Ambling through the Headhouse Shambles (Instagram/@maxine.mayer)

💡 Get Philly smart 💡
with BP’s free daily newsletter

Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

The (huge) updated list of City Council candidates

Every seat on Philadelphia’s governing body is up for grabs in this year’s election, and the field of contenders continues to grow.

  • Nearly two dozen people are seeking an at-large seat, in addition to incumbents, plus more on the way. There are also a lot of challengers for district seats, considered tougher for outsiders to win.

The May 16 primary ballot may not include all these names, because candidates have to collect signatures and file nominating petitions, which can then be challenged. That whole process wraps up at the end of March. 

→ Who’s vying for a seat?

Philadelphia City Hall (Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital)

Iconic bakery Center City Pretzel struggles to reopen after fire

Center City Pretzel Co. in South Philly is struggling to recover from an electrical fire, The Inquirer reports, and has been closed since September.

  • Founded in 1981, the family-run bakery launched a GoFundMeto help with equipment repairs. It raised $12k in crowdsource funds for the Washington Avenue production bakery after a fire in 2020.  

The garage-fronted warehouse is a favorite midnight stop for retail customers seeking the special and unique oblong snack that is a Philadelphia soft pretzel.

Philly soft pretzels (Samuel Lieberman/Billy Penn)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

  • Pa. Sen. Cris Dush, who advocated for overturning the 2020 election results, is now at the helm of the State Government Committee. [AP]
  • The Working Families Party yesterday endorsed Helen Gym for mayor, a few hours before the Democratic candidate was spotted at an event at the Union League, which she’d denounced during last week’s protests over the DeSantis award. Gym apologized on Twitter, saying, “It was a mistake.” [Al Dia/@MrErnestOwens/Billy Penn/@HelenGymPHL]
  • Mayoral candidate Jeff Brown stopped running an ad featuring Michelle Obama’s praise after the former first lady’s people reached out to complain. We’ve updated our tracker to reflect all this. [Daily Beast$/Billy Penn]
  • Rents in Philly at the end of 2022 were 10.2% higher than at the same time in 2021. Prices are expected to fall as more new apartments are constructed. [Axios]
  • Bio lab space is in high demand right now. Across from Washington Square, the Curtis is redeveloping several floors to house lab space, and construction starts next month in University City on Philly’s largest life sciences research building. [Technically/Daily Pennsylvanian]
  • FOX 29 anchors Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick are going viral on TikTok for a clip about a study connecting IPAs and “unstable” mental health. [@fox29philadelphia/PhillyVoice]


A week and a half after the Philly School District sued the city over a law requiring safety inspections over worries it could unnecessarily close schools, City Council holds its bi-annual hearing on education, and Mayor Kenney joins the event, livestreamed on Council’s website (10 a.m.). 

One of many organizations formed to celebrate the nation’s semiquincentennial in 2026, America250PA is visiting classrooms around the commonwealth to distribute coloring books and teach kids about Pa.’s role in the founding of the United States. Kenney joins them at Spruance Elementary in Oxford Circle (1 p.m.). The mayor then rushes back from Northeast Philly to land at the Kimmel Center for Visit Philly and PHLCVB’s joint presentation on the 2023 tourism outlook — with a “sneak peak” at 2026 planning (2 p.m.)


📚 The Free Library kicks off Black History Month with a series of events at branches around the city, including a session on how to be an antiracist, a reading group, a themed bingo night and others. (Jan. 31-Feb. 28)

🎨 Four former Philly art students put on a “Language of Color” show at Space 1026 gallery on North Broad, and their First Friday opening reception features refreshments. (6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3)

🍨 Postpone the February doldrums with Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Among shops opening early: Jeni’s is hosting a contest to win ice cream for a year; Weckerly’s is offering affogatos and pop-tart ice cream sandwiches; and Franklin Fountain is doing a special waffle sundae. (Saturday, Feb. 4)