Friday, September 04, 2009

The Best of What’s Around: The Philly HOT LIST

Over the years, Phoenixville has become the place we go when we want to walk about in an urban setting. Recently, many of the establishments we frequent on the revitalized Bridge Street have been nominated as Best of the Philly HOT LIST sponsored by FOX 29. I'd have you vote for the whole block if I could, but since that option's not available I've provided handy individual links for your use (you do have to register). That goes for my international friends, too.

And make it quick. Voting closes on Friday, September 11.

Artisans Gallery & Café. Long-time readers will recognize Artisans as a frequent locale in these pages. Run by the mother-and-son team of Rosie and Rich Holck, Artisans provides great coffee and light fare in a warm setting festooned with local art. It’s also home to barista and local treasure Joey, who really does have red hair. Vote here.

Black Lab Bistro. The brave restaurant that helped ignite the rebirth of modern Phoenixville. This was our one destination when the town was still on the seedy side. The menu is varied and daring, and will likely satisfy fans of the burger as well as those who favor quail or gnocchi in their dishes. Vote here.

The Colonial Theatre. An old-time movie house and the closest and coolest place to catch indie and foreign fare. Vote here.

Hipster Home. If you aspire to a modern house filled with eclectic housewares, or, for example, prints of French anatomical sketches, this is your stop. Vote here.

Kimberton Whole Foods. A few miles away in historic Kimberton, this is where all the cool kids go for their local, organic, often biodynamic foodstuffs, including grass-fed beef, Fair Trade tea and coffee, and raw milk. You know you want to. Vote here.

ocean earth wind fire. You won’t find a cozier yoga studio in the area, for good reason: it’s also the home of owner/teacher Susan Madden-Cox. Enjoy a variety of restorative and flowing classes taught by excellent teachers, including Jenifer, as well as live music on Friday nights and the occasional fire-pit gathering. Located next to newly founded Balder Park and Iron Hill Brewery. Vote here.

Wolfgang Books. Located atop Hipster Home and reached only by climbing no less than 26 precipitous stairs, Wolfgang Books offers a mix of used and new books, from T.E. Lawrence: The Selected Letters to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and everything in between, in a spacious room with hardwood floors and filled with the haunting scent of old paper. Bonus tip: During Phoenixville’s annual Firebird Festival in December, visit the enclosed porch for the best view of Bridge Street decked out for the holidays. Vote here.

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