Go To Neighborhood: 


By Joseph Myers

Sinister cycle

A man remains at large more than a month after nabbing four bicycles in Bella Vista.

Posted Jan. 22, 2015

Casual neighborhood bistro coming to Bella Vista

Another veteran bar and restaurant team has decided to take up shop in South Philly this week. Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly, the group behind beer centric standouts Local 44 and Strangelove’s, have secured a lease for the former Mildred space at Eight and Christian streets.

Posted Jan. 22, 2015

Meat-ing your acquaintance

Beginning Sunday and lasting through Jan. 18, Percy Street Barbecue, 900 South St., will celebrate Meat Week.

Posted Jan. 15, 2015

Pilfering a purse

A man made off with a woman’s purse in Bella Vista last week.

Posted Jan. 15, 2015

A beefy promotion

Drawing inspiration from the animated sitcom “Bob’s Burgers,” Royal Tavern, 937 E. Passyunk Ave., will offer a pun-infused patty beginning every Sunday at 5.

Posted Nov. 20, 2014


By Phyllis Stein-Novack

Viet Huong

On a cold winter’s day about a year ago, I began to do some research on the number of Vietnamese restaurants in Philadelphia.

Posted Oct. 23, 2014

The hoedown lowdown

Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St., will hold Friday Night Bites from 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow.

Posted Oct. 23, 2014

Lyas Cafe’s Marinated Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Mexican Salad

To give credence to their prior knowledge and to build confidence in their endeavors, budding wordsmiths often receive the advice “Write what you know.” When Andres Ladino decided to open his first eatery after numerous culinary jobs, he determined to alter that sentiment’s wording but not the insistence on experience, choosing to make what rings familiar to him. “Everything definitely has a Mexican touch,” the Puebla native said of his creations at Lyas Cafe, 802 Christian St. “All the sandwiches have it, especially, but I also try to be a little different by having vegetarian and vegan options.” The 29-year-old and wife Gloria opened the Bella Vista-based location in August, occupying space that had served as a Vietnamese hoagie shop. Owner Andres Ladino “It was exactly what I had been looking for,” Ladino said of the site. “I love interacting...

Posted Oct. 17, 2014

Brock helming 'Rhinoceros' for FringeArts Festival

Always yearning to understand her place in the world, Tina Brock experienced an epiphany years ago when attending a staging of “The Chairs” by Eugene Ionesco.

Posted Sep. 18, 2014

Sam’s Morning Glory Diner’s Monkey French Toast

Texas native Jack Cooper has spent 16 years in Philadelphia, 12 of them in South Philly, and has developed many pastimes during the period, including observing the city’s frequently gray skies. Fortunately for local lovers of comfort food, the 43-year-old revels in being a hunger halter, too, a role that he perfects at Sam’s Morning Glory Diner, 735 S. 10th St.

Posted Aug. 14, 2014

Social butterfly

Sadie Sprague-Lott is known by peers and teachers as a widely developed talent, with the resident of the 700 block of South Ninth Street boasting a tremendous grade-point-average at Science Leadership Academy by accumulating mostly A’s in her core academic courses.

Posted Aug. 26, 2014


By Bill Chenevert

Making the Italian Market last

“I wouldn’t say we’re stronger than ever but I would say we’re working on being stronger than ever, and we’re working on making our market more customer-friendly so that the customers that used to come down, and don’t anymore, will revisit the market,”

Posted Aug. 7, 2014


Bella Vista

Boundaries: South Street to Washington Avenue, Sixth to 11th Street


Origin of Name: The name is Italian and means “pretty view.” Real-estate agents dubbed it Bella Vista as a selling point because many dwellings have views of the Center City skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge.


Brief History: Many Italian immigrants who entered Philadelphia via Washington Avenue gravitated to the neighborhood because it had become a settlement for natives of Spadafora, Italy. The Palumbo family, for one, built boarding homes for immigrants. The first Italian immigrant bathhouse later became the Fante-Leone Pool at Montrose and Darien streets.

Alfred “Freddie” Cocozza, better known as opera legend Mario Lanza, grew up at Sixth and Christian streets and made his first public appearance at 19, singing “Ave Maria” at St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church, 714 Montrose St., where he was an altar boy.

Bella Vista has lost some of its treasures: Verdi Hall, 713 Christian St., which opened in 1905, and later became an Italian cinema, and Fabiani Italian Hospital, 10th and Christian streets, which was founded by Vincent Fabiani in 1904.


Famous Residents: Mario Lanza; “father of jazz guitar” Eddie Lang, born Salvatore Massaro in 1902, who was a Bing Crosby accompanist; author/lecturer and social activist Frances E.W. Harper, who devoted her life to championing the rights of slaves and free blacks; Edwin Forrest, the most famous American tragedian actor of his time; Illustrator Charles Santore resides at Seventh and Catharine streets; "American Bandstand" producer, Tony Mammarella, of the 800 block of South Ninth Street.


Major Landmarks: Italian Market, said to be the country’s oldest open-air market; South Street; the former Fante-Leone Pool; Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine; Mario Lanza Museum, 712 Montrose; Palumbo’s Restaurant, Ninth and Catharine streets, which burned down in 1994.


U.S. Congressional District: 1st, Bob Brady (D)

U.S. Senators: Bob Casey (D); Pat Toomey (R)

Pennsylvania Governor: Tom Corbett (R)

State Senate District 1st, Lawrence M. Farnese Jr. (D)

State House District: 175th, Michael H. O'Brien (D); 182nd, Brian K. Sims (D); 186th, Jordan Harris (D)

City Council District: 1st, Mark Squilla (D)

Ward: 2nd

Police District: 3rd, Capt. Michael Ryan; Community Relations Officers Ace Delgado and Gary Harkins;

Civic Groups: Bella Vista Town Watch; Bella Vista United Civic Association

Libraries: Santore, 932 S Seventh St.

Schools: Christopher Columbus Charter School, 916 Christian St. and 1242-46 S. 12th St. in Passyunk Square; Fleisher Art Memorial, which teaches art classes; George W. Nebinger School, 601 Carpenter St.

Places Of Worship: Christian Street Baptist Church, 1024 Christian St.; The Church of the Crucifixion, 620 S. Eighth St.; Christ's United Presbyterian Church, 1020 S. 10th St.; Church of the Living God, 801 S. 11th St.; synagogue Lubavitch House, 754 S. Ninth St.; New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 919 S. 13th St.; St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 808 S. Hutchinson St.; Waters Memorial AME Church, 609 S. Clifton St.

Rec Centers: Palumbo Rec Center, 10th and Fitzwater streets

Parks/Gardens: Bardascino Park, 10th and Carpenter streets; Cianfrani Park, Eighth and Fitzwater streets; Palumbo Park, 723 Catharine St.; Triangle Park, Sixth and Christian streets; Bel Arbor, 10th and Kimball streets


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