This Week: March 9, 2023

Editor – Barbara Halpern

Lead Writer – Richard Vaughn

Design/Layout and Writer – Travis Oliver

Guest Writers – Gisele Kahlon and Brynja Maravich

A Process Worth Trusting

Local residents have no doubt noticed the new Bankroll sports bar and restaurant adjacent to 19th & Chestnut Sts. It’s big, it’s flashy, and it’s impossible to miss.


While the success of the enterprise remains to be seen – it only opened a week ago tonight – two things are certain.


One, it’s a welcome and attractive look for what had been a mostly drab portion of the block. Two, it’s a product of a brokered negotiation – led by CCRA – between the developers and local stakeholders, many of whom had expressed reservations about the project.


In other words, Yes: Two ‘opposing’ sides sat down, discussed all relevant concerns and in good faith negotiated an agreement that most – if not all – could live with.


It’s a process that our elected leaders would do well to emulate.

CCRA News and Events

CCRA Board of Directors Meeting with Special Guests Council President Darrell Clarke and the New 9th District Police Captain

On Tuesday, March 14, at 7 pm, CCRA is holding our monthly board meeting at BEX Meeting Space, One Commerce Square - 2005 Market St. Council President Darrell Clarke will present to the board about the state of the city, his proposal about public safety, and the future of Philadelphia.

Afterwards, he will take questions from board and CCRA members. This is a CCRA ‘members-only’ meeting. If any members would like to attend, please notify Managing Director Travis Oliver and he will register you. 


CCRA’s Merchant Partner program is a true Win-Win: It provides local businesses with complimentary advertising and exposure while giving CCRA members generous deals and discounts. This week we spotlight our newest Merchant Partner! Please say Hello to 12th Street Catering!

If You’ve Got the Room, 12th St. Catering’s Got the Board

Big (or small) event coming up and you need to crush it with the food presentation? Fear not, new Merchant Partner 12th St Catering has got your back.


12th Street Catering is a Philadelphia-based full-service catering company that believes you eat with your eyes first, then with your mouth. They're devoted to making outstanding food with beautiful décor to match. Offering locally sourced ingredients, stunning displays, and highly seasoned staff, they're much more than just a crew of cooks – they're culinary artists with the passion to provide extraordinary eating experiences anywhere in Philadelphia and the Main Line. 


Even better?  CCRA members received a 10% discount on a delivered catering order. (This is a one-time offer with a minimum of 20 guests.) For any party over 50 you’ll receive a complimentary hors d’oeuvre.

Clean, Safe and Green

The Illuminati of Rittenhouse Square

We don’t know how much attention you pay to the lighting in and around Rittenhouse Square, but CCRA’s Streets expert Bill West has done a very deep and insightful dive into that very luminous subject. If you think you know local lighting, Bill’s got news for you. Alight here to be enlightened.

A New Growth: Seeds, Foraging and Regeneration

On Saturday, March 18, come to this exciting interactive exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences and explore possibilities for sustainable urban farming and expanding your palate. Consider and grow the culinary and agricultural possibilities of cultural, local and foraged foods! For more information, visit here.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

21st Century Community Banking – Without the Bank!

As Philadelphia continues its post-pandemic re-growth sprout, Honeycomb Credit has doubled down by stepping into the money lending vacuum created by the exit of our old community banks. Anybody else remember PSFS?  Fuhgetaboutit! 

Honeycomb Credit is a loan crowdfunding platform which connects small businesses looking for expansion loans with community members who want to invest locally as loans, not gifts.  As we learned in Philadelphia Citizen, Honeycomb is  designed to allow friends and family to fund small local businesses. Its goal is to get small business crowdfunding campaigns off the ground, provide business expertise (a/k/a coaching), and help its clients create a strong social media strategy. 

Yup….Honeycomb is a for-profit in the genre of Businesses for Good. Want to taste how they make the honey? Buzz here to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival Wagashi Workshop

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a beloved annual Philadelphia tradition when we welcome the arrival of Spring by celebrating beautiful and fragrant trees coming into flower. This year, on April 11,  join the Japan-American Society of Greater Philadelphia at the Free library of Philadelphia to make wagashi.

Wagashi are naturally vegan and gluten-free traditionals sweets, made with rice flour and filled with red bean paste. Tickets are limited.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here.

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Community News and Events

Get Your Irish Up for St. Patty’s at a Reading or at a Pub Crawl

Coming soon is the day when everybody’s Irish. One way to celebrate would be to attend the March 13 performance of “How to Keep an Alien”, an Irish reading produced by the Inis Nua Theatre Company, which puts on contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Admission is free; the location is the Louis Bluver Theater at The Drake. Event details here.

If pub crawls are more your style, here are two options: The Shamrock Crawl on March 11 (details here), and the Lucky St. Patrick’s Day Crawl, March 17 and 18 (details here). Whatever your choice: Top O’ the Mornin’ to Ya!”

World Cafe Live Beer Fest on March 11

Calling all beer lovers! On Saturday, March 11: visit World Cafe Live for their 19th Annual WCL Beer Fest! The afternoon will be full of great music from Nigerian artist Oluwafemi and includes an array of craft beers, ciders, cocktails, and small plates from Executive Chef Rob Cottman.

With over 30 breweries participating and a chance to win concert tickets, you do not want to miss this spectacular event! Tickets can be found here.

Free Happy Hour Session at The Kimmel

Are you looking for something to do this Friday, March 10 at 4pm? The Kimmel Cultural Campus is offering free happy hour entertainment. Stop by to listen to live music performed by Mobbluz (pictured), ePOP with DJ Omar Saleem and visual artist K.C. Grummun. 

Three distinct art forms come together with operatic voices, blues and jazz to create this exciting experience. More information can be found here.

Judging the Judges

We all know there are consequences to elections and this year (Primary Day is Tues., May 16), our local judges are up for your vote. Think carefully, as whomever wins is in power for a LONG TIME – six years (Philly Municipal Court) or ten years (Common Pleas Court). 

But there’s so many of them running….what qualities do we even look for before pulling that lever? A good place to start is asking those who know them best - their Bar Association. The Committee of Seventy is offering us a window into the rating system established by the Philadelphia Bar Association (PBA). We found a one hour lunchtime webinar on April 4th that explains how and why judicial candidates are “recommended” (or not!). 

Just want to see who “got the nod”? Skip the “yadda yadda” and get the PBA recommendations here.

Philly Theatre Week

Philly Theatre Week is back for a sixth year, Thursday, March 23 through Sunday, April 2, 2023! The week is full of events and performances hosted by the Philadelphia theatre community.

Artists have helped make the Greater Philadelphia area one of the liveliest arts regions in the country. This year, the theatre is offering “Pay What You Can” tickets (for a limited time). Details and ticket information can be found here.

Useful links

Merchant Partners "Deals and Discounts" Program

Would you please support our local merchants and save money too? These local merchants will provide a deal or discount to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card and personal identification.

Astral Artists, 1500 Walnut St. (215-735-6999)

12th Street Catering, 3312 Spring Garden St (215-386-8595)

Blue Sole Shoes, 1805 Chestnut St (215-496-9244)

City Fitness, 2101 South St & 1819 JFK Blvd (609-254-9048) 

Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St (215-665-9220) - Temporarily Suspended

Dom's Shoe Repair, 203 S. 20th St (215-972-0098)

Excursions from the Square, (215-732-8487, 215-738-4500)

Eye Candy Vision, 218 S. 20th St (215-568-3937)

FrameWorks Studio & Gallery, 2103 Walnut St (215-567-6800)

Loews Hotel Philadelphia, 1200 Market St (215-627-1200)

Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 S. Broad St (215-893-1900)

Liberty Pet Vets, 265 S. 20th St (888-458-8587)

PhotoLounge, 130 S.17th St (267-322-6651)

Rittenhouse Hardware, 2001 Pine St (215-735-6311)

Seafood Unlimited, 270 S. 20th St (215-732-3663)

The Bake Shop on 20th, 269 S. 20th St (215-644-9714)

The Philadelphia Orchestra, One S. Broad St (215-893-1955)

The River Boat Tours, Schuylkill River & Walnut St (215-309-5523)

The Rounds, internet only

Veda Modern Indian Bistro, 1920 Chestnut St (267-519-2001)

William Schwartz Jewelry, 1831 Chestnut St (215-665-8115)

Alimentari Restaurant at Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St, 2nd Floor - Temporarily Suspended

CCRA assumes no responsibility, and makes no representations or warranties, regarding any product and/or services sold by any Merchant Partner.

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