Watch the August 21 Episode of FYI Philly

Monday, August 23, 2021
FYI Philly August 21 Episode
We check out a new cocktail joint, a new cafe and a spot for American fare with southeast Asian flare.

PHILADELPHIA -- Sonny's Cocktail Joint: where high brow meets low brow

The backyard patio of Sonny's Cocktail Joint is decked out with an eclectic mix of retro art and furniture.

The spot used to be The Cambridge restaurant, but the couple decided to do a pandemic pivot, "kind of funk it up a little bit," and embrace the outdoor space.

"We enjoy thrift shopping. We enjoy drunken online shopping that has soul," says Chris Fetfatzes who co-owns the place with his wife, Heather Annechiarico.

The place is named for Chris' mother. "My mom could hang out in a room with a governmental dignitary and at the same time a homeless person," Chris says, and that high brow meets low brow sensibility applies to everything here.

D.'s version of chips and dip adds caviar to the French onion dip. There's caviar in the spicy crab roll too.

The tartare toasty is a grilled cheese sandwich meets a classic beef tartare, and you can have an adult version of Dunkaroos for dessert.

And because it's Sonny's cocktail Joint, there's a hefty drink menu.

"26 cocktails," says bar manager, Jordan Gulick, "You have some tequila cocktails. You have some bourbon cocktails, some gin cocktails."

And a rum-based tiki cocktail called Drink of Fortunes. The Real Green Dress, made with Asian liqueur and infused with green tea, is like an "alcoholic green juice."

Chris and Heather opened their first restaurant in 2009, they now have five, three within a single block on South Street.

With Sonny's, they're hoping to raise the bar on your classic dive bar.

Sonny's Cocktail Joint | Facebook | Instagram

1508 South Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19146 (next to Wine Dive)

Open Wednesday-Saturday, 5pm-2am.

New Philly restaurants ES Café Lounge, Coney Shack are must-try spots

We hit the road to check out some of Philly's hot new spots to eat.

ES Café Lounge in Kensington is a family affair owned by Ieisha Ellis and operated by her husband and three children. You will find their own line of coffee, cold brew, drip coffee, lattes and teas.

They also offer specialty latte flights and CBD options for all their drinks.

Ieisha, who is a self-taught chef, also offers a full menu with some of her favorite dishes; from the bestselling avocado toast to whitefish salad and barbeque vegan sliders.

Coney Shack Chef and co-owner Lawrence Mach started his business when he found a street cart for sale in Coney Island in 2013.

The Brooklyn native opened his newest location in University City in July, serving up Southeast Asian flare on American bites.

From their Mach Dog with a torched Mex cheese melt to the Vietnamese shaking beef short rib available in their rice bowls, burritos and quesadillas.

Coney Shack is also known for its tacos. The award-winning beer-battered crunchy fish taco features deep-fried Southeast Asian fish with shredded cabbage, cilantro scallion red onion with a lemongrass aioli.

Lawrence hopes to represent Coney Island as much as possible and also help the small businesses still there through his concept.

ES Café Lounge | Instagram

1447 N American Street, Philadelphia PA 19122

Coney Shack | Instagram

3818 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104


Longtime spots stand the test of time at Gojjo, Nana's Kitchen

At Gojjo in University City and Nana's Kitchen in Narberth, diverse ethnic cuisines have stood the test of time.

Gojjo is a family-owned restaurant and bar that is open until the wee hours and serves Ethiopian food and drinks.

Started 25 years ago by husband-and-wife team Habtamu Shitaye and Frehiwot Desta, the couple now has their adult children continuing the tradition with them.

Nana's Kitchen owner Gladys Fink Senderowitsch has created a unique menu over the past 10 years that combines her upbringing in both Argentina and Israel.

Ethiopian spread from 25-year outpost Gojjo

Gojjo Ethiopian Bar & Restaurant | Instagram

4540 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143


Open 4pm-2am

Nana's Kitchen & Catering | Facebook | Instagram

109 N. Narberth Avenue, Narberth, PA 19072


Castellino's Italian Market 'makes subs, offers hubs'

Castellino's is a sandwich shop and Italian grocery known for its hoagies and specialty sandwiches.

When co-owners Cara Jo Castellino Barrow and Matt Barrow realized they had extra space, they decided to make it available to local makers -- creating a hub for new or growing businesses.

Food purveyors such as Float Dreamery and Newman the Food Man have weekend pop-ups -- hosted by Castellino's and held out the side window of the store.

Matt and Cara post the schedule of upcoming pop-ups regularly on their Instagram.

Castellino's Italian Market | Facebook | Instagram

1255 E. Palmer Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125


Hours 12-5pm -- closed Sat., Sun., Mon.

Philly's first, only dog park/beer garden

At Craft Hall's new Unleashed Bark and Beer, your pup can drink doggie cocktails and socialize with other dogs. Plus, there's a puppy porch where you can dine and drink with your dog.

The last Friday of every month is Yappy Hour with FCM Hospitality, which owns Craft Hall, with a dollar from each cocktail sale to a dog-related charity.

Craft Hall's Unleashed Bark and Beer Dog Park + Puppy Porch | Facebook | Instagram

Friday: 4-11 PM, Saturday: Noon-11 PM, Sunday: Noon-10 PM

901 N Delaware Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123


Marle' Originals Boutique is the 'design house of New Jersey'

Marlene Lane went from designing roads as an engineer to designing dresses fit for the runway.

And her Mount Holly boutique has been dubbed the design house of New Jersey.

Lane designs dresses in all shapes and sizes and tops them off with handmade accessories. The store is stocked with handbags, jewelry, exotic prints and fabrics sourced from all over the world.

Marle' Originals Boutique | Facebook | Instagram

55 High Street Mount Holly, New Jersey 08060

Bario Neal Jewelry is a women-owned, ethically sourced jewelry store

Bario Neal Jewelry creates jewelry for all milestones.

Their Society Hill flagship doubles as a production workshop and showroom with another location in New York City.

Owners Page Neal and Anna Bario are both jewelry designers who decided to join forces back in 2008 to make a social and environmental change in the industry.

Their company is locally made, female-owned and ethically sourced. To do this, they focus on recycled metals and stones and partner with organizations to source directly from miners.

They can tell you where their gemstones were mined and confirm that it's of recycled origin.

While they mostly make wedding bands and engagement rings, Bario Neal Jewelry also does necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

They can create custom jewelry and give old heirloom pieces new life.

Bario Neal Jewelry aims to create a space and a brand that is inclusive and is in support of marriage and gender equality. The owners are also proud of the girl power behind their company. They believe that jewelry has historically been a symbol of women's power.

Bario Neal Jewelry| Instagram| Facebook


Philadelphia Showroom: 524 S 5th Street

Bario Neal is now taking walk-ins but also offer virtual and in-person appointments.

The sign outside says "No soliciting" as a warning that only serious music fans are allowed in to see this massive collection of records.

R&B Records in Upper Darby just might be the world's largest record store

Val Shively has been collecting records since he was 12 years old and heard a song by Elvis Presley that mesmerized him. That hobby led him to R&B Records, which is believed to be the largest record store in the world!

Ever since then, he's been obsessed with records, specifically, "group harmony records." His collections is in the millions, but not many people know he or his store exists.

He likes it that way. He doesn't let customers inside unless they already know what they want. No browsing is allowed.

He has signs on his door that say "Do Not Enter" and "No Soliciting." He says this is how he makes sure his customers are serious. He's not as interested in selling as he is collecting. He sells only enough records to keep his business afloat.

Historic Roxy Theatre gets back to business after COVID-19

For 100 years, the Roxy Theatre has been a fixture on Main Street in Northampton, the town's only commercial movie theatre.

"The Roxy is pretty much the center of the community," says theatre employee Ashley Harding, "I think it brings people together, gives them something to look forward to every week."

But it was forced to close for 15 months during COVID-19. "And now we're back!" says one employee excitedly.

"I just like coming to the local independent places. It's got a feeling and a vibe" says Karl Faulker of Moore Township," that you don't get at the big chain movie theaters."

Rick Wolfe bought the Roxy in 1970 as a 21-year-old. To keep it afloat during the pandemic, he rented out the space for private events and offered the marquee for private messages.

"The reaction to that was phenomenal. We literally have rented the marquees since May 30 of 2020 until the present day," he said on the eve of reopening for movies. The marquee is now back to its original job of advertising upcoming shows.

And Rick hopes to usher the theater into the future by returning to the past, offering not just movies but live entertainment as well.

"The theatre is going to have to do that," Rick says, "So now's the time to set the stage, so to speak."

Roxy Theatre | Facebook

2004 Main St, Northampton, PA 18067.


Hatfield House's Black Quantum Futurism installation explores time, space

Historic Hatfield House at 33rd Street and Girard Avenue has a new art installation that tells the story of an ancient secret society that challenges all concepts of time and space.

The Hatfield House was built as a farmhouse around 1760 and is now run by the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

With a new video and sound installation called "Ancestors returning again / this time only as themselves" by an art collective called Black Quantum Futurism.

With archival footage and a gallery of artifacts and found objects, the artists explore members of an ancient secret society of Black scientists, healers, and writers known as The Temporal Disruptors, who built a quantum time capsule.

Tours of Historic Hatfield House are self-guided. The art installation is free and on view through September 19th.

Black Quantum Futurism: Ancestors returning again / this time only to themselves

Historic Hatfield House | Instagram | Facebook

Black Quantum Futurism | Instagram

33rd Street & Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

On display though September 19 | Exhibition Hours: Wed, Sat, Sun:1-5pm;

The exhibition is free. No reservations are required; visitors will be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Masks are required indoors and social distancing protocols will be in place.