What's happening in and around Phoenixville, PA.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bridge Street State Store Moving to Kimberton

The state controlled Wine and Spirits store currently located at 317 Bridge Street is in the process of being moved to Kimberton Shoppes, 550 Kimberton Road. Details are sketchy but it seems like the move could be complete as early as February 9th.

The move presumably was done so that the PLCB would have a location that taps into the Kimberton area. Considering there is a store in the Acme on Starr St, it probably makes sense from their point of view. However, with a number of the restaurants in town being BYOBs, this move would appear to be a bad thing for downtown.

According to yesterday's Phoenix article, both Senator Dinniman and Representative Paul Drucker are looking into why the move was made and why the borough apparently was not involved in the decision.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Local Business Spotlight: The Handcrafted Cookie Company

The Handcrafted Cookie Company™ is now open in Phoenixville!! This cookie shop and cafe creates gourmet cookie dough that is inventive, delicious and convenient. They use natural ingredients to create each small batch of high quality artisanal dough. They have designed an unmatched variety of flavors for your pleasure.

Handcrafted Cookies uses high quality ingredients such as King Arthur® flour, Celtic® sea salt, Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, European-style sweet cream butter, organic eggs, whole spices ground fresh in our store, freshly squeezed and zested citrus fruits, nuts and coconut toasted fresh for every batch, aluminum-free baking powder, smooth Dutch chocolate imported from Holland, organic dark chocolate chips, 100% natural peanut butter with no fillers or sugar added.

Handcrafted cookies are made with a commitment to provide an improved option for indulgence—delectable treats with no additives, preservatives, trans-fats or high fructose corn syrup. They also offer wholesale cookie dough to retailers, restaurants and caterers. In addition to a commitment to high quality foods and indulgent desserts, The Handcrafted Cookie Company™ is also committed to providing support to and spreading awareness about health and food related initiatives, as well as supporting social and environmental causes.

The shop also offer baked cookies and fair-trade organic coffees and teas, bubble tea and a variety of natural bottled beverages, as well as a limited selection of baked cookies but any cookie flavor can be ordered and baked on demand, or an order can be requested ahead of time for pick-up. Initial limited hours will be 4-8 on Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 on Friday and 10-10 on Saturday. The shop will have an official grand opening event this spring. Stop by and try these handcrafted cookies today at 24 S. Main St in Phoenixville.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Banff Mountain Film Festival Returns March 6 and 7

Once again, the Banff Mountain Film Festival will be making a stop at the Colonial Theatre as part of its World Tour. The festival, which features short films highlighting biking, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing and mountain cultures, will be held on Friday, March 6th and Saturday March 7th, 2009.

This year's festival is being hosted by the Philadelphia Rock Gym. For more information, including how to buy tickets, please see the site they have setup for the event at www.philarockgym.com/Banff2009.htm.

A portion of the proceeds from this year's event will go to benefit the Schuylkill Canal Association.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hipster Home Holding Canned Food Drive, Sale

Between now and February 15th, if you bring in three non-perishable can goods products, Hipster Home will take 15% off your purchase of any Gus Modern Products items. The can goods will then be donated to a local charity to help fight hunger.

For more information, see the Hipster Home website at www.hipsterhome.com.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two Villages Concert featuring GrooveLily w/ The Alfred James Band

On Saturday, March 28, a benefit concert for the Phoenix Village Art Center and Adesha Village will be held at the Colonial Theatre.

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03/28/2009

Just your average violin/keyboard/drums theatrical power trio!
Start Time: 8:00 PM
Location: The Colonial Theatre 227 Bridge Street Phoenixville

GrooveLily returns to Phoenixville to perform for a very special benefit concert, the Two Villages Concert. The Two Villages Concert benefits the Phoenix Village Art Center and Adesha Village. Tickets range between $28-$125 and can be purchased at http://steelcitycoffee.stores.yahoo.net/3gratcoth8pm.html. Group tickets rates are available, please contact Jane at paba@discoverphoenixville.com.

New York City trio GrooveLily inhabits that contemporary space where creative musicians ignore the boundaries laid down by words like rock, folk, jazz and pop. Intelligent original songs with no shortage of wit connect lush musical textures and soaring vocals with the blazing six-string electric violin of Valerie Vigoda, the lightning-fingered piano of Brendan Milburn, and the joyful drums of Gene Lewin. With backgrounds in classical music, musical theater, jazz and rock, the three members of GrooveLily are making a new music that’s all their own. The success of their first concert-musical, the critically-acclaimed holiday show STRIKING 12, has led them farther into the world of theater, where they have carved out a unique niche as a rock band writing and performing shows.

Artist booking and sound production services were through Iron Town Productions (www.irontownproductions.com)
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Historic Inns of Phoenixville Dinner & Tour to be held Tuesday, 02/24/2009

From the PABA website:

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Start Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Lot Behind The Pickering Creek Inn At 37 Bridge St. Phoenixville

The dinner and tour includes a narrated tour aboard an old fashioned trolley of Phoenixville area landmarks, including The Pickering Creek Inn, The Gateway Building, The Phoenixville Foundry, Colonial Theatre, Hotel Washington, Hotel Chester, the Baptist Church of Phoenixville, Central Lutheran Church of Phoenixville (houses the Historical Society) and the Columbia Bar & Grille. At the end of the 35-40 minute tour, participants will enjoy a 3-course meal and a complimentary glass of wine at either Columbia Bar & Grille (est. 1893) or The Pickering Creek Inn (est. 1850) (choose at time of ticket purchase). To look at the full menu for the evening, go to www.discoverphoenixville.com where you can purchase tickets. Tickets are $75.00 each for the tour and dinner with a 10% discount for purchases of 4 or more. For group purchases of 4 or more, please contact paba@discoverphoenixville.com. Tickets can be purchased via the internet or at in person Steel City Coffee House or Fashionista’s Salon. For purchases by check, please make the check out to Phoenixville Area Business Association.
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For more information or to buy tickets, see the PABA posting for this event.

Bizness Shuffle Presented by the Phoenixville Area Business Association to be held Wednesday, 2/18/09

At 7pm on Wednesday, February 18th, the Phoenixville Area Business Association is hosting a Bizness Shuffle. Details from the PABA website:

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Join us at Steel City Coffee House for this speed-networking event! Participants have 30 seconds to introduce themselves and their business to a group of business owners and professionals. Bring your business cards and marketing materials.

Beer, food, and wine provided by PABA Members: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Molly Maguire's Irish Pub, Pickering Creek Inn, Columbia Bar & Grille, Franco Ristorante.

FREE for PABA members.
$10.00 for non-members*

*Free for non-members signing up for a PABA membership by the end of the night.

Non-members can learn more about PABA and reserve a space at this networking event by visiting us at www.discoverphoenixville.com, click on events and if you wish to prepay, we have PAYPAL, or, of course, should you decide to join, the event will be free.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to paba@discoverphoenixville.com.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

School Board Discusses Plans for the Middle School

This weekend's Phoenix talked about plans the school board is considering with regards to the Phoenixville Area Middle School. The article highlights three alternatives that are up for consideration. They are:

  1. Continue to patch problems as they arise. Cost for this is approximately $250,000-$300,000 a year and will only buy the district a couple of years and doesn't address some of the glaring needs of the district with regards to expanding the middle school.
  2. Renovate and add new spaces to the exisiting structure. Cost for this would be approximately $23 million with estimated ongoing expenses for things like maintenance and upkeep priced at $310k per year. This would extend the life of the middle school considerably but not to the extent that a new building would.
  3. Build a completely new building. Cost would be approximately $50 million. Conveniently, no mention was made with regards to yearly upkeep expenses. Lets assume, for the sake of argument, that this # is something less than the $310k quoted for the annual cost if they renovated.

According to the article, the renovation plan has been taken off the table. The board commented that:
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“Schools are finding that doing it piecemeal with a lot of labor is too costly,” Gilbert said. “At the end, you have a patchwork quilt. And a patchwork quilt will always look like a patchwork quilt.”
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While I am not going to argue that building onto an existing structure often leads to a bit of a patchwork look, I don't buy the cost arguments, at least based on the #'s presented. By going the route of the renovation, we (as a district) would be saving $27M up front. Even if there were no ongoing costs for a new facility (which won't be the case), it would take 87 years at $310k/year for the renovation to become a losing alternative.

Of course, a renovated Middle School won't last as long as a new building, but with the current economic situation our district finds itself in, I think it would be prudent to give that option some serious consideration.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sly Fox Hosting Fundraiser for Phoenixville Jaycees

On Sunday, January 18th AND Wednesday, January 21st, Sly Fox Brewery will be helping to raise money for the Phoenixville Jaycees. On both days, Sly Fox will donate 20% of your food purchases to the Jaycees. This includes both the Phoenxiville and Royersford locations. Money raised from these two nights will help the Jaycees fund several of its community events--scholarships, creek cleanups, charitable donations

For more information, including a coupon you must bring with you, please see the Jaycees new blog at http://phoenixvillejaycees.blogspot.com/.

Phoenixville Area High School to Host PMEA District Choir Festival

On Thursday, January 15, 2009, the top vocalists from Southeast Pennsylvania will arrive at the Phoenixville Area High School to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District Choir Festival.

The three-day festival will bring more than 160 choral students from Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties to participate in a variety of music-related activities, including a concert on Saturday, January 17.

PAHS Choral Director Kate Nice has been hard at work preparing for the event, housing the 160-plus students and coordinating meals, entertainment and rehearsal times. The vocalists will perform under the direction of William Payn, an internationally-known conductor and composer who serves as the Director of Choral Studies at Bucknell University.

The concert will be held on Saturday, January 17, at 3:00 p.m. in the Phoenixville Area High School Auditorium. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. This concert is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dinner Dance/Auction To Benefit Phoenixville Community Education Foundation Being Held February 27th

On Friday, February 27, 2009, the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation (PCEF) will be hosting their 6th Annutal Dinner/Dance Auction to benefit education in Phoenixville. The event goes from 6-11pm and is being held at RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve, 100 Golf Club Drive, Phoenixville, PA.

From an email I received:
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6th Annual Phoenixville Community Education Foundation Dinner Dance/Auction to Benefit Education in the Phoenixville Area

Friday, February 27, 2009
6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve
100 Golf Club Drive, Phoenixville

Join us for live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing!

Dress is Business Casual – No Jeans

Tickets are $40 each (sale ends 2/13)

Contact Chairperson Kelly Connors at 610.983.3143 or e-mail pcefwinterfundraiser@verizon.net.

To sponsor a table for $580, contact Nan Odenthal at odenthaln@pasd.com.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Traditional Irish Sessions at Molly Maguire's

Fans of Irish music should check out Molly Maguire's the first Sunday of every month for Traditional Irish Sessions with "Kane and Beatty".

Kane and Beatty's Terry Kane describes the sessions:
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The session is lead by my duo "Kane and Beatty." I play mandolin and guitar. John Beatty plays flute, whistle, bodhrán, and bazouki, and guitar. "Kane and Beatty" gigs usually consist of songs played with Irish tunes. But the session is mainly just Irish tunes with an occasional song. We are looking for local musicians who want to learn Irish tunes to join us. Usually there is a group of 5 or 6 musicians. Last Sunday we had a whistle player from Lancaster, an uilleann piper and fiddler from Souderton, another uilleann piper and singer from Easton and a singer from Philadelphia. Along with John and me that made 8 musicians all jamming on Irish tunes. It made for some great music. There is no sound system so people can relax and eat their dinner with great music in the background but no loud sound system making them have to scream to be heard. You do not have to be a professional to join us. Beginners can ask us to play tunes they are learning and intermediate players can sit in and join us.

The whole idea is to enjoy the wonderful authentic pub atmosphere that Molly Maguire's provides with the music you would hear in a pub in Ireland. You can bring your families because the music is fun for all ages. "Kane and Beatty" will always be there on the first Sunday of every month. The music will be different every time depending on who decides to come and join us. We have had the session for 9 months with people traveling over 60 miles one way to participate in the session but I have only seen one local musician in all that time.

We would like to get the word out to the local musicians that this is a place for them to enjoy and explore their interest in Irish music. The sessions are going to be once a month on the first Sunday from now on in hopes that we can better create a local scene for Irish traditional music. Along with local musicians we are also looking for local people that love to listen to Irish music.
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The sessions are held on the first Sunday of every month from 4:30-8:30pm. For more information, visit kaneandbeatty.com.

Monday, January 05, 2009

PJ Ryan's Hosting Key West Night to Benefit Phoenixville Police Athletic League

On Thursday, January 8th, PJ Ryan's will be hosting a 'Key West' night to raise money for the Phoenixville Police Athletic League.

From today's Phoenix:
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According to Schuylkill Township Police Officer and PAL Executive Director Jim Deoria Jr., the pub, 231 Bridge Street, will donate 20 percent of all of their customer's food bills to the PAL organization.

"We're pleased that PJ Ryan's is willing to donate to PAL a portion of their food sales," said Deoria. "We're hoping that it'll be a busy night for them."

The pub is anticipating a busy night, as they will be showing the BCS National Championship college football game between No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida on all of their televisions.

Along with the college football game, the pub is offering drink specials, such as $5 Hurricanes, $2.50 Red Stripe, and $3 Landshark, Captain Morgan drinks and Stella drafts.

Food specials include jerk chicken, pineapple shrimp over red beans and rice, and island BBQ pork sliders.

The pub is also holding a Hawaiian shirt contest, as there will be prizes awarded for the best and worst Hawaiian shirt that evening.
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Source: The Phoenix

A Taste Of Phoenixville Scheduled For January 22nd

The seventh annual "A Taste Of Phoenixville," an event to benefit the Good Samaritan Shelter, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009.

From last week's Phoenix article:
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The event will be held for the first time at the Phoenixville Country Club, 355 Country Club Road, from 6 to 9 p.m.
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Edible delights from the likes of Robert Ryan's Columbia Station; Thai
L'Elephant; Browns Cow Ice Cream Parlor; Bridgeside Deli & Grille; Molly Maguires; Iron Hill Brewery; Aquilante's; Majolica; Twin Bays; Eliza's Bakery; Sugartown Smoked Specialities; Tony's Family Restaurant; Hill's Quality Seafood Markets; Chester Spring Bakery; Montesano Brothers; Marly's; 101 Bridge Street; The Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery; sushi & sashimi by Jay Wang; and Phoenixville Country Club will be available to the public, according to Frederick.
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The event will also feature a live auction with items including a one-week vacation at a private home on the Outer Banks, N.C., and a tour of the Chester County countryside in a 1913 Buick Touring Car followed by brunch at the Kimberton Inn.

A silent auction will also take place, featuring restaurant gift certificates; spa gift certificates; floral arrangements; Phoenixville Area YMCA family indoor membership; gift baskets; books; artwork and antiques.
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For more information, or for tickets, please call 610-933-9305.

Source: The Phoenix

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center Opens, Immediately Causes Huge Traffic Issues

On Saturday, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center opened its doors in Oaks. Intended to replace the Fort Washington Expo Center, it held two events this past weekend, The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour, essentially a model train show, and a Weapons Show. These two, fortunately, were in different parts of the expo center. However, it quickly became clear that ample traffic studies were not performed prior to the opening of the center.

Anyone who drives 422 during rush hour knows how bad traffic can get. Now imagine all of that traffic getting off at one exit. That's pretty much what you had Saturday (and presumably Sunday).

My wife, son and I went to the train exhibit at around 12:15 on Saturday. A quick listen to KYW 1060 told us that traffic was backed up for five miles heading in from King of Prussia and three miles coming from Pottstown. Standing in line, I overheard one guy say it took him an hour and a half to get from KOP, a half hour of which was spent after getting off of 422 on Egypt Rd. Add to that an apparent lack of parking and the situation was truly a mess. By the time we left, at around 2:30, things hadn't improved. In fact, by the time we returned to Phoenixville, it appeared the backup on Egypt Rd. had extended onto Bridge Street.

Its bad enough that attendees to these events have to deal with this sort of traffic, I can't imagine how inconvenienced those that live in that area were. Its not as if that area was lacking for weekend traffic before the center's opening.

I'd be interested to see how they plan to address this but for now, my advice is to check phillyexpocenter.com each weekend before making plans to go anywhere near 422 and/or Oaks.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp Has Sessions Starting Soon

The Great Valley Adventure Boot Camp has sessions starting up in the next couple of weeks/months for those of you whose New Year's resolution is to get back in shape.

All sessions begin at 6am and you can choose to attend either 3, 4, or 5 days a week. Details below:

Indoor Location - Phoenixville Civic Center
Women only. Sessions start at 6am and you can choose to attend either 3,4 or 5 days a week.
Session 1: Jan. 12 - Feb. 6
Session 2: Feb. 16-Mar. 13

Indoor Location - RE/MAX Main Line, 2399 Kimberton Road
Men and women. Sessions start at 6:30pm and run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Session 1: Jan. 12 - Feb. 6

Reeves Park
Men and women. Sessions start at 6am and you can choose to attend either 3,4 or 5 days a week.
Session 1: Mar. 12 - Apr. 17
Session 2: Apr. 27-May 22