Philly's top chefs take on COVID-19 and the best takeout cocktails

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From the James Beard-winning Zahav to new spot Laser Wolf, the top chef is back serving up great food for takeout during the pandemic.

Top chef Michael Solomonov is still cooking during the pandemic
Michael Solomonov and his partner Steve Cook have created a restaurant power called CookNSolo with 16 eateries, including the James Beard winner for the best restaurant in the country, Zahav.

They had to close all 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with one, Laser Wolf, having just opened six weeks before the closures.

Michael and his team spent the first couple of weeks focused on cooking for those in need and now they have started to reopen for takeout and delivery.

It's given him a chance to bring back some of his employees but the uncertain future of the restaurant industry is making the next steps very challenging.

Zahav | Facebook | Instagram

Abe Fisher | Facebook | Instagram

Merkaz | Facebook | Instagram
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The all-day cafe and bakery named after co-owner Michael Solomonov's hometown in Israel!

K'Far | Facebook | Instagram
Laser Wolf | Facebook | Instagram
Dizengoff | Facebook | Instagram

Goldie | Facebook | Instagram

Federal Donuts | Facebook | Instagram
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Philadelphia's James Beard nominated chefs at Vedge and South Philly Barbacoa are giving Philly diners a lifeline as restaurants continue to struggle due to COVID-19.

Vedge, South Philly Barbacoa offering exclusive weekend takeout menu
Philadelphia is a foodie town, but right now the restaurant community is in crisis.

One silver lining is the James Beard nominations that serve, as Chef Rich Landau of Vedge puts it, as a "reassuring lifeline" that what they once did is still relevant.

And though the experience is much different these days, both Vedge and his fellow Best Chef Mid Atlantic nominee, Cristina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa have turned to weekend takeout.

During the week, Chef Martinez is making meals for hospital workers, their patients, the elderly and poor.

South Philly Barbacoa | Facebook
1140 S 9th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147

Vedge | Instagram | Order online Fri. -Sat. 4-6 p.m.
1221 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

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Whether you're in a margarita mood or a boozy milkshake, these bars are offering great drinks on the go!

Morgan Pier and 4 other great spots for to-go cocktails
Takeout cocktails are on the move in the Philadelphia area.

Restaurants hope it is a shot in the arm for the industry still reeling from COVID-19. The new law is a temporary order during the pandemic and for some of these restaurants it was enough to reopen for the first time.
We visited some of the participants as they create their menu of to-go items with everything from boozy milkshakes to high caliber classics.
In The Valley (ITV) | Facebook | Instagram

1615 East Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Morgan's Pier | Facebook | Instagram
221 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19123

Craftsman Row Saloon | Facebook | Instagram
112 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Leda & The Swan | Facebook | Instagram
1224 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Tradesman's | Facebook | Instagram
1322 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Bucks County theater troupe, Without a Cue Productions, is taking their live murder mystery show virtual.

Bored? Check out this virtual murder mystery theater
Bucks County theater troupe, Without a Cue Productions, is taking their live murder mystery show virtual.

The local company is reinventing their live performance act to adapt to COVID-19. They usually can be seen up and down the East coast, performing about 500 shows a year.

The virtual concept works like this: Once you sign your party up, you receive emails from the company with your character's name, background and secret clues, and play on a video-conferencing tool, like Zoom.

6abc's Karen Rogers and a few of the other members of the Action News morning team joined in on the fun in this new, unique way of bringing people together for a good time and a good laugh.

Without a Cue | Facebook | Instagram

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From curbside pickups to online subscriptions, local coffee shops are switching gears to keep customers caffinated during the pandemic.

Coffee shops in the era of covid-19
If the coffee shop scene is all about people gathering, community, and hanging out - how are those businesses surviving through the shutdowns caused by Covid-19?

We stopped by four different spots in the area are doing to stay alive.

La Colombe | Facebook Instagram
130 S. 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Green Street Coffee Company | Facebook Instagram
Roastery: 1919 Alter Street, Phila. PA 19146
Cafe: 1101 Spruce Street, Phila. PA 19107

Coffee Cream & Dreams | Facebook Instagram
1500 Fairmount Avenue, Phila. PA 19130

Breaking Grounds | Facebook Instagram | Donate to GoFundMe Campaign
14 White Street, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060

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Two local real estate professionals show us what trends are happening during the pandemic, and how it has changed the way they do business.

The real deal on real estate during COVID-19
The last time our economy went into a recession, the real estate industry was devastated.

This time around, it's the opposite - low interest rates are sending buyers to the market.
Two local real estate professionals - one in the city, one in the suburbs - show us what trends are happening now during the pandemic, and how it has changed the way they do business.

Muve PHL | Facebook Instagram
1619 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Romano Realty | Facebook Instagram
53 N. Main Street, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062

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With Father's Day on the horizon, Cecily Tynan checks out two new dads hanging out at the Zoo.

New dads bond at the Philly Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo celebrated the birth of a new baby sloth bear - Keematee.

The new baby is being raised by its mother Kayla, but the father, Bhalu, is not part of the equation.
Sloth bear fathers don't participate in the raising of their cubs and so he was separated from Keematee and Kayla upon birth.

Balawat was in a similar situation at his home in the Cleveland Zoo. Both animals were social which is unusual for a bear and the two zoos decided to bring them together.

They have formed a fast friendship and are now yard buddies at Philadelphia Zoo.
Philadelphia Zoo | Spring Back Fund | Facebook | Instagram
3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Tamala Edwards is adding some new jobs to her on-screen repertoire: Motivational speaker and cook!

Tamala Edwards touching lives with new virtual projects
Tamala Edwards has been a part of the Action News team since 2005 and a steady voice behind the desk for the morning team.

But two new projects she started while working from have given a glimpse behind the curtain.

Her Facebook Live series Be Encouraged is a daily pep talk offering observations and inspiration from her life that have helped followers through these tough times.

She also called on her award-winning chef husband Rocco Lugrine for some ideas to get in the kitchen. The couple has made some decadent desserts that require fewer ingredients and are not super challenging.

Tamala Edwards: Be Encouraged | Follow Tamala
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This week's recipe is for chocolate ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Cooking with Tam & Rocco
Flourless Chocolate Cake | Ice Cream without Ice Cream Maker

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Melissa Magee offers an in-depth look at the June 6 episode of FYI Philly.

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