Bad news in Old City: The Irish Pol has closed permanently. The owner didn't give a specific reason in his Facebook post confirming the shutdown, but there were recent signs the bar was in trouble, like a cease operations order for unpaid taxes at the beginning of November. Staff was apparently shocked and surprised to hear they were out of a job right before the holiday, and friends are hosting a fundraiser next week to help.
The North Philly Aztecs and the Northwest Raiders are each sending two teams to Florida this week for the Pop Warner football championships. The Aztecs are also sending four cheerleading teams and the total bill could run almost $100,000. So who pays for that? "We’ve been fundraising," Aztecs football coach Marquis Merricks told us. "We’re doing Krispy Kreme, Walmart…We got people driving Uber. You won’t believe the stuff you’ll do to try to raise this money up." The Aztecs are headed to Florida to bring home a title, but after their longtime coach passed away last February at just 44 years old, this year is about honoring his legacy too.
No one thinks twice these days when they see a bunch of camera equipment set up in Kensington. That'll happen after Dr. Oz shows up to exploit the city's heroin crisis. But Mike Durkin and his experimental theater group are trying something totally different. They're encouraging people in the neighborhood to tell their stories — to not only write them down, but also star in a play about themsevles, which they'll perform around Kensington.
Central High School is getting a new performing arts center thanks to a $10 million donation from an alumnus. The 400-seat venue can raise the profile on the magnet school's arts programs, donor Joseph M. Field said yesterday during the historic announcement. The funding kicks off an even larger capital campaign that will improve the facade, add outdoor classrooms and more. Get the details here.
For one night only, the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center just outside Philadelphia will host Theatreworks USA's performance of the musical "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Inspired by Clement Clark Moore poem “A Visit with St. Nicholas,” the show is full of music, costumes and is a general crowd-pleaser for everyone ages 4 and up.
Where: Upper Darby Performing Arts Center at 601 N. Landsdowne Ave., Drexel Hilll
When: December 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
How much: $10-$12
Billy Penn Likes
In the 20 years since The Plough & the Stars opened in September 1997, the Old City pub has never closed — not even for a single day. In advance of their anniversary celebration this weekend, Billy Penn caught up with two of the three Irish expat owners to find out their secret. From being quietly farm-to-table before it was trendy to accommodating weekend crowds, here's what has contributed to the bar's longevity.
The most popular Christmas Candy in Pennsylvania doesn't come from Hershey's. Consumers will spend a whopping $1.93 billion on sweets this season, according to candystore.com, and every state has their favorite. California loves peppermint bark. Montana prefers Skittles (WTF, guys?). You'd think PA would love its home-grown chocolates the most. Kisses weren't on our list, but at least the state's favorite holiday candy is actually holiday-related (seriously, Montana, what gives?)