What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sly Fox 7th Annual Bock Festival and Goat Race To Be Held on May 4th

The 7th Annual Sly Fox Bock Festival and Goat Race will be held on Sunday, May 4th. The festival, which features an assortment of Sly Fox's Bock beers and German fare, is highlighted by the goat races. The winning goat gets the honor of having her name associated with brewer Brian O'Reilly's 2008 Maibock.

No firm details about this year's event but last year's started at around 11am with the goat races starting at approx. 2pm. Last year's event drew close to 2500 people and it grows every year so you'll want to get there early.

You can read about last year's event here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Main Street to be Closed for Two Weeks While Low Bridge is Raised

North Main Street, presumably between the Foundry and High Street, will be closed for two weeks while the railroad bridge that crosses it is raised. The construction is all part of the preliminary steps being taken to allow for the Gay Street Bridge to be brought down and rebuilt.

The new time line for the start of construction on the Gay Street Bridge is mid-March to mid-April. Considering that street lights need to be installed at High and Main as well as some work PECO will need to do, my guess is that the April estimate is a more accurate one.

Source: The Phoenix

Local Business Spotlight: Hipster Home

Our latest Local Business Spotlight is a winner of this year's My Fox Philly Hottest Housewares Store in Philadelphia award. Hipster Home, located at 22 South Main St, Phoenixville, PA, is owned by Phoenixville residents David Friday and Lindsay Herman who opened up shop on June 1, 2007.

David describes the store as:

Hipster Home is a contemporary and organic home décor store located in downtown Phoenixville, Pa. offering unique and stylish home furnishings that are not offered at larger retailers. Throw away any notions of what you thought home décor should be and get ready to experience something new in home fashion.

Since our opening on June 1st 2007 Hipster Home hit the ground running and continues to spearhead the new vision of downtown Phoenixville. With an edgy product range such as Murval Paris, Roost, Blomus, Kenneth Wingard, Muti, and Gus Design Group we hope to excite our customers home fashion senses.

Not only do we offer great home décor but also top of the line wine accessories such as Modern Cellar, and Riedel stemware. Our scent line is second to none with Votivo, Paddywax, Cucina, Savon De Marseille, & Linden Leaves. We offer authentic artwork from Jeff Schaller and unique music imported from France and Brazil.

Be Inspired, Experiment, Create... a fabulous living style!

David has been contacted by Fox 29 who would like to feature Hipster Home in a feature they will be doing in the near future on the revitalization of Phoenixville. They will also be featured in the Spring issue of Philadelphia Style Magazine.

To Contact Hipster Home:
Hipster Home
22 South Main St
Phoenixville, Pa 19460


Best of luck to David and Lindsay in making year #2 even better than the first!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Celtic Street Fair Planned for Saturday, May 10th

Not a whole lot of info yet, but the USA Kilts website is showing that this year's Celtic Street Fair will be held on May 10, 2008. Last year's fair was a great time and I'd imagine we're in store for more of the same this year.

'Green Line' Gets Funding for Study

The train line that is being proposed by Barry Cassidy now has a name. The Green Line, which Cassidy hopes will connect Phoenixville to the Main Line (and ideally the R5 Septa Line), is now undergoing feasibility studies to see if it is a project worth pursuing.

From today's Phoenix
The funding was raised through private sources, and the Main Street CDC secured enough funds for the study late last week. Cassidy said that the source of the funding is important, as it proved far quicker to raise the funds through private sources rather than apply for government funding.

"It's important to move the project along as quickly as possible so we don’t lose opportunities," Cassidy said. "By securing private funding...there is no need to apply for funding or answer to nearly every agency imaginable. I think what happens with these kinds of projects is many times there a lot of generals and not enough infantry."

He added that private funds may be used for a future feasibility study as well, pending the results of the market analysis. Government funds could be used at some point in the process for zoning, train stations, transportation related housing, and other uses, Cassidy said.

The market analysis will be conducted by consultants with Gannett Fleming, and the nine-week study is tentatively scheduled to kick off on Monday, February 4, with a final report to be presented in April.

CDC has named the project the Green Line, Cassidy explained, due to the project’s potential to control urban sprawl and provide an alternative to using automobiles, thus mitigating traffic congestion.

The Green Line would use existing tracks owned by Norfolk Southern Corporation spanning from Phoenixville to Devault. The passenger rail service could then use existing rights of way along Route 29 and Valley Stream Parkway to travel to Paoli.

According to preliminary plans, the Green Line would parallel several industrial centers including Great Valley Corporate Center and Vanguard. The rail service could also use areas such as the former Phoenix Steel site for transportation related housing and train stations

This plan is different than the original that would have seen the train line run past Great Valley High School and terminate in Frazier. Personally, I think the new plan is a much better option since it will connect us to the business centers in Great Valley as well as to the Paoli train station, making access to Center City that much easier.

Source: The Phoenix

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sly Fox Goes Smoke Free

For those of you who prefer to eat at restaurants that are entirely smoke free, good news! You no longer need to drive into the city as one of our own has decided to take this step. Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, located at 519 Kimberton Rd in the Pikeland Village Square, has been smoke free since January 1st.

From their e-newsletter:

"It was just time to do it," explained Pete Giannopoulos. "Our customers here in Phoenixville-not all of them, but most of them-were beginning to complain about the smoke and a business like ours benefits tremendously when the air is clean and people can taste the great beer and food. Even many of our longtime customers who are smokers understand and have told us they agree with our policy." Both locations will make whatever efforts they can to accommodate smokers outside the buildings, Giannopoulos added.

As a non-smoker, this is a welcome change to a place that already has a number of things going for it.

For more information, please visit the Sly Fox website.

New Eatery Opening Feb. 11

On Monday, February 11th, a new restaurant will be opening its doors in Phoenixville. The Spiedie Bistro, a 'fast casual' restaurant, will be located at 100 North Bank Street. Their signature meal will be a Spiedie, described on their website (http://www.spiediebistro.com/) as:

The spiedie (SPEE-dee) comes from the Italian word "spiedo", meaning spit. The spiedie, marinated in a mixture of Italian oils and spices was originally skewered and grilled over a spit, hence the name.

Traditionally, the early spiedie was made only from spring lamb but it can also be made from pork, veal, venison or beef. Over-time, the "chicken category" was introduced making it the most popular choice.

Though the issue of who originally brought the delicacy to the United States is disputed, the idea of the spiedie originated in Abruzzi, Italy making its way to upstate New York in the early 1920’s.

In addition to sandwiches, Spiedie's will also feature "fresh salads, soups and other healthful and organic food including couscous and brown rice, as well as a variety of teas in addition to fountain drinks. The majority of food is locally grown and produced, free of pesticides and nothing is fried."

Good food is not the only thing Spiedie's offers. They are also taking great strides to make it as 'Green' as possible. From an article on today's Phoenixvillenews.com website:

Laing said he has tried to use as many recycled materials as possible throughout the construction process, including recycled screws and sheetrock. The building also uses laminate floors and “eco-friendly” paint that emits no odor.

Once Spiedie Bistro opens, however, Laing plans to continue to keeping the environment in mind.

"Each year, we'll implement one to three steps to be fully green," Laing said. These steps would include using what Laing calls "green friendly" recyclable cups for drinks as well as environmentally safe cleaning materials. He plans to continue to research other methods as well.

Best of luck to Brian Laing with his new venture!

For more information, see today's article in the Phoenix or visit the Spiedie Bistro website.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Introducing the Forums Section

For those of you who wish to be heard, I have added Forums to the Bridge And Main site. You will see a button at the top of this page to take you to them. You will need to register with the company that is hosting them (Yuku.com). Once you have done so, you should be able to post away! If you have any problems, please let me know!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

PACS Hosting Murder Mystery Fundraiser

At 6pm on Saturday, March 1st, Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) is hosting a Murder Mystery Comedy dinner at the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge. Tickets are $75 and proceeds will benefit PACS' charitable work, feeding the hungry and providing assistance with heat, utilities and housing. For more information, call 610-933-1105.

Thank you to reader Carol B. for the information!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Local Business Spotlight reminder

Over the past several weeks I have noticed a couple of local businesses have signed up for the AroundPhoenixville.com mailing list. I wanted to make sure they were aware of the Local Business Spotlight feature of this site. Same goes for anyone else out there who either owns a business in town or knows someone that does.

The L.B.S. is a free service I provide to anyone that is interested. All that I ask is that you email me a brief description of your business (please keep it to three or four paragraphs). That's it!

To see past Spotlights, click the Spotlights above.

AroundPhoenixville.com ideas for 2008

With things a bit slow as of late, I have had some time to think about what I want to do with both this blog and its sister site, BridgeAndMain.com. Here is what I have come up with, please let me know if you have any input or other ideas on how to make the site even better for '08.

  1. Make BridgeAndMain.com more of a resource for the community rather than a way to (ineffectively) market web design work. My thought is that it would become a full featured site used to promote the town. I am already using it for a number of the links you see at the top of the page. I am thinking of adding a message board area as well as finally getting to work on 'The Area'. More on this in a bit. Finally, the home page would serve as an overview of the different sections, so for those of you who liked having a place to see what events are coming up in the next week or so, this would be the place!

  2. With regards to 'The Area', over the next several weeks I am planning to add business listings to this section. Here, you will be able to get a listing of area businesses, broken down by category. You will be able to search for companies and there will be a way for users to create an account that will allow you to vote on and comment about the listings. The idea is that people will be able to use this area to learn about companies they may not have known about.

Well, that's about it in a nutshell. My hope is to start rolling these out over the next several weeks but we'll see how that goes. In the mean time, keep checking in, I am sure there will be something worthwhile to report any day now! :)


Friday, January 04, 2008

CDC outlines plans for '08

In today's Phoenix there was an article talking about the plans Barry Cassidy and the CDC have for 2008.

Executive Director Barry Cassidy says the CDC looks forward to completing seven priorities by year’s end.

The CDC’s top priority will be to form a working relationship with the Phoenix Property Group in order to move the plans for developing the former Phoenix Iron and Steel site by becoming the link between PPG and Borough Council.

Cassidy said he hoped the developer, the borough and the CDC could discuss the master plan together, which he emphasized their desire to maintain.

The plan would construct retail, office space and townhouses in order to achieve what they feel is the best use for the property. 60 percent of the land would be for office space and everything else that would be built on the site would support this use.

The plan would also construct 400 linear feet of retail space between the justice building and the old Superintendent’s office.
The CDC’s second highest priority is the creation of a parking authority as well as a parking garage on the corner of Bridge and Gay Streets.

The parking garage would be constructed on the lot at Taylor Alley adjacent to Family Dollar.

The garage is also proposed to include 27,800 square feet of retail on the bottom floor and will have four levels of available parking.
The CDC is also raising funding for a market study on a possible passenger rail line between Phoenixville and Malvern. The study would be conducted by consultants Gannett Fleming and would find if there is a market for the use of existing rail lines owned by Norfolk Southern Corporation.
Other items on CDC’s 2008 agenda include securing grants for the proposed Elm Street housing project on the North Side and Friendship Field and implement $220,000 towards developing Andre Thornton Park.

In addition, the CDC wants to use a $2 million grant for the completion of the Streetscapes project.

Cassidy also plans to continue CDC promotions such as First Fridays and special projects like the Farmer’s Market, the Christmas Lighting and the Renaissance Park mural fund. He will also seek funding for the downtown concert series.

Rounding out the agenda, the CDC hopes to get an easement for a trail from PPG as well as help the fire and police write grants for equipment and a new fire station.

Click here for the full article.