen Gioia from Bachleor pad posing in front of one of step and repeat on the “red carpet”
The demolished car in shot is the result of a shoot with the Jackass guys from this week at Philly Sound Stages. They shot some extra’s for Jackass 3D’s DVD release coming out soon. (I just got this picture in after I wrote up this entry” “Invincible Pictures, here in Philadelphia just wrapped shooting a music video for CKY’s song “Afterworld” which is featured in Jackass3D and the upcoming Jackass DVD. This picture is after a long night of shooting. Left to right. Bam Margera from Jackass, Kevon Glickman, CKY attorney/video producer, Chad Ginsburg from CKY, and Thomas Ashley, video director. – Is that a near beer in Bam’s hand? I thought he was on the wagon, just sayin’ )

So the Invincible Pictures team left the car in the center of the show to lend to the ambiance.
Chad Ginsberg from CKY band, Josh Heffler and a few friends.
Brad Heffler and Andrea Heffler from Invincible Pictures, Jeff Orleans and actress Kim Delaney. Philadelphia Soundstages is located at 1600 N. 5th St. For more information on The Neighborhood and Philadelphia Soundstages, go to or call 215-666-5200.