FYI Philly meets pandemic entrepreneurs, AC Restaurant Week

Monday, September 20, 2021
FYI Philly's September 19 episode
We meet some entrepreneurs who launched pandemic side hustles, visit a new "Zen lounge", and a preview Restaurant Week in Atlantic City.

PHILADELPHIA -- Traveling pop-up Cozinha shares a taste of Portugal dining

The flavors of Portugal are on the move.

Cozinha is a new Portuguese-inspired pop-up bringing authentic flavors to Philadelphia.

Chefs Brian Oliveira and Brian Mattera opened Cozinha in February 2021 as a passion project during the pandemic. The married couple has been in the food business since 2018, as full-time caterers, running Happy Hour Hospitality.

Their latest venture is an ode to Oliveira's roots stemming from Portugal combined with his grandmother's recipes.

The duo collaborates with local makers like Herman's Coffee and incorporates local produce from Riverwards Produce.

Cozinha Portugal Pop-up | Instagram | Happy Hour Hospitality

You can find Cozinha at their next pop up:

Persimmon coffee shop brings pandemic dream a reality

Every weekday from 8 a.m. -noon, you'll find Sawyer Beckley and Kai Talim selling their Persimmon coffee outside Essene Market and Cafe in Queen Village.

"Coffee is primarily a gateway to building community," says Beckley, the roaster. Talim does operations and communications, and Chaereen Pak, the third partner in this small-batch coffee venture, is the designer of Persimmon's logo.

Their brand is focused on sustainability. They release just one coffee at a time, "So that we can offer it to the world as something that persimmon really focused on and loved," Talim says.

It's almost always single-origin and sometimes from a specific farm. Beckley gravitates towards light or medium roasts and they sell it by the bag or prepared however you like it.

"Just straight espresso to iced or hot lattes to cappuccinos to americanos," Beckley says.

And three's always a seasonal specialty drink on the menu. For summer, it's the cloud dancer made with muddled espresso and blueberry preserves, topped with heavy cream and fresh mint Come fall, they'll switch to their take on the spiced pumpkin latte.

The trio met while working together in a coffee shop, and then COVID came.

They dreamed of opening their own shop in the future but the pandemic gave the dream a sense of urgency.

Ancient Spirits & Grille brings zen to Philly's cuisine scene

Newly opened Ancient Spirits & Grille is a new concept in dining on the Philly food scene.

Inspired by the ancient practice of 'Ayurveda', the goal is to keep mind and body in balance.

Co-owners Syam Namballa and Mahi Reddy are practitioners in their personal lives and wanted to introduce the holistic concept in their restaurant.

The menu is billed as European-herbal fusion, and owners say their spot is 'the first herbal cocktail lounge in America'.

The floor-to-ceiling bar at Ancient Spirits & Grille

Ancient Spirits & Grille | Facebook | Instagram

1726 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Open daily, 11am-11pm

The Corner Store uses repurposed fabrics to give them new life

Madison Blyler is a Philadelphia art educator who recently added entrepreneur to her title.

During the pandemic, she started her own sustainably conscious design company called The Corner Store PHL.

She makes pillows, totes, crossbody bags, zipper pouches and recently just collaborated on a line with bucket hats.

A self-taught sewer, Blyler's small-batch everyday designs are a simple solution. She uses upcycled materials from donations, thrift stores and local wholesale retailers which makes each of her pieces one of a kind.

Blyler's goal for The Corner Store is to one day make it a zero-waste brand. She is selling her accessories and home goods on her website and in retailers across Philly.

The Corner Store PHL | Instagram | Facebook

Previewing Restaurant Week in Atlantic City

Atlantic City Restaurant Week has moved from March to October, with more than 60 restaurants participating in the week-long event that runs October 3-8.

Each restaurant is offering a special meal deal that includes an appetizer, entree and dessert for $35.21.

We visited five of the participating restaurants for a preview of their exclusive menus created for the event.

AC has become quite a dining destination and it's a great excuse to make the trip down the shore this fall.

Atlantic City Restaurant Week | Participating Restaurants | Facebook | Instagram

October 3-8

Various locations in Atlantic City, N.J.

History comes to life in the Brandywine Valley

Chester County is an area rich in history. From Revolutionary relics to underground railroad stops, Halloween haunts and famous works of art.

The Chester County Historical Society provides insight into that history inside the West Chester Museum, but they also take that show on the road with walking tours that provide a more interactive experience.

The Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern provides a glimpse into the life of the famous artist. The home he created and lived in has morphed into an interactive exhibit for small groups to tour. Examples of his work are displayed throughout his living space and the actual home is one of his most impressive works of art.

The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center provides a unique aviation experience in West Chester.

With more than three dozen helicopters, the space provides a chance for guests to get in the cockpit and handle some of the controls. It also delves into the local accomplishments of companies in the area that have created groundbreaking helicopter technology.

We rounded up some destinations that chronicle the county's deep roots.

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center | Facebook | Instagram

1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, PA 19380

Chester County History Center | Facebook | Instagram

225 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19380

Wharton Esherick Museum | Facebook | Instagram

Joey T's Food Truck is booming for former Delaware trooper

Joe Thuet started Joey T's food truck about six months ago and business has been booming.

"Sometimes they tell me I'm making them gain weight, and I tell them don't blame us, don't blame Joey T's on your addiction," said Thuet.

Joey, a retired Delaware state trooper, says his customers are a blessing to his whole team.

After retiring as a trooper, Joey wanted to try his hand at acting. He landed a few small stand-in roles in some films but that's been hindered due to the pandemic.

He figured with his time off, what better time to open up a food truck.

He sells breakfast food; sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches are his most popular item.

Joey T's | Facebook

1401 East Newport Pike, Newport, Del.

Philly Pops returns to in-person concerts with hat tip to Sinatra

The Philly Pops are back and it's music to our ears.

The return to in-person concerts at the Kimmel Cultural Campus kicks off on September 24. Karen Rogers has a preview in this week's 6abc Loves the Arts.

The Philly Pops has a full season in store ranging from the classics to favorites.

The first show of the season will be Sinatra: A Man and His Music. Emmy award-winner Rickey Minor will serve as guest conductor. Minor is known for working with some of the greatest names in musical history.

Philly Pops | Instagram | Facebook

2021-2022 Season - Various shows & dates

Sinatra: A Man and His Music, Rickey Minor, Conductor

Show dates September 24th - 26th

With Performances at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, United States

Alicia Vitarelli takes you inside Sunday's show with an exclusive look at 3 featured venues.


Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery recently opened on Germantown Avenue.

Owner and curator Steven CW Taylor created the space for the public to travel through photographs.

Ubuntu is the South African philosophy of shared humanity.

Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery | Website | Facebook | Instagram

5423 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA. 19144

PAWS is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and inching closer to its goal of making Philadelphia a no-kill city.

We're really using this space to showcase cats who might need the exposure and the time, the interaction with adopters," says PAWS Executive Director Melissa Levy.

"Compared to when we started when there were literally 10s of 1000s of animals losing their lives every year, it's now down to a few dozen," Levy says, "that's how far we've come."

The rescue is in need of fosters, volunteers and donations for its adoption centers and clinics and help for families who can't afford quality care.

"A lot of people really don't have the resources they need but they still love their pets and they still deserve to experience that bond," Levy says.

PAWS Adoption Center | Website | Facebook | Instagram

100 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

15th annual Mutt Strut, October 23rd at the Navy Yard | Website