Old Town nightlife gets a double dose of fun, Pasta Doing 101, Rex at the Royal and other great Philadelphia restaurants

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Rex at the transformation of the Black Theater Royal into a restaurant in the South
Rex at the Royal is the result of a transformation that transformed a historic black theater into a restaurant serving the best of Southern cuisine.

Executive chef Aaron Paik is the man behind the menu with dishes like Charleston, South Carolina-style shrimp and grits with andouille sausage and chunk crabmeat.
You’ll also find fried green tomatoes on a bed of chilli spread and crawfish pie, with the shellfish smothered in cheesy peppers and onions and baked in homemade puff pastry.

Chef Paik grew up watching his grandmother cook, and just like the grandmother, it’s a comfort food.

When renovating The Royal, owner Jill Weber retained the blue and green colors and ambiance of the old theatre. There are comfortable cabins, a long bar and live music on Tuesday nights.

The Theater Royal was built in 1919 and quickly became a gathering place for the community.

In the 1930s it was considered “the best color photo room in America”

For Weber, history is important.

The restaurant owner is also an archaeologist who has spent the past 30 years working primarily in the Middle East, unearthing animal bones dating back to around 2600 BC.
She opened her first restaurant, Jet Wine Bar, in 2010 because no place in Philadelphia served the wines she had come to love in Syria and Iraq. The Jet Wine Bar specializes in wines from the ancient world.

And from Jet she had a clear view of the once grand, but then dilapidated, Theater Royal.
In creating Rex at the Royal, Jill’s mission is to restore both the physical structure and the Royal’s prominent place in the community.

Rex at the Royal | Facebook | instagram
1524 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146

Jet Wine Bar| Facebook | instagram
1525 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146

PITA CHIP serving Mediterranean food, support for Afghan refugees
Omar Alsaadi is the co-founder and chef of PITA CHIP, a restaurant serving Mediterranean fusion cuisine in University City and Temple University.

Alsaadi is also a Syrian immigrant who uses the flavors of his homeland to help others come to this country.
With every order of the Malik al-Batata, nicknamed “The Syrian” wrapper, proceeds go to the Nationalities Services Center to help Afghan refugees.

PITA CHIPS | instagram | Facebook
University town location:

3601 Market Street Unit #3, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Temple University Location:
1600 North Broad Street Unit 7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19121

Homemade by Bruno hosting pasta making parties in South Philadelphia
At Homemade by Bruno, pasta chef Janine Bruno preserves the flavors of old-world Italy by combining her family’s recipes with her own culinary creations.

She turned to her past when her current world was turned upside down.
At the end of 2016, at the age of 30, Bruno was diagnosed with breast cancer.

At the same time, she was fired from the job she loved and her boyfriend broke up with her, creating a trifecta of loss soon after she lost her beloved grandmother.

As she recovered from her physical and emotional wounds, Bruno found solace and joy in making homemade pasta.

As she learned from her family members, Bruno decided she wanted to share this learning process with others, and Homemade by Bruno was born.

Guests are welcomed to its pasta-making classes with a plate of antipasto and a glass of wine.

Students choose their shapes with two sauces.

During the pandemic, when Bruno couldn’t teach pasta lessons in person, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and also learned how to make gelato.

She participated in the Gelato Festival America for the Gelato World Masters, considered the Olympics of ice cream.

It ranked top three in the United States and top five in North America with its Italian Rainbow Cookie flavor.

Alongside the parties, Bruno also plans to host pop-ups, selling his homemade ice cream, pasta and sauces at his new store in South Philly.

Homemade by Bruno | Website |Facebook | instagram
1429 Wharton Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146

Glenside native building olive oil bridge from Philadelphia to Italy
At Hyatt Centric’s new Patchwork downtown, Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden prepares toasted burrata toast topped with long, warm pesto and finished with Bellecento olive oil.

He also uses the Bellecento on the white pizza and he makes a carrot cake with olive oil.
The restaurant also serves a gin cocktail with olive oil, the Bellecento fizz.

The cocktail and menu items are the result of a partnership, launched during Women’s History Month, between Patchwork and Alexa Dombkoski, the founder of Bellecento, an extra virgin olive oil made from cultivated olives and pressed in Tuscany then bottled and brought to the United States.

Alexa grew up in Glenside, studied abroad in Italy at university, fell in love with the food culture and didn’t want to leave.

So she finished her studies and moved to Florence, working in gastronomic tourism.

It was, she jokes, a tough life, taking people to Tuscany, drinking wine with them all day and eating pasta.
But his career came to a halt at the start of 2020 and Italy entered a full COVID lockdown.

So she decided to start her own business, bringing one of her favorite Italian flavors back to her hometown.

She works with a single-family estate located just outside of Florence, in an area known for its olive oil.

It’s her first harvest season, but Alexa has big plans to make Bellecento a full line of elegantly designed Italian produce.

The name, Bellecento, is a tribute to the good Italian life, using the feminine plural to honor the Italian women who, according to Alexa, were the ones who passed the culture down through the generations.

Bellecento extra virgin olive oil | instagram
Free shipping with code FYIPHILLY

Patchwork Restaurant at Hyatt Centric Center City | Website
1620 Chancellor Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Philly mom helps heal with Made With Love Juicery
Latoya Brown says everything she does comes from the heart and is done with love, which led to her business name: Made with Love Juicery.

It offers everything from cold-pressed juices to wellness shots and smoothies, and was named Best of Philly in 2021 by Philadelphia Magazine.
Brown, a wife and mother of three, started juicing to lose the 100 pounds she gained during pregnancy.

She says the juice not only helped her lose weight but also boosted her immunity,

She says she also helped her mother stay healthy, which enabled her to stop taking medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Brown also believes the juices played a role in her mother’s victory over stage 3 colon cancer.
Brown, who went to culinary school and studied pharmacology, started the business from her home. Then, last spring, she found the perfect outlet in Spring Garden.

Juice made with love |Website | Facebook | instagram
547 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Frame and Olea Bring New Vibes to the Old Town Night Scene
Get ready for some new nighttime vibes in Old Town Frame.

Dinner features international fare ranging from a French-cut chicken dish to tuna tartare, and dishes can also be ordered from a late-night menu.
When it’s time to turn the stage around for the wee hours, the tables can be lowered for craft cocktail service.

On weekends, a DJ spins music and lighting effects throughout the open space set the tone for a laid-back yet chic evening.

Around the corner, new BYOB dine spot Olea comes from restoration veteran Luis Pedrogo.

The Mediterranean-focused menu features seafood dishes, along with a 12-ounce pork chop that happens to be a customer favorite.
Music is curated by the owner himself, and he encourages chatting with other diners or getting up and dancing in the cozy space.
Framework | instagram
222 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Olea | instagram
232 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

5th Annual Philly Theater Week kicks off April 1 with 85 events lined up
The annual Philadelphia Theater Week is back! Following last year’s all-virtual event, this year will feature a combination of in-person and virtual shows. Karen Rogers has the details in this week’s 6abc Loves the Arts

More than 85 events line up for this year’s Philly Theater Week.
“A 10-day celebration of theater in our region. There are performances, readings, workshops, industry events,” said LaNeshe Miller-White, executive director of Theater Philadelphia.

With a launch event on the roof of the Kimmel Center on March 30.

“Our first in-person event since COVID,” says Miller-White.

For Miller-White, it will also be her first in-person event since coming on board in 2020.

“It’s very exciting,” says Miller-White.

She also runs Theater in the X and says the theater hasn’t missed a beat.

Philly Theater Week runs from April 1-10 at various venues.

The 5th Annual Philadelphia Theater Week | Facebook | instagram
Philadelphia Theater Week: April 1 – 10, 2022

Supplements for info
.The Philadelphia Film Society is hosting an Oscar screening party at the Philadelphia Film Center.

You can walk the red carpet, enjoy cocktails, light snacks and watch the award ceremony on the big screen.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oscar Sunday and all proceeds will be donated to the Film Society.

Philadelphia Film Center | Tickets | Facebook | instagram
1412 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102

Waitress The Musical opens this week at the Academy of Music.

It tells the story of Jenna, a waitress who gets involved in making pies in the hopes that it will be her ticket out of her small town and her rocky marriage.

Waitress was the first musical in Broadway history to have an all-female creative team, with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. And Jisel Soleil Ayon breaks down barriers with the show on the road. She is the first woman of color to play Jenna in a touring cast.

Waitress The Musical | Tickets
Academy of Music, March 29-April 3
240 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102

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