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Colonial to host First Annual Robert Burns Memorial Whisky Tasting on Friday, January 25th

On Friday, January 25th, the Colonial Theatre is hosting their First Annual Robert Burns Memorial Whisky Tasting.

From their email:

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This event to benefit the Colonial is a chance for tasting single malts and limited edition whiskies that you would not normally see on your bar shelves or in your local liquor store. We have this opportunity because Riannon Walsh, a world-renowned whisky expert, lives right in our back yard and loves and supports the Colonial herself. Riannon's work in the industry over the past 20 years includes hands on experience in small batch pot still whisky production in both U.S.-based and Scottish malt distilleries. Her expertise as a "nose" has resulted in independent bottlers of single malts turning to Riannon for cask selection.

The Association for the Colonial Theatre wishes to thank our premiere sponsor for their support:

Master Distiller: New Century Bank

And, special thanks to our Head Stillmen sponsors:
Riannon Walsh, President of Cloonaug…

Two 14-story mixed-use towers proposed for Barto Pools location

Last Thursday night, local developer Manny DeMutis presented plans for the 500 block of Bridge St. that would see two 14-story towers built. The development, which would sit on 5.5 acres of land, would include "38,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 448 residential units, and structured, shared parking."

Source: The Phoenix

Around town this weekend

Going to start a new feature which I hope to include every Friday. Basically, it will just be a reminder of things that are going on around town for that weekend.

Friday, Dec. 14thValley Forge Fire Company Holiday Event - Starts at 7:30pm
Saturday, Dec. 15thHoliday Concert with David Jack - Colonial Theatre starting at 10:30amFirebird Festival - Festivities begin at 4:30pm
Sunday, Dec. 16thLive Nativity - 6pm at Reeves Park

For more information on all of these, please see our Events section.

Phoenixville Jaycees Present Annual Live Nativity This Sunday, December 16th

On Sunday, December 16th, starting at 6pm, the Phoenixville Jaycees will be presenting their annual live nativity at Reeves Park. Reader Shane sent me the following:

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PHOENIXVILLE JAYCEES PRESENT ANNUAL LIVE NATIVITY SUN. DEC. 16

PHOENIXVILLE — The Phoenixville Jaycees will be bringing some holiday spirit to Reeves Park this Sunday, December 16, at 6 p.m., by re-enacting the nativity with live animals and carols performed by members of the Phoenixville Area High School Choral Program.

2007 Dogwood Queen Maria Konstantinidis will be reading the nativity story between carols and members of the Phoenixville Jaycees will re-create the manger scene. Public participation in singing carols is encouraged.

“The Live Nativity has been a Phoenixville tradition for 26 years,” said Jaycees President Megan Thomas. “The Jaycees are delighted to be able to host events like the Live Nativity to be able to spread holiday cheer and bring members of the community together.”

The event is rain-or-shine. Wal…

Classical Concert To Be Held on Saturday, December 29th

On Saturday, December 29th, Kimberton welcomes back one of its own when Julia Chalfin will be putting on a classical music concert at Rose Hall in the Camphill Village Kimberton Hills. Julia is a graduate of the Kimberton Waldorf School and is a classically trained Soprano. She is currently performing in the Richard Strauss Conservatory Opera Performance in Munich, Germany. Joining her on piano is Russell Posegate. They will be performing music by Mozart, Puccini, Handel, Lehar, Ravel, Chopin, Bizet and Bach. The concert starts at 4:30pm and admission is free.

Thanks to reader Richard for the information!

'A Taste of Phoenixville' scheduled for January 17th

On Thursday, January 17, 2008, the sixth annual 'A Taste of Phoenixville' will be taking place at Robert Ryan's Columbia Station. The event, which will be held from 6:30-9pm, features "edible delights from the likes of Robert Ryan's Columbia Station; Thai L'Elephant Browns Cow Ice Cream Parlor; The Columbia Hotel; Bridgeside Deli & Grille; Foresta's Country Meat Market; Molly Maguires; Ramondo’s Cheese!; Iron Hill Brewery; Aquilante's; Majolica; Twin Bays; Eliza’s Bakery; and The Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery."

In addition to the food, live music will be performed by local band Rhapsody and there will be a silent auction. All proceeds go to help the Good Samaritan Shelter of Phoenixville. Last year's event raised ~ $30k!

For tickets and additional information, please call 610-933-9305.

Source: The Phoenix

Farmers Market to continue through the winter

For the first time in its history, the Phoenixville Farmers Market will continue to operate through the winter, albeit on a limited basis. The market will be open twice a month from 10-11am and most of the vendors will be bringing primarily pre-ordered items. It will be located in the same spot as it always is, behind the Family Dollar at the intersection of Bridge St. and Taylor Alley.

Dates for the market are as follows:
December 8th and 22nd
January 12th and 26th
February 9th and 23rd
March 15th and 29th
April 12th and 26th

For more information, please see the Farmer's Market website.

Introducing the Soapbox

Wanted to introduce you to a new blog I am starting up. I have named it the Phoenixville Soapbox and it will be a place where we can discuss things like politics as they relate to our town. Several readers have asked that I write about things like the upcoming tax hike but I did not want to mix those discussions in with what this blog talks about.

Check it out when you get a chance, and, as always, let me know what you think.

Phoenixville Soapbox

Holiday Concert Event with David Jack (Sesame Street) on Dec. 15th

Click for a larger version
On Saturday, December 15th, the Phoenixville Public Library is hosting a Holiday Concert featuring David Jack, former star of Sesame Street. The concert, which is being held at the Colonial Theatre, begins at 10:30am and is being sponsored by the Friends of the Phoenixville Public Library.

Admission is a canned good for the Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS). Prizes will be given out.

Thanks to reader Brandon for the info!

Free Concert This Sunday at the Colonial Theatre

On Sunday, December 9th, the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation will be hosting a free concert at the Colonial Theatre. The concert, which will be held from 2-4pm, will feature two separate performances. The first, from 2-3, will be presented by Astral Artistic Services and will feature two young classical performers: Doug O’Connor on Saxophone and Lidia Kaminska on Accordion.

From 3-4, the Jazz Ensemble, the Vocal Choir and the Hand-Bell Choir from Valley Forge Christian College will perform.

For more information please call the Foundation office at 610-917-9890.

Source: Phoenixville Area School District Website.

Gay Street Bridge Project Closer to Starting?

It appears that the Gay Street Bridge construction project is one step closer to beginning. According to today's Phoenix, PennDOT is close to approving a bid from the Nyleve Bridge Corporation for the new bridge. Assuming the bid is approved, construction will begin early next year (about one year later than originally planned). If all goes as planned, the new bridge will be ready by late '09 or early '10. During that time, traffic will be detoured. Although the article does not specifically mention it, it seems that cars will be detoured to Main St. while trucks will probably have to take High St. to Township Line Rd.

Source: The Phoenix

Melchiorre Park Update

Well, went to the Melchiorre Park discussion tonight and was able to find out the following. Despite the fact it has been described as a 23 acre park, there is really only about 10 acres of usable land. The rest is either too hilly or wooded. On that 10 acres, the plan is to build two softball fields. Dissecting those two fields will be a multi-use field that is the size of a regulation soccer field.

In addition, two buildings will be on the property. One will be used as a gymnasium that is big enough for two basketball courts. The other, smaller building, will be made up of locker rooms, offices, and classrooms/meeting rooms.

Throughout the park will be paths that will circle the fields as well as lead down to two trails that frame French Creek. From these trails will be various paths to the creek to allow for fishing.

These plans are considered the 'pre-final' plans. What this means is that, after a couple of years of study, this is the way things appear to be heading…

Annual Candelight Holiday Tour taking place this Saturday

The annual Phoenixville Candelight Holiday Tour is taking place on Saturday, December 1st from 4-8pm. The tour, which is entering its 7th year, opens the doors to a dozen private residences around town. From the press release on the PASD website:

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The 2007 tour will be the largest and most comprehensive in the candlelight tour's seven year history. A major attraction on this year's tour will be the new home of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. This stately mansion houses a circular staircase which was featured in the comic strip "Bringing Up Father". For many years Phoenixville has been a popular site for motion picture filming. The film "4D Man" with Lee Meriwether was filmed in the dining room of another home showcased on the tour. The Schuylkill River Heritage Center will be open to patrons. Among the 12 private homes on the tour is a meticulously restored house that served as the original Phoenixville Hospital in the 1890s. Each ye…

New Blog Look

What do you think? I felt the old look was getting a bit cluttered. Hopefully the new links at the top will make things easier to find and will allow the blog to be a bit easier to read. I'd love to hear your thoughts however.

Local Business Spotlight: Thai L' Elephant

For those of you who enjoy authentic Thai food, look no further than Thai L' Elephant. Several readers have sent me emails raving about the food and I am happy to announce that they are the feature of our most recent Local Business Spotlight. Located on Rte. 23 in the shopping center behind O'Grady's (address is 277 Schuylkill Rd), Thai L' Elephant is open 7 days a week and for both lunch and dinner (dinner only on Sunday's). Like many of our area's top restaurants, Thai L' Elephant is a BYOB.

I received the following from one of their managers, Jennie Johnson

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A Gastronomic Adventure in Phoenixville

Thai L' Elephant has been established by chef/owner Michael Raethong who has been in the restaurant business for over 15 years as a chef. Michael relentlessly creates innovative and exotic dishes. He has won several awards including 'Best of Philly' and '50 Best Meals Under $50' from Philadelphia Magazine, 'Best Presentation' by …

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Want to wish all of my readers a very happy Thanksgiving. If you are going to be in town tonight, don't forget to check out Bridge St. as the holiday lights are supposed to be turned on for the first time!

Meeting regarding the future of the St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth scheduled for 12/18

On Tuesday, December 18th, a meeting will be held to discuss the future of the Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth located on Phoenixville's north side. The garden is currently run by St. John's United Church of Christ which leases the land from the Housing Authority of Chester County Board. On September 1, 2009, this lease expires, and the church is trying to save the garden by having the HACC either extend the lease for another 30 years or to have them sell the land under the agreement that it will continue to be used as it has been for the past sixteen years.

From an email I received regarding the meeting:
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Proposal
The Consistory of St. John’s United Church of Christ proposes that the Housing Authority of Chester County either extend the current lease to the long-term (30 years) for the water access and land on which St. John’s United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden and Labyrinth has stood for the past 10 years or permit this land to be donated or purchased b…

Tyler James Pub opens its doors

On Sunday, Phoenixville's newest bar, The Tyler James Pub, opened its doors. Located at 210-212 Bridge Street (formerly occupied by Jester's Sports Bar), Tyler James offers 12 beers on tap as well as a full menu of pub fare. The pub has numerous TVs for sports viewing as well as a pool table, electronic dart boards, arcade games and a shuffleboard table.

Good luck to Steve Blair and his staff. Hopefully the reviews will be a bit more positive than the early ones another local establishment has garnered.

Source: The Phoenix

Tyler James Pub website

La Crêperie Café Bis Opens

Yesterday, Phoenixville's newest cafe opened. La Crêperie Café Bis, located at the corner of Bridge and Gay Streets at the base of the Gay St. Bridge, opened its doors at 11am. As you can probably guess by its name, La Crêperie features both sweet and savory crêpes which, owner Marietou Fanny says, are made with only fresh ingredients. Fanny also owns a restaurant in Center City in Philadelphia called La Crêperie Café, which has been open for nine years.

La Crêperie is open seven days a week. Hours are Monday-Friday from 11am-10pm, Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday from 10am-7pm.

Best of luck to Marietou and her staff!


Source: The Phoenix

Public meeting to discuss future of Melchiorre Park scheduled for Nov. 29th

On Thursday, November 29th, the Borough is holding a 'brainstorming session' in which plans for Melchiorre Park will be discussed with its park planning consultants. The event will be held at the High School and will begin 7pm.

For those of you who do not know about Melchiorre Park (of which I am included, even though I apparently live across the street from it), it is a 23 acre park located south of High Street on the land between it and French Creek. It appears, based on the drawing on the Borough home page, to be the land that is next to Westridge Village and across the street from the new Northridge Village community.

As part of the meeting, the consultants will 'provide a brief background of the project and present a pre-final master plan for the park'.


Source: Phoenixville Borough Website

Relay for Life Kick Off Celebration Planned for Nov. 27th

On Tuesday, November 27th, the Relay For Life of Phoenixville will be holding a kick off celebration for the '08 event. The celebration will be held at the Phoenixville High School Cafeteria (1200 Gay St) and will begin at 6:30pm. This year's celebration will feature the following:

Meet this year's Co-Chairs and see the passing of the torch
Hear from this year's Honorary Survivor
Luminaria Ceremony: Celebrate the lives of those who have fought bravely, but have lost their battle
Musical selections by The High School's Select Choir & the Guitar Club
Spanish Immersion students will read poetry in both Spanish & English
Raffle
Fighting March & Line Dance by the High School Marching Band

Also, for those who are interested in being a part of the '08 Relay, banking & team registration tables will be open from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., and again after the ceremony.

This year's relay will be held on May 2 & 3, 2008 from 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. As in the past, …

Philadelphia Premium Outlets Open Today

Today marks the grand opening of the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick. The ribbon cutting ceremony was to happen at 9am this morning. To celebrate, the outlets are planning a four day Grand Opening celebration featuring prizes, live entertainment, special in-store promotions and much more.

For more information on this weekend's activities, see this program from their website.

Tis the Season

With the holiday's rapidly approaching, several local businesses are getting into the spirit by holding various events to raise money/collect items for those less fortunate.

On November 8th, Valley Forge Pizza will be donating part of their profits for the day to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). November is National Pancreatic Cancer Month and PanCAN is trying to raise funds for research into pancreatic cancer and patient support. If you are in the area, please consider stopping in for a very good cause.

On November 9th and 10th, Artisan’s Gallery and Cafe will be holding a 'Empty Bowls Campaign'. On these two days, you can buy a bowl of soup at Artisan's in a hand crafted bowl which is your's to keep. The price for the bowl of soup is $15 and all proceeds go to the following local charities: Phoenixville Area Community Services, Camphill Village of Kimberton Hills, and Community Gardens of Chester County. The idea is to help raise awareness on th…

First Friday to feature Fire Eaters, Sword Swallowers, a Wine Tasting and much more!

Details for tomorrow's First Friday have been announced and it sounds pretty interesting. Starting with the downtown, the theme this month is a celebration of Halloween/Day of the Dead. The entertainment planned has been described by Barry Cassidy as "a little more edgy than the other First Friday fare but should bring a lot of excitement and energy to the street." Live music will be performed by Hydrogen Jukebox, and there will be all sorts of carnivalesque entertainers, from Fire Eaters to Sword Swallowers. And for those of you who missed out on trick or treating (or want another chance for free candy), several businesses along Bridge St. will be giving out candy to those dressed in costumes. Look for the orange pumpkin in their windows!

Elsewhere, a wine tasting is being held at Byrne Lofts from 5:30-8:30pm. The tasting is complimentary and is being hosted by noted wine expert, Phillip Silverstone.

Sources:
The Phoenix - First Friday to get more 'edgy'
The …

A warm Phoenixville welcome to Romantic Jewelers

On October 22nd, Romantic Jewelers opened shop at 241 Bridge St. The Phoenixville location is the third Romantic Jewelers, joining sister stores in Malvern and West Chester. The Phoenix reports

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She[owner Debbie Pekala] carries a wide array of fine jewelry, antique and vintage pieces, and handmade sterling pieces with precious and semi-precious stones. When customers walk in they will find a case to their right filled with jewelry they can buy if, in Pekala's words, "their pocket books are a little light." If they take a step further, however, they will find a collection of diamond necklaces and bracelets ranging from 14 to 18 karats as well as platinum.

Romantic Jewelers also carries rare hand-crafted rose-cut diamonds, which Pekala says very few other stores carry. Another display case is arranged solely with precious and semi-precious stones including amethyst, pink and yellow sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.

"They’re pretty things you don’t see everywhere,"…

The Phoenix asking for your help with questions for council candidates

I try to steer clear of political talk on this blog but, with the elections right around the corner, I thought this was worthy of a mention. In today's Phoenix, they have an article asking for readers to submit questions they would like answered by those running for Borough Council.

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What are the most important issues in Phoenixville right now? From the budget to garbage to crime to parking to anything else including blue lampposts, what should borough council candidates be discussing?

The residents of Phoenixville are invited to submit questions to The Phoenix that will then be posed to the candidates. The public will have until Tuesday, Oct. 30, to submit questions via mail, e-mail or dropping off at the newspaper office.

The Phoenix will narrow down all the submitted questions to the top five most interesting, relevant and fair queries. Those will then be forwarded to all the candidates. Each candidate will also be allowed one open-ended statement.

An article with all the candid…

Gay St. Bridge project delayed, again

Demolition of the Gay Street Bridge, originally slated for August and then moved back to November, has been delayed again. The new start date is late January or early February.

From the Phoenix
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In an interview Wednesday, Mike D. Holva, Project Management, Bridges, for PennDOT’s District 6-0 in King of Prussia, said that contractors’ bids based on final specifications for the project are due to be opened November 29. After contractor selection, PennDOT expects to issue a "notice to proceed" January 14, 2008.

Following that date, Holva said, "there will be at least a two-week period" before any work is done, in which the contractor is required to place signs announcing the bridge’s closing. There may also be short delays beyond that: "It’s possible that contractors may find something" in the specifications or on site that would require adjustment to the proposed work plan, he said.

With those considerations in mind, Holva estimated that work would likely be…

Four local businesses named as Philly Hottest

The results are in and four local businesses have won their respective categories in Fox 29's MyFoxPhilly's HotList competition. The winners are The Columbia Bar and Grille for Best Romantic Restaurant, Hipster Home for Best Housewares Store, Ramondo’s Cheese! for Best Cheese Shop, and Wolfgang Books for Best Bookstore. The Colonial Theatre won second place in the Best Indie Theater category.

Congrats to all five!

Source: The Phoenix

Firebird Festival Scheduled for December 15th

Preliminary details for the 4th Annual Firebird Festival have been announced. This year's festival will be held on Saturday, December 15th. Based on last year's schedule, you can expect events to begin around town that afternoon leading up to the lighting of the Firebird at around 8pm. For more information on the history of the Firebird Festival, see firebirdfestival.com. As of this writing, the schedule listed is from last year's festival but I'd imagine it will be getting updated shortly. Once it does, I will be sure to update you.

Kite Mural Fundraising Party planned for Oct. 20th

Got an email from the Colonial Theatre mailing list this morning about an upcoming fund raiser for a new mural that is being created downtown. From the email

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The Phoenix Village Art Center is hosting a fundraiser to help pay for a new mural in Phoenixville. The mural, designed by artist Charles Segal, is being created for the west wall of 138 Bridge Street between Iron Hill Brewery and the Columbia Bar & Grille. Please join us at the Art Center, 207 Bridge Street, on Saturday, October 20 from 4-7PM for cocktails & hors d'oeuvres, as well as a slide presentation on kite flying & its history by David Ciotti, American Kite-fliers Association member.

Tickets are $35 each or $60 per couple.

Please RSVP by October 17 via email, phone or mail. Checks can be made payable to Phoenixville Main Street CDC - Kite Mural.

Email: nailersrow@hotmail.com (Please include KITE MURAL in the subject line.)

Phone: 610-812-3474

Mail: Kite Mural, 3 Mill Street, Phoenixville, PA, 19460

The kite m…

Any features you would like to see?

First, I'd like to thank everyone for visiting the site. Over the past couple of months, readership has really started to grow which makes writing the blog very satisfying. With summer over, things seem to have slowed down a bit which got me to thinking. Is there anything you can think of which would make the site even more useful? I am open to any and all suggestions. Not saying they will all be implemented, but I'd like to hear what you think. Send me an email at tips@bridgeandmain.com with any suggestions you may have. And thanks again for reading!

Local Business Spotlight: ocean earth wind fire

On Monday, October 8th, ocean earth wind fire will be opening its doors at 122 Bridge Street. Owner Susan Madden-Cox describes it as

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...a gorgeous & welcoming healing center where my purpose & aspiration will be to create & offer amazing ways to ride the waves of life…today & tomorrow, in our community & in the world. A vision burns bright in my heart. I believe the need for such a place is vast & urgent. Now, the time is right!

ocean earth wind fire will be a sanctuary for yoga, massage therapy & whole living. It will feel truly like coming home when you walk through the doors; & the bountiful offerings of classes, therapies, workshops, gatherings, products & ideas will answer your questions small & large while supporting your vibrant health & total well-being.
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ocean earth wind fire is more than just a place to take yoga classes. From their website (http://www.oceanearthwindfire.com) is a description of what you can expect:
a heali…

Halloween Festivities to begin Saturday at Colonial Garden Center

Starting this Saturday and running throughout the month of October, Colonial Garden Center, 745 Schuylkill Road, will be holding various Halloween Festivities for the entire family. Included will be the 24th annual Pumpkinland which features Shrek and Thomas the Tank Engine as well as pumpkins that will be available for purchase. There will also be a Pumpkinland maze, a cornstalk maze and several others for you to enjoy.

During the day, Colonial will be having hayrides and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening they will have haunted hayrides.

Events begin at 9 a.m. and on the weekends run until 9:30 p.m. The events will run until the end of October, with the last night haunted hayride on October 28.


Source: The Phoenix

Several walks/runs scheduled over the next month

Looking for an excuse to get out and enjoy the fall weather (assuming at some point these summer temps will subside)? Well, over the next month and change you'll have three opportunities to do so, all of which benefit great causes.

The first run is the 9th Annual Kimberton Run which takes place on Saturday, October 6th. The race is hosted by the Lions Club of Kimberton and is a 5k. The Lions use the money that is raised to help support various charities. In addition to the 5k, there will also be a 1/2 mile 'Fun Run' for kids. For more information, including a registration from, click here

Event #2 is the 29th Annual CROP Walk which is being held the following day, Sunday, October 7th. There are two courses for the walk, one is a 3k, the other a 10k. Each start and end at the Phoenixville YMCA with registration starting at 1:15. The walk is organized by Church World Services and proceeds are used by them to help raise awareness about and fight hunger. For more info, …

Molly Maguires now open

Nothing official but word is that Molly Maguires is now open. Although their Grand Opening is still scheduled for this upcoming weekend, they are doing a 'soft' opening this week to work out the bugs all new restaurants face. They have also updated their website which now includes their menu which, if you are fan of Irish fare, looks to be pretty solid. Their draft beer selection alone makes it worth a visit.

First Friday plans for the rest of '07 announced

Barry Cassidy wrote in to the Phoenix to give a preview of the next several First Friday celebrations. Highlights include:

October
Fireman's Day which will feature fire trucks and equipment for the public to view.
Music by the Reluctants, Dave Fiorenza/Wayne Dowling, and Phil Covelli.
Barry Cassidy’s birthday celebration with birthday cake and refreshments as well as shots of mescal at the Main Street office.
November
Day of the Dead celebration featuring the music of Hydrogen Jukebox Band.
In addition to music, entertainment will be provided by sword swallowers, fire spinners, fire-eaters and other sideshow type acts.
November 30th (Note: Not a First Friday)
Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting


For more information including additional details about each of the above events, see the article in last week's Phoenix.

Halloween Parade planned for Tuesday, October 16th

On Tuesday, October 16th, the Phoenixville Recreation Department will be holding their annual Halloween Parade through downtown Phoenixville. The parade is scheduled to begin at 7pm and will start at Borough Hall on Church Street and end in the parking lot of Family Dollar on Bridge.

For more information, you can Dolores at 610-933-7728 or see this flyer.

The Soroptimist International of Phoenixville hosting the 60th Annual Diamond Jubilee Art Show & Sale Nov. 2-4

Reader Joanne wrote in to inform me about an art show taking place over the first weekend of November. The Soroptimist International of Phoenixville, Inc. is hosting the 60th Annual Diamond Jubilee Art Show & Sale on November 2nd-4th. The event will be taking place at CAT Pickering. The schedule of events is as follows

Art Show Hours
Admission: FREE
Friday, November 2, 2007: 4:00PM - 6:30PM (followed by reception at 7PM)
Saturday, November 3, 2007: 9:00AM - 6:00PM
Sunday, November 4, 2007: 10:00AM - 4:00PM

Candlelight Opening Night Gala Reception
Admission: $20.00
Friday, November 2, 2007: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Reception includes:
Hot & Cold Hors d'oeuvres
Assorted Desserts
Meet and greet the Artists
E-mail: SI_of_Phoenixville@yahoo.com for reservations

Thanks to reader Joanne for the information!

Schuylkill River Heritage Center planning grand opening Sept. 28-30th

The Schuylkill River Heritage Center, located in the Foundry Building, will celebrate its grand opening with a series of events starting with a catered dinner Friday night and culminating with an Open House of the Heritage Center from 1-4pm on Sunday afternoon.

Other highlights of the weekend include a fireworks display after the dinner on Friday night and, on Saturday, a "special event for children, where they will compete to construct the best bridge out of toothpicks and marshmallows."

Friday's dinner is open to the public. Price is $60 dollars per person, and for reservations or more information, call the Heritage Center at 610-935-2181.

For a full description of the event, see the article in today's Phoenix.

More information on this weekends activities

Today's Phoenix had two articles regarding festivities being held in town on Friday and Saturday. Tomorrow night will be the September First Friday as well as the final concert in the Summer Music Series. Headlining the concert is Splintered Sunlight, a pretty well known and respected Grateful Dead cover band who I believe played the final Music Series date last year as well. I have seen these guys live and if you enjoy the Dead it will be well worth checking out.

The other big event taking place tomorrow night is at the Phoenix Village Art Center, located at 207 Bridge Street. They will be hosting a Fashion Illustrations exhibit featuring the work of Freda Hirsch and a Sculptural Forms exhibit by Florence Umanoff. The exhibits will run concurrently from 6-9pm.

On Saturday night, the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation will be throwing a party to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Foundation’s Day Of Recognition. The festival, which will take place at Freedom Field o…

Molly Maguire's Grand Opening planned for Sept. 29th

I haven't seen anything official, but in today's email newsletter, the Colonial Theatre indicated that Molly Maguire's will be holding their grand opening on Saturday, September 29th.

From the newsletter
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Finally, we were very excited to hear that Molly Maguire's on the corner of Bridge and Main Streets is planning their Grand Opening on Saturday, Sep 29! The celebration will include a screening of the 1970 film The Molly Maguires starring Sean Connery here at the Colonial at 2pm. Hope to see you here and there - cheers!
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Several local businesses up for MyFoxPhilly's Hot List awards

Fox 29 is holding a MyFoxPhilly's Hot List Award contest in which you can vote on your favorite businesses in the Delaware Valley. Phoenixville is well represented, with numerous businesses being nominated. They are, with the category they are nominated for in italics (click on the name to be taken to the voting page):
The Colonial Theatre
Best Indie TheaterWolfgang Books
Best BookstoreRamondo's Cheese
Best Cheese ShopColumbia Bar and Grille
Best Romantic RestaurantSly Fox Brewery
Best BrewpubMajolica
Best New AmericanForge Theatre
Best Theatre GroupRobert Ryan Catering
Best CaterersEliza's Bakery
Best CakesAuntra Bicycle Repair & Sales
Best Bike ShopSteel City Coffee House
Best Coffee ShopHipster Home
Best HousewaresThe Kimberton Inn
Best Romantic RestaurantGriffin's Gallery
Best Art Gallery
Jonathan Looper Antiques
Best AntiquesEarth Mart
Best HousewaresOne 2 One Productions
Best DJInspiration to Movement, Inc.
Best Pilates StudioIron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Best BrewpubBlack…

First sign appears in stores next to Acme

According to a banner that is currently hanging in front of one the now-empty stores that adjoins Acme, Phoenixville will have a new dry cleaners (contain your excitement please) starting September 1st. The sign indicates a Grand Opening sale of 30% off once they open their doors.

No official word yet on what else will be going in there although there is speculation that a pizza restaurant and a hair/nails parlor are planned.

Bridgeandmain.blogspot.com is now AroundPhoenixville.com

Just a quick note to tell everyone that this blog can now be found at http://www.aroundphoenixville.com so update those bookmarks! For those of you with the old address, don't worry. You will be forwarded automatically to the new one. Also, for those of you who have subscribed to the feeds, nothing 'should' change.

Thanks to all of my readers, hopefully the new URL helps others find us as well!

Jim

Fireworks, other festivities, planned for Sept. 8

Missed the fireworks on July 4th? Well, on Sept. 8th you'll get another chance. From the borough website:

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The Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, as a part of its celebrating ten years of service to the Greater Phoenixville community, will be the lead sponsor for the Borough’s September 8th fireworks event to be held at Friendship Field on Phoenixville’s Northside. The gates will be open to the public at 6 p.m. The rain date for this event, if necessary, is Sunday, September 9th also at Friendship Field at 6 p.m.

Besides being an evening of recognition and celebration for the foundation, this event is being held also in recognition and celebration of the many dedicated volunteers who tirelessly work in the many service groups throughout our community.

Entertainment, starting at 6:30 p.m. will be provided prior to the fireworks and sponsored by the Community Development Committee of Borough Council.

The fireworks display will begin at approximately 9 p.m. after total darknes…

Kiwanis plan annual Community Day for Saturday, October 6th

On Saturday, October 6, the Phoenixville Kiwanis will be hosting their annual Community Day celebration at Reeves Park. The event, which features a large flea market in addition to some of their special recipe BBQ Chicken, is one of the fund raisers the Kiwanis runs every year to help children in need.

For more information, including ways for you to get involved, please see the article in the Phoenix from earlier this week.

Iron Hill to host Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 15th

On Saturday, September 15th, Iron Hill Brewery will be hosting at Oktoberfest celebration. The festivities begin at 4pm and will feature German-style beers crafted by Iron Hill and other local breweries.

Route 23 to be closed during day tomorrow through Friday

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday the 22nd, and ending on Friday the 24th, Route 23 will be closed between Pawlings Rd. and Ferry Lane for 'Cinema Production'. On Wednesday and Thursday, the road will be closed from 9am-3pm. On Friday, it will be closed from 9am-9pm.

The PennDOT site indicates that detour signs will be up to help direct traffic. I would imagine they will direct you north to the intersection of Ferry and Pawlings.


View Larger Map

Thanks to reader Brian for pointing out the fact that signs were put up earlier this week.

Source: PennDOT


Update: It appears that the reason for the closing is the filming of M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, The Happening which starts Mark Wahlberg. For more information on the movie, see IMDB.com

Joey's to open today

Joey's Famous Philly Cheesesteaks is set to open its doors today. It is located at 413 Schuylkill Road, next to Rita's Water Ice.

From their website

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Yo Phoenixville! Today is the big day! The Grand Opening is here! The Chamber of Commerce along with Frankie and Donna Kolachny will be cutting the ribbons at 10am Sharp! Be there and enjoy the festivities and see why EVERYONE is talking about Joey's!

Come in or Call in Ahead for Faster Service! 610-933-9644
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Although their site seems to be primarily focused on their sister operation in Michigan, I would imagine the menu will be very similar, if not the same.

Best of luck to Joey's, I'll be checking it out shortly.

Baxter's Restaurant to open in Superintendant's Building

There was an article in last week's Phoenix regarding the groundbreaking ceremony that was held at the Superintendent's Building. In the article, Barry Cassidy was quoted as saying that Baxter's Restaurant would be one of the tennants when the renovation was complete. This seems to have been confirmed in this article from yesterday's Phoenix.

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Council approved unanimously the inter-municipal transfer of a Liquor Control Board license for Baxter’s restaurants, to be applied to Baxter’s proposed facility in the renovated Superintendent’s Building.
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Baxter's has three other locations, Paoli, West Chester and the Great Valley Corporate Center. From their website (www.baxterspa.com)

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If you like fine food which is well-prepared and beautifully presented but in a comfortable and casual atmosphere, Baxter's Saloon and Eatery is the place for you! Look no further than downtown West Chester, Paoli, and the Great Valley Corporate Center in Malvern where you'l…

Philadelphia Premium Outlets set to open Nov. 8th

Although this doesn't technically fall under 'Phoenixville News', it will have an effect on how we all shop (at least I'd imagine it will). The Philadelphia Premium Outlets are having their grand opening celebration November 8-11th. The outlets will feature 120 stores and is located just down the road in Pottstown.

For more information, including a list of stores, check out their website.

Interested in working at the Outlets? See this PDF for more information on the job fair that will be held from 8am-6pm this Friday (Sept. 7th).

Update on Molly Maguires

Happened to be driving down Bridge St. last night and saw a banner hanging over what will become the front entrance of Molly Maguire's. The banner, while not specifying an exact date, says Opening September 2007. Which is in line with my earlier post which indicated they had hoped to open over Labor Day weekend. Whether this is still the target or not is unclear but it does seem that things are running very close to schedule.

For those interested in working at MM's, they will be holding a job fair this afternoon from 3-6pm. All positions are being interviewed for so stop in! If you can't make it, applications are being accepted through their website at http://www.mollymaguirespubs.com/ (Editor's note: This is a different address than I had previously posted).

'End of Summer Party' scheduled for August 22nd

Saw a banner hanging across Starr Street yesterday indicating that there is an 'End of Summer Party' at Reeves Park scheduled from from 5-10pm on Wednesday, August 22nd.

Have not seen anything else about this so if anyone can contribute details, please do.

Joey's Famous Philly Cheesesteaks coming to Phoenixville

Phoenixville will be getting a taste of South Philly in the next couple of weeks when Joey's Famous Philly Cheesesteaks opens shop at the end of the month. Joey's will be located at 413 Schuylkill Road, next to Rita's Water Ice. Along with cheesesteaks, Joey's will feature 18 types of buffalo wings and a variety of 'big' salads, averaging about 2 pounds each.

Joey's steaks will be made with 100% ribeye and will be served on bread bought in South Philly. The article does not have a specific opening date but it sounds like it'll be worth checking out once it does.


Source: The Phoenix

Local Business Spotlight: Vitamindre Massage Therapy

Received an email today from a reader, Marianne, who told me about Vitamindre Massage Therapy. Vitamindre is run by her husband, Andre, who is a massage & reflexology therapist. Andre is a certified member of the Associated Bodyworkers and Massage Professionals and he is Nationally Certified by the Board for Therapeutic and Bodywork.

From Andre's website (vitamindre.com).

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I am committed to healing, with integrity. This commitment has led me to my study and certification in massage and reflexology. At the core of my practice is the aim to help the body heal – indeed the goal of any treatment is to balance the body and spirit as you maneuver through the stress in your life.

As a practitioner, I pay attention to the needs of my client at the time of our session. I listen and provide a treatment that positively addresses your concerns and specifications.

I am available for sessions in your home, or at one of the salons or studios listed on this site. I am also available for on-s…

Phoenixville doesn't make the cut

As you may have guessed (or seen if you visited the Ikea site I linked before), Phoenixville did not make the finals of Ikea's 'Small Businesses, Big Dreams' contest. No word on how close we got but it was still a great effort by Ten-Sixteen, Inc.

Nearby Media, PA did make the cut however so let's show a little suburban Philly love and see if we can push them over the top!

Lots on tap as First Friday celebrates the life of George Hinkle

Tomorrow's First Friday will be more than just good music and fun. It is also a chance for the town to remember the life of George Hinkle, a man who "dedicated many years to helping the people in the downtown while helping the downtown as a whole." George passed away in 2006 but his memory lives on as this, and every future August First Friday, will be dedicated to him.

To celebrate, tomorrow will feature live music throughout the Bridge and Main Street areas. Headlining will be Stone Groove, who played at the first August First Friday.

Bringing the kids? There will be a moon bounce for the little ones in addition to an interactive mural, face painting and jugglers!

And for the first time (I believe) there will be a karaoke contest.

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The big contest and attraction of the night has to be the Joe McArdle Community Karaoke Contest. Prizes are as follows: First Prize $200, second prize $100 and third prize of $50. There will also be a trophy for the winner. The competiti…

Phoenixville entered into Ikea's "Small Businesses, Big Dreams" contest

Local public relations firm Ten-Sixteen, Inc. has submitted a video on behalf of Phoenixville into the Ikea "Small Businesses, Big Dreams" sweepstakes. The idea behind the contest is for small towns like Phoenixville to create a three minute video which highlights everything the town has to offer.

From the Ten-Sixteen website

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Booming businesses start with dreams and thriving towns begin with dreamers. We have a vision for our business and are working to make a big difference in our town. IKEA wanted to hear from us and other entrepreneurs in our community. We submited a video to enter the Small Businesses, Big Dreams Contest: Furnished by IKEA. IKEA wants to create awareness for unique and growing small towns around the country, and to support the winning entry with a "main street makeover". For the winning town and their community, IKEA designers and furnishings will be put to work to help transform the physical space of up to 10 small businesses with BIG dreams…

Phoenixville's Evening in Black & White Scheduled for Sept. 29th

Are you a male who thinks he can cook? Well, now you have a chance to prove it. The Phoenixville Area Positive Alternatives (PAPA) and Phoenixville Communities That Care is hosting an 'Evening in Black & White' in which 100 men will get the chance to display their cooking prowess.

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One hundred men will display their talents in the following categories: appetizers, entrees, desserts, and signature creations. Live music, a silent auction, dancing, and networking will set the atmosphere for this exciting event.

The cost of registration is $25.00 and includes: admission into the event, fame, advertising your business and entry into a prize drawing. Men can register by contacting Dolores Winston at 610-917-9675.
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The event is open to the public and will be held at the CAT Pickering Campus, 1580 Charlestown Road in Phoenixville, from 5:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m. The attire is after 5, Black & White.


Source: The Phoenix

Schuylkill Canal Association hosts events tonight, Saturday night

The Schuylkill Canal Association will be hosting two separate events over the next couple of days. First off, tonight they will be holding 'Music in the Park' featuring live music from 6:30-8:30 and light refreshments. Admission is free but donations are more than welcome.

Then, on Saturday evening into Sunday morning, the SCA will be hosting their 4th annual Catfish Derby. The event, which costs $20 to enter, will take place from 6pm Saturday until 6am Sunday. Prizes will be based on the length of the fish caught with cash being awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

Source: The Phoenix

Event calendar added

I have decided to add an event calendar which you can see on the right side of the page. The idea behind it is to give everyone the ability to quickly see at a glance what events are upcoming in the area. My hope is to have readers email me events as they hear about them.

If any of you have other suggestions on how to make this site more useful, I'd love to hear em. Thanks for reading!

See Vintage Triumph's Tomorrow

The Vintage Triumph Register (VTR) has been holding their national convention this week in Valley Forge. Tomorrow, the convention rolls into Phoenixville with a car show that will feature close to 300 vintage Triumphs lining Bridge St.

From their press release

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July 20, 2007, the Vintage Triumph Register http://www.vtr.org/ will hold their National Convention Concours and Participants Choice Show from 10:00am until 3:00pm on the streets of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. VTR’s Chief Judge, Darrell Floyd, anticipates a large turnout, as it has been many years since VTR has met in the Mid–Atlantic Region! Enjoy the chanced to see some of the finest TR2’s, TR3’s, TR4’s, TR250’s, TR6’s, TR7’s, TR8’s, Spitfires, GT6’s, Herald’s, Stag’s, Italia’s, in the country. The host club, Delaware Valley Triumphs, Ltd http://www.delvaltrs.org/ will present "Triumphs Forge Ahead" to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Triumph TR3A. Join your fellow Triumph and classic car enthusiasts and vi…

Schedule for BlobFest 8

Just received an email newsletter from The Colonial Theatre that included the schedule for this year's BlobFest which gets underway tomorrow night.

BlobFest 8
Official Schedule for Friday & Saturday, July 13 &14

FRIDAY: RUNNING OUT RE ENACTMENT REVELRY

7:00PM: Doors open
Tin Foil Hat Competition (entries at theatre by 7PM)
Scream Contest (entrants at theatre by 7PM)
Shorty Awards announced for amateur film contest
Live music by The Rivers Rockabilly Trio
9:00PM (approx.): Running Out Re- Enactment
And, much, much more!
All activities on Friday night are FREE! But, donations will be accepted to help defray the costs for the BlobFest weekend.

SATURDAY: STREET FAIR & FILM SCREENINGS

11:30AM: Street Fair Opens - FREE!
11:30AM: Doors to the theatre open. All patrons wishing to visit indoor vendors (including Wes Shank with The Original Blob), to participate in the Cast & Crew Panel Discussion and/or to see an afternoon double feature fi…

Blues Festival Scheduled For August 25th

Mainstreet CDC has announced plans for a Blues Festival to take the place of the cancelled FAME Festival. The festival will be held on August 25th from 1-8pm. Headlinging the event is legendary R&B vocalist Maxine Brown.

For more information, including other scheduled events in town, please see the Mainstreet CDC website at www.mainstreetphoenixville.org.

Should be a good time!

PPG Appeal Denied

After nearly a year, the court battle between the Phoenix Property Group(PPG) and the borough has come to an end, at least this chapter of it. PPG, who is planning to develop a large part of the land that was the Phoenix Iron Works, had appealed a decision by the borough to reject plans for the land on the basis that PPG had changed the intended use of the property from what had originally been approved.

The article leads me to believe that PPG and the council still intend to work together and, now that this is behind them, hopefully some progress can be made.

Source: The Phoenix

For more information on the original plans and the events that led up to the rejection on PPG's applications, please see PhoenixvilleGreenway.org.

Local Business Spotlight: Stop by Buster's Treats at the Farmers Market this weekend

Editor's Note: Since I wrote this post, Buster's Treats has been renamed Two Cool Cookies

Buster's Treats makes ice cream sandwiches using all-natural and organic ingredients. Run by two lifetime Phoenixvillians, Buster's makes sandwiches in an assortment of flavors that can be purchased individually at the Farmer's Market most Saturdays. They can also be ordered in bulk for your next party!

This week, BT will be offering the following flavors at their booth (cookie/ice cream flavor listed in that order)
Chocolate/Black Raspberry
Vanilla/Black Raspberry
Chocolate/Sweet Cherry
Vanilla/Sweet Cherry
Chocolate/Mint Chip
Buster(Blondie)/Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Chocolate Chip/Vanilla Bean

For more information, visit their site at www.busters-treats.com.

Fireworks

As I am sure most of you are now aware, the fireworks display scheduled for last night did indeed happen. And, like most of you, I am shocked that the decision to have them was made considering the fact it was pouring with rain most of the evening. I have no idea how many people were actually in attendance when the first firework was set off but I have to imagine it was far less than would have been in attendance had they postponed it until Saturday. There is no mention as to who made the decision or when it was made on the borough site so we are only left to speculate. My condolences to those who wished to attend but, like me and my family, did not because of the weather.

Molly Maguire's Restaurant and Pub tentatively scheduled to open on Labor Day weekend

Although it is admittedly an 'optimistic estimate', owners Declan Mannion and Conor Cummins are hopeful that Molly Maguire's Restaurant and Pub will be pouring pints and serving up authentic Irish fare over Labor Day weekend.

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Do not think of Molly Maguire's as an ordinary bar with a shamrock in the window. Mr. Mannion says, "It's a real pub, where it's nice and comfortable, nice wood surroundings, nice decorations, nice style, good food and drinks." Mr. Mannion and Mr. Cummins are bringing over decorations and furniture from decommissioned pubs in Ireland. The finished facility will feature two bars. An ample seating plan includes nooks for small groups to congregate, in the Irish pub tradition. "We're leaving a lot of the building intact upstairs because it's nice, historical," he says
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Sounds good to me!


Source: Route 422 Business Advisor

New Century Bank to open headquarters in the Gateway Building

New Century Bank, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, is planning to open up their new headquarters in the Gateway Building by the end of the summer.

One of the few complaints I have heard from new store and restaurant orders (admittedly second and third hand) is that there is not enough foot traffic during the day to help sustain their businesses. There has been a call for the powers that be to focus on bringing in more companies whose employees will eat in the restaurants and visit the shops downtown during their lunch breaks. New Century's relocation, and the fourty-five employees that come along with it, should provide a boost and will hopefully be the first of many new companies opening shop in town.


Source: Route 422 Business Advisor

Annual Fourth of July Celebration to be held at Friendship Field

Note, this is for the 2007 July 4th Celebration, click here for the 2009 schedule

Click map for driving directions
Phoenixville's annual Fourth of July celebration is once again being held at Friendship Field. The celebration will begin at 7pm and will include live music as well as arts and crafts. For the little one's there will be pony rides for the little one's and a clown. Fireworks are scheduled to begin shortly after dark.

Weather this year looks good but if need be the rain date is July 7th. Be sure to check the borough website on Wednesday as they had an announcement last year about the postponement.

Kiwanis Duck Race planned for July 14th

The 12th Annual Kiwanis Duck Race is planned for Saturday, July 14th at 3pm. The race helps the Kiwanis raise money for a number local non-profit groups and with a first place prize of $1000 isn't a bad way to spend the $5 it takes to buy a duck.

For more information, see the article in The Phoenix.

Gay St. Bridge project delayed

Over the weekend, as I drove over the Gay St. bridge heading into town, it dawned on me that construction on it was originally set to begin in August but that I had not heard anything about it in quite some time. I had even spent some time looking around for updates on the PennDOT website but could not find anything. So it was a pleasant surprise to find an article on The Phoenix website this morning. It appears that the project has been delayed several months with the project now slated to begin sometime in November.

From the Phoenix
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In a letter to Borough manager Anthony DiGirolomo dated June 14 and released Monday, PennDOT assistant district executive Charles H. Davies said, "At an earlier date, the Borough was notified that the Department [PennDOT] would like to provide funding equivalent to a the amount of a two-year lease on a fire truck….in order to address fire protection issues associated with the closure of the Gay Street Bridge.
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