PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Hotel West and Main a destination for dining and happy hour
The Hotel West and Main is Conshohocken's first hotel in 22 years.
But it is much more than a hotel. The bones of the space is a 148-year old firehouse on the historical registry that has been restored.
The original facade surrounds you in the hotel lobby and also on the 2nd-floor restaurant Hook and Ladder. The fine dining chophouse features a menu that includes appetizers such as bone marrow, beef ribs and a 42-ounce tomahawk steak.
The cocktail menu is inspired by the building's history with drinks named in honor of the fire company with titles like Slow Burn and Downtown Heat. The indoor/outdoor space has a two-sided bar, a heated patio and beautiful views of the courtyard.
1874 Social is the lobby bar with retractable firehouse doors that open into the yard and plenty of room to spread out.
The space is open as a cafe all day and a great happy hour stop after work.
46 Fayette Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428
2nd Floor of Hotel West & Main
1st floor of Hotel West & Main
Fork celebrates 25th anniversary with vintage wines, alumni guest chefs
When Ellen Yin opened Fork back on October 15th, 1997, she had a very specific mission: to create a community focused on supporting local farmers and food artisans.
And in the quarter-century since, the bounty of local offerings has blossomed.
Fork has become known for its high-quality bread program and modern American fare, and Ellen says the restaurant evolves with each new executive chef putting their own personal stamp on the menu.
For George Madosky, that has meant dishes like stewed beans, pepita tomatillos soup, dry aged beef burgers and sugar shack oysters from Barnegat Light , NJ that remind him of his childhood down the shore. It is, he says, the kind of comfort food diners have been craving since the pandemic.
For its 25th anniversary, Fork is breaking out some vintage 1997 wines and hosting a series of Alumni chef takeover dinners, each one raising money for the charity of the chef's choice.
Terence Feury, who cheffed at Fork a decade ago, is on deck November 16th with a sustainable seafood dinner. It will benefit a culinary scholarship fund for his brother, Patrick Feury, a fellow chef who passed away this past year.
Fork also launched a Zine to mark its milestone. The first issue focused on sustainability; the second explores how integral restaurants are to the community post pandemic. Ellen says the zine is intended to provide a platform for thought leaders with the hopes of sparking ideas for solutions.
The Zines are $10 each with proceeds going to a local non-profit. The 2nd issue will benefit Soil Generation, a Black and Brown led coalition of gardeners, farmers, individuals, and community-based organizations working to ensure people of color regain community control of land and food.
When small independent restaurants struggled to survive the pandemic shutdown, Ellen joined the Sisterly Love Food Fair, a group of female food entrepreneurs banding together to support each other.
And when the virus sparked a rise in anti Asian hate, she launched The Wonton Project to raise money for AAPI non-profits.
Along with Fork, she runs High Street Bakery and a. Kitchen + Bar in Rittenhouse Square, and she's a four-time James Beard outstanding restaurateur nominee.
While she's not sure what the future for Fork might hold, she says she's confident that the restaurant's commitment to creating community will never change.
306 Market St, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
Taco Heart brings Texas-style breakfast tacos to South Philly
At Taco Heart, the specialty is Texas-style breakfast tacos.
Owner Nano Wheedan lived in Austin, Texas, for 15 years before he moved back home to Philly, and he brought the popular breakfast food with him.
The most popular menu item is the migas taco, which is very well-known in Central Texas.
It's tortilla chips crushed into scrambled eggs with tomato, onion, cilantro, Monterey jack cheese, avocado, and then wrapped in a freshly made, warm flour tortilla.
In fact, the menu was built around the flour tortilla, and they're made fresh daily in front of guests.
It started when Nano moved to South Philly in 2020.
He taught himself how to make flour tortillas from scratch and began selling his very own breakfast tacos from his stoop.
The demand quickly outgrew his sidewalk operation and that's when he planned to open Taco Heart on East Passyunk Avenue.
1001 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19147
Celebrating International Vegan Day with spots old and new
AtiyaOla's Spirit First Foods has been bringing vegan, vegetarian and raw foods to West Philadelphia for more than a decade.
You can go for comfort foods like falafel burgers, mild or spicy vegan sausage and vegan cheesesteaks.
There are two soups of the day, one of which is always the coconut curry chickpea because, owner AtiyaOla Malik Khan says, there's a customer revolt when it's not on the menu.
For those who eat fish, they also cook salmon but Atiya Ola's is known for its raw platters and raw wraps.
Atiya Williams is the co-owner and AtiyaOla's goddaughter. The restaurant is part of the Enterprise Center and, just like the business incubator it calls home, AtiyaOla's supports other local makers with products like locally made honey, jewelry and even detergent for sale.
They also carry locally made vegan desserts; the raw vegan cheesecake is a must try.
310 S 48th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Fitz on Fourth opened in June, bringing vegan cocktails, tapas and full-sized plates to Queen Village.
The cafe is the project of Alison Fitzpatrick and her son, Alex Soto. Alison is the executive chef:
Alex is the mix master and has fast become the Fitz on Fourth ice cream guy.
His coconut milk-based Graham cracker ice cream is paired with an apple crisp recipe from Alison's grandmother that she describes as "nice and crispy on top and then molten deliciousness underneath."
For the main meal, Alison makes dishes like edamame dumplings and squash, a crab cake made with hearts of palm and artichoke hearts, Caesar salad with cashew parm and tacos.
Alex has crafted a collection of cocktails, from the Nightbird Espresso Martini to a Pear Elderflower Martini and a Pumpkin Butter Bourbon. The cocktails are made with local spirits and house made simple syrups.
Both mom and son came to hospitality from the healthcare industry. They became frustrated by COVID and decided to pursue Alison's lifelong dream of opening a restaurant.
Alison, a trained chef, became vegan in 2018 at the advice of her doctors and says the diet dropped her medication list from nine to one.
They want the restaurant to be a reflection of their personality and hope the vibe makes everyone feel welcome and at home.
743 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Callowhill Archery targets indoor fun and hits the bullseye
When people think of recreational sports, football, basketball, and baseball usually come to mind.
But Yuan Jie Wen is working to add archery to the list.
The former mechanical engineer took up the sport during the pandemic, and now runs one of the only indoor archery ranges in the city.
Callowhill Archery offers lessons for people as young as 8-years-old, and also rents archery lanes and equipment by the hour for those with experience.
The facility also has a family connection - it is in the building that housed his parents' tofu factory in the 1990s.
446 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
(open 1pm-9pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Meet the KOP company that makes Bryce Harper's bats
The bats made for Bryce Harper and a number of Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros are all made by two baseball fanatics from the Philadelphia area.
Jared Smith and Ryan Engroff started Victus Sports in 2012, a passion project for two baseball players trying to stay involved with the game they love.
It started as a hobby and their passion led to a business that now produces bats for 25% of Major League Baseball.
That makes them the most-swung bat in the MLB.
650 Clark Avenue D, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Theater XP to debut world premiere of 'Crossing the Veil'
Martin Hopewell is one of the main characters in 'Crossing the Veil', except that he's dead and the play is set at his own funeral.
As his family says their goodbyes, Martin's spirit climbs out of the casket and he begins to have a dialogue with them, but they don't see or hear him.
Martin realizes that his family had not seen him as the wonderful father and husband he had always thought himself to be.
"It's an interesting story about what we thought our lives were like, and how others perceived it," says Bob Bowersox, playwright and director of 'Crossing the Veil'.
You may recognize Bowersox from his decades-long QVC show, "In the Kitchen with Bob."
Bowersox grew up in Wilmington, Del. and says he started writing for the screen and stage at just 9-years-old.
He's also acted in 22 movies, including M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable.'
'Crossing the Veil' is inspired by the funeral of Bowersox's own father, as he wove in details of their real-life relationship.
"It was exploring those feelings and having the son say them for me, because I never got a chance to say them to my father," says Bowersox.
'Crossing the Veil' runs from Nov. 5-26 at Plays and Players' Skinner Studio.