After the arrest of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson at the 18th and Spruce location last month, which was instigated when one of them asked to use the bathroom without making a purchase, Starbucks is changing its policy. "We don't want to become a public bathroom," chairman Howard Schultz said at a conference in D.C., "but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key." A spokesperson clarified to Billy Penn that the policy is still under 90-day review. In the meantime, employees are directed to allow restroom use to anyone who needs to. Plans to close all 8,000 cafes on May 29 are moving forward. Stay up to date on all coverage related to the Starbucks arrests here.
Today is opening day for Treetop Quest Philly, a giant new ropes and zip line course in West Fairmount Park. What's it like? Billy Penn reporter Mónica Zorrilla took a preview tour of the park — despite trepidation stemming from memories of team-building exercises in high school — and made it through all four of the levels. There's something for everyone, from the kiddie "Chickpea" starter course to the trails 60 feet above ground. Follow her adventures climbing, sliding, swinging and zipping through the trees here. There's also a discount code for opening weekend tix.
If you peek through this tavern's windows, you can spot people in Eagles, Phillies and Sixers jerseys, elbows on the bar as they scarf down cheesesteaks and talk sports. Thing is, the bar is in London. For PlanPhilly, Jim Saksa gives us the lowdown on a pub called Passyunk Avenue that exists all the way across the Atlantic. The Philly-themed dive was opened by a Trenton native, turns out, who started with a cheesesteak pop-up, moved on to a food truck and then graduated to full-fledged brick and mortar. Dude even makes his own Cheez Whiz.
In this edition of A.D. Amorosi's guide to the best shows, jams and entertainment sessions across the next two weeks, he highlights anonymous candy-coated DJs (Marshmello), under-the-radar Philly bands who won’t stay undercover forever (Low Cut Connie, Hop Along), and the now-famous comedian who helped bring down Bill Cosby (Hannibal Burress). Plus a Nigerian poetry-séance performance and a show described as "skronky punk and messy jazz."
- Our first poll to vote for the Instagram of the Week is now live. Old City sax player is currently in the lead, but others aren't far behind. Place your vote here (and don't forget to tag your own pics #BillyPennGram).
- The Rail Park has set June 14 as the opening date for Phase 1 of the elevated park. We sent a photographer in for a preview — stay tuned for an early glimpse of the layout, it's looking pretty sweet.
- Spotted in Philly: Vanny DeVito. (This is what to name your car if you want it to never get rained on.)
Learn how to create your own pillowcase in this one-day class led by designer Devon Hamwright, who'll show you how to go from start to finish and then decorate the outside with embroidery. Handmade pillows are a great gift — even better if you make them together.
Where: Agricultural Village at Awbury Arboretum at 1101 E. Washington Ln., 19138
When: May 13, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How much: $15