FYI Philly ends summer with Navy Yard's huge bounce house, Bark Social dog club, new restaurants

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Monday, August 28, 2023
FYI Philly's end-of-summer list: Bark Social, Navy Yard bounce house
Alyana Gomez and TaRhonda Thomas put a bow on summer with a trip to the world's biggest bounce house, Bark Social dog club and 2 new restaurants.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Alyana Gomez and TaRhonda Thomas put a bow on summer with a trip to the world's biggest bounce house, Bark Social dog club and 2 new restaurants.

World's Biggest Bounce House comes to Philadelphia's Navy Yard

The Big Bounce America is making a stop in Philadelphia with a 1,600-square-foot Big Bounce House that can fit up to 350 people per hour.

There's a DJ booth in the middle, confetti, bubbles, games, obstacle courses, slides, ball pits and more.

Sessions last three hours and include the Big Bounce House plus six other inflatable attractions, including one called Sports Slam with basketball hoops, a volleyball net and a jousting area where you can knock people off their pedestals.

There are food trucks and live music too, and it's designed to be fun for the whole family, with sessions for everyone from toddlers to adults-only.

The Big Bounce America | Facebook | Instagram

Navy Yard, through September 10th

Admiral Peary Way & League Island Boulevard (Mustin Fairgrounds / Shelby Field)

Philadelphia, Pa. 19112

Center City District Restaurant Week returns for 20th anniversary

Center City District Restaurant Week returns for its 20th annual event from September 10-23.

Options include lunch for $20 and dinner for $45. Dinner includes a 3-course meal while lunch is 2-courses.

There is a premium option at certain locations for $60.

More than 110 restaurants are participating this year, each offering a cocktail made specifically for the event to pair with the meal.

Center City District is offering $9 parking at select garage locations.

They also have a contest where a lucky winner will win a free dinner every month for a year.

Center City District Restaurant Week | Facebook | Instagram

Buca D'Oro | Facebook | Instagram

711 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Morris Restaurant | Facebook | Instagram

225 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

All is well at Enswell with Rival Brothers coffee by day and cocktails by night

The latest entry in the coffee and cocktails space is meant to invoke cafe society vibes similar to classic European coffeehouses.

Enswell is the brainchild of Rival Brothers Coffee founders Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi.

The interiors are opulent, the menu has touches of both extravagance and fun, and the cocktails are contemporary riffs on all the classics - in partnership with New Liberty Distilling.

From early morning until 3 p.m., the focus is on coffee and pastries.

From 5 p.m. until closing, cocktails are front and center - with food by Executive Chef Andrew Farley.

Regardless of the hour, convivial community connecting is always encouraged.

Enswell | Instagram

1528 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102


Coffee/pastries 7 a.m.-3 p.m. | Cocktails/evening menu 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

High Fidelity Bakery opens brick-and-mortar in South Philly

High Fidelity Bakery is a 100% vegan and gluten-free bakery that opened its first brick-and-mortar in South 17th Street.

They are known for their sweet treats and savory pastries and also offer cake-style donuts, cookies, tofu pot pie, pizza and more.

Owners Brady Hatin and his wife Jeanette created High Fidelity Bakery through Instagram during the pandemic.

Brady has been vegan since the '90s and was inspired by his daughter's recent diagnosis of celiac to incorporate gluten-free recipes for his family.

High Fidelity Bakery was created three years ago after Hatin lost his job during the pandemic.

Brady Hatin has been baking for 16 years and his time at home sparked a business that once started from his home to a brick-and-mortar in South Philadelphia today.

High Fidelity Bakery | Facebook | Instagram

1929 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Doctor turned baker opens Mia and Maddie's Bakery

Eileen Newman opened Mia and Maddie's Bakery in Easton in April.

The menu includes savory and sweet scones, cupcakes with creative flavors like Biscoff cookies and brownies that are 3-inches thick.

Eileen started baking in 2019 after coming to a crossroads as a doctor. Unsure if she wanted to continue practicing medicine she found a new passion in the kitchen.

She started baking and found a following at the Easton Farmer's Market.

That led to the brick-and-mortar and a chance to still help people.

In her role as business owner she has made it a priority to hire women and serve as mentor in both business and baking.

Mia & Maddie's Bakery | Facebook | Instagram

34 North 2nd Street, Easton, PA 18040

Bark Social is a one-stop shop for dogs and their owners featuring a cafe, a bar and bark rangers who keep your dog safe and entertained.

Step inside Bark Social, Philadelphia's club for dogs

Bark Social in Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood is a club -- for your four-legged best friend.

It's a one-stop shop for dogs and their owners, equipped with a cafe serving up coffee and bites to eat, a dog park that's managed by what they call "bark rangers" and a full bar.

It's a place where you can bring your dog, hassle-free, and socialize with friends.

There's even a retail space with dog treats, toys, and swag for pet parents.

Tribbles Rabbit Rescue, Bunny Cafe help rabbits find a new home

Inside what Valerie Bertsch calls her bunny cafe, there are about a dozen rabbits from Tribbles Rabbit Rescue.

Bertsch, a realtor by trade, didn't set out to be a rabbit rescuer.

She just always wanted a rabbit so, for her 59th birthday, she decided a bunny would be her husband's gift to her.

But her bunny, adopted from a breeder, started behaving badly so Bertsch reached out to Lori Mills from Tribbles Rabbit Rescue for advice.

Turns out the bunny just needed to be spayed. Bertsch was so grateful for the help and advice, she asked Mills what she could do to return the favor.

The answer? Foster a bunny.

That one rabbit led to another and another. Soon Bertsch had gone down the rabbit hole of rescue, converting the garage of her Medford Lakes home into a cafe for bunnies, what she calls a "Meet and Greet."

Tribbles Rabbit Rescue has about 100 bunnies looking for homes.

Bertsch says the cafe desperately needs dedicated volunteers along with foster parents and adopters willing to bring a bunny into their homes.

She touts their virtues, clean creatures who can easily be trained to use a litter box.

Each, she says, has its own personality. Some love to sit on your lap; they come when you call their name, and they're super smart.

Most importantly, they are great pets.

She hopes one day Tribbles Rabbit Rescue can have a full-on shelter for the growing number of pet bunnies looking for a home.

Tribbles Rabbit Rescue & Bunny Cafe | Facebook


Philly Fringe Festival highlights regional artists

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival is back for its 27th year presented by FringeArts.

"It is a bounty of things to see," says Nick Stuccio, President and Producing Director of FringeArts.

Stuccio says the festival has always been about volume, hosting work from many different artists to represent "a cross section of the kind of culture that happens in Philadelphia and beyond."

There will be over 200 experiences offered across a variety of venues in the city.

"We do everything you can imagine," he says.

There are many genres of work, including theater, dance, and music.

Stuccio says there are many other kinds of performances as well, like comedy, puppetry, circus, experiential things.

The FringeArts space off Columbus Boulevard serves as the central location, where you can check out the new Fringe Bar and grab a cocktail such as 'the lost Earhart.'

And there are five additional entertainment hubs, including one known as the Cannonball.

Ben Grinberg is the Founding Producer and Program Manager of the Cannonball Hub.

"We have four different venues, so we'll be at four different spaces all throughout Northern Liberties, Kensington, and Fishtown," says Grinberg.

He says one of the venues at Cannonball is dedicated to kids' programming, so there will be performances suitable for young audiences.

There are six productions being curated this year by FringeArts, including Rose: You Are Who You Eat.

Rose is a personal piece from John Jarboe, the lead artist, writer, and performer, with original music and storytelling.

"It's a bit of a musical healing ritual for anyone who's dealing with issues of acceptance in their family," says Jarboe.

Jarboe is also the Founding Artistic Director of the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, presenting Late Night Snacks on South Street, which is a pop-up cabaret.

"The snack pack may be different every time you come, the packaging is always the same," she says.

The Paul Green Rock Academy is performing at FringeArts.

"Paul trains incredible teen musicians," says Stuccio. "They're gonna come and play the music of David Bowie."

Audiences can also catch world premieres of Wig Wag, Make Bank, and Rhythm Bath.

Stuccio says Rhythm Bath is a work made for "neuro-diverse audiences."

"There are things to do and see and touch while you're in the midst of this incredible dance performance," says Stuccio.

Grinberg says the Fringe Festival is a great opportunity to see real artists at work and to make an intimate connection with them.

"Audiences can expect to feel really moved," he says.

"And part of the fun is finding what shows interest you," says Stuccio.

The 2023 Philadelphia Fringe Festival runs September 7-24.

2023 Philadelphia Fringe Festival | Fringe Festival Hubs