Cue the carolers and deck the halls. For the first time in its 127-year history, the Devon Horse Show will be lit up like a Christmas tree this year.
Yuletide at Devon, a winter festival inspired by the Christmas markets in Europe, is coming to town … and staying from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
Produced by a father-son team from Villanova backed by 20 local investors, Yuletide aims to become an upscale holiday happening that families return to year after year.
Like Christmas at Longwood – but in our own Main Line backyard.
Among the festivities:
*Carnival rides: a sizable Ferris wheel, a Himalaya ride, a fun house and carousel.
*National musical acts in the Dixon Oval “Main Stage,” a 40 X 40 ft. platform flanked by real 45-ft. Christmas trees. Rock bands in late November, holiday music in the weeks before Christmas, and country acts in late December, culminating in a special New Year’s Eve show with country artist Chris Lane.
*A Christmas Market with some 35 curated gift and novelty shops and a gift-wrapping station. Keeping spirits bright: Victorian carolers and local buskers.
*Holiday cheer and hot toddies. Belly up to Kringle’s Whiskey Bar (aka Clydesdale’s Corner) or Bergey’s Brauhaus, a Bavarian beer hall in the Hospitality Room for mulled wine (“gluhwein”) and gourmet cocoa served in ceramic Yuletide souvenir mugs
*Photos with Santa at his North Pole Chalet in the Wheeler Ring, a 20 X 12 ft. wooden shed crafted by area Amish and furnished with antique skis, elves’ lockers, Santa’s workbench and a copy of his Naughty or Nice list.
*Daily parades with Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage and escorted by local marching bands.
*Artisanal food stalls, trucks and airstream trailers serving up gourmet grilled cheese, BBQ, steak and tacos, Asian dishes, sliders, crepes, tacos, pizza and more, courtesy of Chef Chris Nguyen of Philly’s Strother Enterprises. A Mad Anthony Wayne Café coffee bar and a sweet shop from Delice + Chocolat.
Yuletide producers Jes Bickhart and his father, Rob, have had visions of sugarplums at Devon dancing in their heads for decades, dating back to the mid-90s when the family lived on Dorset Road near the fairgrounds.
“Devon Horse Show is near and dear to my family’s heart,” says Jes Bickhart, a 2009 Haverford School alum. “We always thought It would be so fun to light up the Ovals over the holidays but we didn’t know what that would look like from a production or budget standpoint.”
Providing clarity: Jes’ visits to the Christmas markets in Germany during a semester abroad. “It was cold outside but there was a warmth to them, a sense of community. They were combining Ferris wheels with shopping, booze and really good food.”
Bickhart says he and his father “aren’t turning Devon into a Bavarian village.” Instead, Yuletide will lean into the history and charm of Devon as an equestrian venue.
“You’re not going to walk around and say, ‘Wow, this doesn’t look like Devon at all.’ You’ll see Devon branding everywhere. There will be a Devon Horse Show and Country Fair feel to it.”
But a Devon bedecked with sleighs, stars, nutcrackers, 4 million LED lights and a thousand Christmas trees, half of them real. “Just don’t walk in expecting Hersheypark at Christmas,” he says. “Our budget isn’t endless.”
New to this kind of festival, father and the son both have experience in event production.
Rob Bickhart was an originator of Penn State’s THON, the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, and helped stage the pope’s visit to Philadelphia.
Jes, who lives in LA, worked in film and TV production for 15 years. “Producing movies is similar to producing events. You hire a lot of people to design the look and feel of the set for the story you’re trying to tell. You shoot it and then tear it all down and move on to the next one.”
Convinced they could pull it off, the Bickharts rounded up 20 Main Line investors and this year signed a three-year lease with Devon “with the understanding that this was the pilot year,” Jes says.
Then they approached Easttown Township and its police chief. The township insisted on an equestrian element, in keeping with the venue’s horse show traditions.
The Bickharts’ solution: have Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive each day on a horse-drawn carriage.
“It will be nice to have something like this for families,” says Easttown Board of Supervisors Chair Mike Wacey. “We want to see how it goes the first year. We doubt it will be as big as the horse show but you never know.”
Wacey tells us he’s impressed by the Bickharts’ efforts thus far.
“These aren’t just people producing a big splashy event,” he says. “They’re working with fire and police. They’re being responsible.”
Yuletide will foot the bill for up to 10 police officers on busy nights.
The festival also wants to be a good neighbor.
Except for New Year’s Eve, concerts will end at 9:30, a half hour earlier than the township’s noise ordinance requires. Free tickets are going to some neighbors. We hear several are already planning to sell choice parking spots on their lawns and driveways.
To appeal to the discerning Main Line, the Bickharts are purposefully staging a “high-end experience. Nothing can be cheap or low-quality stuff.”
The timing seems right. Their only competition, the Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular in Oaks, is moving to South Philly’s FDR Park this year.
Father and son are especially excited about giving younger people a safer, close-to-home option for New Year’s Eve.
Says Jess: “Growing up, I remember my friends and I driving to Center City to pay $120 for some random DJ and bad food. It was horrible.”
He wants Devon devotées to know “this isn’t a cash grab. We’re not outside festival producers. We’ve thought about this for a decade-plus. It’s our neighborhood; it’s our hometown, our community. We’re hoping to create a new Main Line tradition here.”
Yuletide at Devon runs noon to 10 p.m., Wed. to Sun., Nov. 25 to Dec. 31 (with four blackout dates). Grand opening/tree lighting with celebrity guests TBD Nov. 24. Tickets are $35 for adults, $23 for ages 3 to 8, and include rides, entertainment, concerts and photos with Santa. Order online. Early bird discounts. No cash accepted at the venue.
In late March of 2022, LeRoi Leviston was over the moon.
A hugely popular teacher and coach at Malvern Prep, he’d just signed a new $48,000 contract that included a nice pay bump.
His new contract put Mr. Lev, who started as a learning support counselor, in the classroom full time, teaching two subjects he knew well: Health/Phys Ed (his major at West Chester) and a new English class about rap history, literature and culture.
The Conestoga ’06 star athlete would also continue as an assistant football coach, an “advanced credit mentor” guiding young lives, and a vital voice on Malvern’s new diversity committee.
A national foundation had recently singled him out for his extraordinary dedication to Malvern students.
Outside of school, as hip hop/R & B artist “Roi Lush,” he was excited about the music he’d just released and the gigs he would soon be playing.
He had a new girlfriend who was supportive and kind – a keeper, for sure.
After years of financial and emotional struggle – he was first in his family to graduate college – life for LeRoi Leviston was finally, blessedly, good.
In three-and-a-half years, he’d come to love Malvern Prep – the kids, his colleagues, the comradery, all of it. Students would flock to his office, some to shoot the breeze (Nice Air Jordans, Mr. Lev!); others to share deeply personal battles. Mr. Lev spoke their language, he didn’t judge. Open about his own life challenges, he made his office a safe, welcoming space, particularly for Malvern’s minority non-white and LGBTQ students.
Sure, it bothered Leviston that Malvern put footage of him in their TV commercials without his permission and would bring Black student recruits to his office when they visited campus. Unfortunately, being trotted out as a token went with the territory.
And hadn’t Malvern hired a new full-time diversity director and created a diversity committee? Clearly, the school was taking concrete steps to foster inclusivity.
Malvern’s only Black teacher when he was hired, Leviston felt valued and respected that spring, certain he would teach at Malvern for many years.
But, not a month later, he was out, instructed to pack up his office that very day and leave campus for good.
“I wanted to crash my car into a tree,” says Leviston of that fateful afternoon. “I was an emotional wreck. My world was flipped upside down. I had thoughts of taking my own life. I was given no severance and no warning and I had no safety net.”
An email to the Malvern community in early April announced only that Mr. Leviston no longer worked there. “A lot of the faculty was confused,” he recalls. “Students were really upset the next day.”
For the last year and a half, Leviston has stayed silent, confiding only in his therapist, close friends and relatives.
When he ran into former students or their parents, he was his usual sunny self but offered nothing. Invited by students, he attended two Malvern Prep football games last fall. As Leviston tells it, parents and colleagues hugged him and even Head of School Pat Sillup apologized for how it had all transpired. As Mr. Lev walked by, the crowd chanted his name. “There were tears shed,” he remembers. “I was choked up for sure.”
Still, he smiled and stayed mum.
Leviston approached SAVVY this summer. We had profiled him seven years ago – when he resigned as a beloved teacher and coach at Valley Forge Middle School in T/E to devote himself to hip hop full time. Would we consider writing an update? He wanted to go public.
“People are really confused as to why I left,” he told us. “I want them to know that I loved my time there with their kids. I hope there’s some learning that can come from this. And I want to hold the institution accountable – I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else.”
Leviston says the trouble began in the fall of 2021 when he was called into meetings with then Head of School Don Reilly and the school’s HR and diversity directors.
At issue was the rap music – not his own – he’d played in the JV basketball’s team van the prior winter. A Malvern parent – a high-profile alum and Malvern trustee – had complained that the music’s profane lyrics made his son “feel uncomfortable.”
According to Leviston, Father Reilly told him he “wasn’t in trouble” but asked him not to play profanity around teenagers.
“I apologized and said I understood. But I did think it was naïve to think kids don’t listen to this music. They don’t listen to clean versions. I wish they did but they don’t.”
Leviston asked twice to meet with the complaining parents and their son. He wanted to apologize to them in person.
A few weeks later, he was invited to an “uncomfortable” lunch with the parents who’d complained, another board member and Father Reilly.
The parents had heard “Cheating,” the song Leviston had released last February, and “they questioned my morals and character based on the lyrics.”
Leviston assured them the song was a work of fiction. A girlfriend had cheated on him a few years ago and he wrote a revenge song “as if I had cheated back. I’d pulled it out of thin air. It was just me being creative.”
The board member asked, “What does your mom think of your music?” As a grown man in his mid-30s, Leviston says he was taken aback. “I told them my mom knows the difference between Roi Lush and her son, Leroi Leviston, between me as an artist and me as a teacher and a coach.”
After the lunch, he found the basketball player on campus and apologized for playing music with profane lyrics in the van. According to Leviston, the student was surprised. “Coach, what are you talking about?” he’d asked. “I’m not uncomfortable with rap music.”
Although he says he never told anyone about his alter ego, Roi Lush, the Malvern community knew early on that Mr. Lev rapped on the side – embraced it, even. He was repeatedly asked to perform at school-sanctioned events: at pep rallies, in the Christmas talent show and in English classes when they studied poetry.
The now Head of School Pat Sillup, a rap fan himself, had even tapped Leviston to help develop and teach a class about the genre.
“Pat is a very forward thinker,” Leviston says. “He wanted a different way to teach History and English in a medium that kids relate to. He thought I’d be the perfect person to teach this as a hip-hop artist and someone in that world … I love Pat to this day.”
When he was ousted, Leviston’s “Hip hop, Literature and Culture” curriculum had been approved for English credit and students were excited to enroll, Leviston says.
He also points out that rap was routinely blasted in Malvern’s locker room as it is in school locker rooms up and down the Main Line. Villanova University, another Augustinian institution, each fall hosts superstar rappers like 50 Cent, Drake and Meek Mill at its massive “Hoops Mania” campus pep rally. The two schools are closely aligned. Malvern was founded by the Augustinians as a “preparatory” academy for Villanova.
In early 2022, Leviston believed Malvern had moved past his mistake. He had apologized. Case closed, he thought.
But then came the bombshell.
An anonymous letter from “Advocates for Malvern” was delivered to Malvern families and alumni. In 18 bullet points, the letter questioned the school’s disciplinary policies, academic rigor, teachers calling the Jan. 6 “an insurrection” without presenting opposing points of view, and relevant to this story – its diversity initiatives. A second, longer letter in response to the board’s critique of the first letter, was sent a few weeks later and was placed in this reporter’s home mailbox.
The letters alleged that the Black Lives Matter movement, as embraced in a school slideshow, promoted hatred of white people and was therefore racist. It questioned Malvern’s “woke” course materials and readings and “Diversity of Thought” signage at school.
“The FUTURE of our beloved Malvern Prep is at stake,” the letter read.
Malvern’s two Black teachers and its Black Director of Diversity were singled out, although not by name.
“Why is a teacher of color OK to rap online (Facebook) with concerning and conflicting values of an Augustinian institution?” the letter writers asked.
The credentials of the other Black teacher, not identified as Black, were questioned.
The “Advocates” also assailed the hiring of a full-time director of diversity. “Doesn’t Jesus fill that role?” they wrote.
The letter’s authors said they had to stay anonymous “given the current retribution there has been on campus.”
Aghast, Leviston pushed hard for the administration to respond to the first letter. He felt the school should have issued a statement immediately. He remembers telling the president of Malvern’s board: “This stinks. It feels like you don’t have our backs. What’s being done to find out who wrote these letters because they’re blatantly racist? I’m the one who has to walk through this community with people thinking less of me because of words they saw.”
A week after that meeting – two and a half weeks after the first letters went out – the board sent out a community e-blast. It called the letter’s criticism of its three Black staffers “racially motivated … Attacks on Malvern’s employees or the work they are doing will not be tolerated.”
Looking back, Leviston believes his outspokenness about the letters was his second strike. In effect, it put a second target on his back.
The third strike came in early April, a few days after his managers posted a preview of Leviston’s upcoming music video to his Roi Lush social media accounts. The snippet shows Leviston rapping to a curvy Hawaiian model. The two are in bed; Leviston is shirtless but wearing shorts and the model was wearing a bikini. While it was steamy, no sex was shown and the lyrics weren’t profane. “I didn’t want to go too far outside the line,” Leviston says.
On April 5, he was called into as meeting with Sillup, who was then Assistant Head of School, and DEI director Danielle Suber. They asked him to delay the release of the full video and to “be more proactive about things I release so they don’t shock the community.”
Leviston said he understood. Although he wasn’t asked to do so, he immediately took out his phone and removed the video from his Instagram and Facebook feeds.
“I thought it was a show of good faith, that I was willing to work with the administration to come to a solution.” The three discussed how Leviston’s “two worlds could co-exist at Malvern,” he says. “It felt like a really productive meeting.” Leviston recalls it as the first time “anyone had given him any parameters” about his rap hobby.
But the very next day, he was called to the Head of School’s office. “Father Reilly told me he and a board member had seen the snippet of my music video. He called it ‘soft-core porn’ and ‘against Augustinian values.’ He was told to resign, turn in his computer and clear out his office immediately.
Leviston was floored.
“I tried to talk to them; this was so out of the blue. I went on a rant about how they used me. I don’t think they understood that rap is something I do on the outside. It has nothing to do with me as an educator and a coach.”
Although he’s not Catholic, he says he has always tried to live by the Augustinian values of truth, unity and love. “Music brings unity – hip hop has brought people from all walks of life together. I’m trying to unify people all the time. And I’m living in my truth and everything I do in my heart is out of love.”
Without his job, Leviston was lost. “My mental health took a huge hit. My finances took a huge hit.”
An attorney friend put him in touch with Philadelphia litigation lawyer Christopher Nana-Sinkam of Dilworth Paxson LLP who sent a letter to Malvern alleging that Leviston was forced to resign without prior warning, in violation of its stated notice period and without a legitimate reason. He asked for a meeting. Malvern responded with a $2,300 settlement offer, which Leviston refused.
Last September, Nana-Sinkam helped Leviston file a formal complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. It claims Malvern unlawfully discriminated against him because of his race and used his rap music as an excuse.
Leviston believes some powerful voices at Malvern didn’t want their sons exposed to hip hop – a genre rooted in Black culture – because they mistakenly associate it with sex, drugs and violence. Yes, there’s been some sexual innuendo of late and “a few vulgar words,” he admits, “but that’s just me being creative, being artistic, trying to find words that rhyme.” And his songs certainly don’t promote – or even talk about – drugs or violence, he says.
“If at any point they had called me into a room and told me what I could and couldn’t do, should or shouldn’t say, but they never did. They just embraced it … There’s so much hypocrisy. They used me on TV and at pep rallies. I got standing ovations. Even Father Reilly applauded me.” His PHRC complaint alleges Malvern “capitalized” on his hobby.
Leviston believes Malvern is “denying what exists in our culture. I can guarantee you Mr. Lev was not exposing them to hip hop culture – their TikTok is.
“I never said [to students], ‘Go download my song; follow me on Instagram.’ If kids did that, it’s because Roi Lush is a public [Instagram] profile and they can.” When students would tell him about their favorite hip hop artists, he would “try to steer them to more conscious rappers.”
He calls his termination “discriminatory and a little bit racist.” As an African American, he’s in a protected class. If he had been a country or rock singer on the side, he believes he’d still be employed.
“Or say I was an actor and I had a love scene in a play. If it’s not nude, am I not allowed to do the love scene?” he wonders.
According to his PHRC complaint, his termination stands in “stark contrast” to Malvern’s decision to keep certain white teachers employed despite “their alleged usage of racially-charged language and micro-aggressions when communicating with students.” The complaint states that Leviston and students repeatedly brought their concerns about these educators to management but no action was taken.
We asked Malvern Prep’s head of school, HR director and board president to comment on Leviston’s account of his dismissal and received this email from Head of School Pat Sillup:
“The administration of Malvern Prep can confirm that LeRoi Leviston was asked to resign due to conduct that did not align with our mission and values as an independent Augustinian school. As a result, Mr. Leviston did submit his resignation in April 2022. Beyond confirming his resignation, Malvern Prep will not comment further on specific personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of this former employee. We wish Mr. Leviston well in his future endeavors.”
At this point, Leviston isn’t sure what he wants from Malvern.
He’s not looking to get his old job back. He’s currently teaching Heath & Phys Ed at Collegium Charter School in Exton and is still coaching JV basketball at West Chester Rustin High School.
He would, however, like to get letters of recommendation. The school has forbidden employees from writing them for him.
He would also like to meet with school officials to clear the air. He’d like to see Malvern formalize its policy regarding staffers who pursue creative outlets outside of school so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
As for legal action, Leviston is assessing his options. The PHRC issued a “right-to-sue” letter – it won’t file a complaint on Leviston’s behalf but he now has the option to file an employment discrimination claim in state or federal court.
He’s been told he should ask for and is probably entitled to a financial settlement “but I was never in it for that. I’ve never been in anything for the money – I wouldn’t be a teacher or a coach if I were.”
But more than anything, LeRoi Leviston would like to hold his head high again.
“I have to live with the embarrassment every day. Every time I see a Malvern parent, they’re thinking, Why did he leave? He was so loved here. Well, I loved it there, too.”
Wayne Super Wawa proposal heads to higher court; another Wawa is killed
Remember those hotly contested plans to build a Wawa with 12 gas pumps at the Aberdeen Sunoco and the BP/car wash near St. Katharine’s in Wayne?
Five years after the plan was first floated, it has new life – yet again.
Try to follow this bouncing ball:
In June of 2019, Radnor commissioners killed the preliminary Wawa plan by unanimous vote, on grounds it violated Radnor zoning ordinances.
The Karakelians, the gas stations’ owners, then took the township to court and won.
The township and a group of neighbors then appealed that ruling to the PA Commonwealth Court.
And per the court’s August 7 ruling, they essentially lost.
The Court affirmed that gasoline sales are a legal nonconforming use in Radnor and the township must approve the Karakelians’ final land development plan if it complies with its land use ordinances.
Now, the township is taking its case all the way to the PA Supreme Court.
“The township will be appealing,” Solicitor Jim Rice tells SAVVY. “No other comment.”
The neighbors’ lawyer, Jim Greenfield, tells us the neighbors’ group will likely join the fight. Land use attorney Nick Caniglia will continue to represent the Karakelians.
Meanwhile, the Super Wawa proposed on Swedesford Rd. near Life Time in Tredyffrin appears to be a no go – for good.
After 16 of 17 speakers and its own planning commission raised concerns about traffic, safety, crime, storm water drainage and the area’s notorious sinkholes, among other issues, the board denied the needed zoning relief.
Denise Yarnoff, attorney for the property’s manager, Keystone, tells us her client will not appeal the zoning ruling.
A bittersweet ending for Aux Petite Delices in Wayne
Aux Petites Delices will bake its last Buche de Noel and sell its last croissant on Christmas Eve.
Wayne’s authentic French pâtisserie for 37 years and one of six Lancaster Ave. storefronts slated for demolition by a developer, the bakery was given a choice: either relocate or close for good when your lease expires at year’s end.
Other retailers – including Gingy’s Boutique and Playa Bowls – are moving to new locations nearby, but owner Marqessa Gesualdi has decided to call it quits.
“It’s been an incredible learning experience and I’ll miss my loyal customers but I’m pretty much burned out and am looking forward to my next chapter,” she tells SAVVY.
Gesualdi, 35, says she’s been working 60 hours a week – and up to 100 during the holidays – for six straight years. She bought the business from Patrick Gauthron when the esteemed French pastry chef retired in 2017.
“It’s all consuming and incredibly stressful. Patrick’s were big shoes to fill and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it. But I can never live up to Patrick and people have no trouble telling me that.”
Sales have never been blockbuster and moving to a new location would cost a quarter of a million dollars, Gesualdi says. She also has $100K outstanding on the loan she took out to buy the business.
“We’re not exactly rolling in it,” she says. “I think because we’re a little bit niche. We’re not a crowd-pleaser mainstream bakery like The Bakery House.”
Top sellers in Wayne are her six varieties of croissants – perfected at a French pastry school in Chicago – and prized pastries held over from Gauthron’s tenure.
Gesualdi hopes to secure a better paying pastry chef position but tells us she hasn’t ruled out leaving the industry altogether.
Aux Petites Delices, 162 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, is open Wed. to Sat., 9 to 5, Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 24. To stay in touch with the brand, email [email protected].
Wayne is losing one Delice (see our story above) but will soon gain another: Delice + Chocolat.
Très populaire in Ardmore since its debut six years ago, the French bakery café is opening a second outpost at 112 E. Lancaster Ave. in the old frame shop.
So while next-door neighbor Dunkin peddles donuts, Delice will turn out refined breakfast and lunch fare like spinach-and-feta croissants, caramel macarons, jambon fromage and croques monsieur.
One new wrinkle: “fancy dessert” service until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays – a smart move with so many restaurants a short stroll away.
Owners are the French-born Amrani brothers – Joseph and Antoine – who both worked at Le Bec Fin back in its heyday, Antoine as executive pastry chef.
Wayne is a homecoming of sorts for Joseph. He led the opening team at Le Mas Perrier, now Autograph, in Eagle Village Shops, and was GM at Paramour, Rosalie’s predecessor at the Wayne Hotel.
“I know the Wayne area very well: the customers, their expectations, their needs,” Joseph says. “I’ve kept a lot of friends in Wayne who drive to Ardmore but would like us closer to home.”
Amrani tells us he had no idea Aux Petit Delices was closing at year’s end when he signed the lease in Wayne. Talk about sweet serendipity.
Becky Wein Interiors is renovating the space from top to bottom.
Target opening date is November 1.
Handel’s, the Main Line’s busiest ice cream shop, typically scoops 20-plus flavors, but get this: Wayne’s newest creamery offers nearly 1,000.
How can an 825 sq. ft. ice cream parlor/coffee shop scoop such a variety?
It’s all in the “mix-ins” – some 50 fruits, sweets, savories, sprinkles, chips, nuts and syrups.
Open since August 19 at the old Pie in the Sky Pizza on Lancaster Ave., The Vanilla Bean stocks just two flavors: Bassett’s hand-dipped vanilla and Bassett’s hand-dipped chocolate.
But because there are so many mix-ins, the potential flavor combos approach quadruple digits.
So says proprietor Mike Blank, a Devon resident and first-time ice cream entrepreneur who saw a similar concept in Annapolis and decided to bring it to Wayne.
First, you pick your ice cream – with only two choices, that part’s easy.
Then, you select two mix-ins. The three are then blended in an electric mixer and voila: a dish of “custom” ice cream.
Dishes with two mix-ins are $5, $7 or $8.50. Waffle cones are $1.50 extra.
The Vanilla Bean also sells coffee drinks, cold brews and Affogato – ice cream “drowning” in coffee. The nearby Gryphon Café is the Bean’s roasting partner.
The shop features a window bar and bench seating, about 20 seats in all.
The Vanilla Bean, 102 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne is open Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. to 10p.m.; Sat. – Sun. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Main Line Sound & Video: Cutting-edge, full-service home solutions at surprisingly affordable prices
When Main Line Sound & Video opened 20 years ago, our TVs weren’t smart and our homes weren’t wired. We were still watching tube TVs, renting Blockbluster videos and playing CDs.
But as technology evolved, the Main Line’s premier home entertainment provider has more than kept pace.
Today, the long-tenured retailer in Wayne’s Eagle Village Shops doesn’t just sell and install top-quality TVs and sound systems. It offers cutting-edge networking and smart-home solutions for your home or business – inside and out.
“Things have changed drastically with automation and control,” explains MLS&V owner Pete Colabelli. “It’s forced us to really stay on top of everything all the time. With the advent of smartphones, you control and automate your entire property: indoor and outdoor lighting, shading systems, thermostats, pools and hot tubs, surveillance cameras.”
In 20 years, the team has grown from 5 to 19. Eight MLS&V vans make house calls up and down the Main Line – wiring and installing TVs, speaker systems, networks, shades, lighting, you name it.
And prices are more competitive than you might think.
According to Colabelli, people wrongly assume that MLS&V charges more because it’s a small business – not a big box retailer – and it’s on the Main Line.
“The price is the same no matter where you buy it,” he says. “Every legitimate dealer for Sony or Samsung sells for the same price – whether it’s us, Best Buy, legitimate Amazon dealers. But what others don’t offer is any level of service whatsoever. No one at Amazon is there to pick up the phone if you have questions. A Costco employee isn’t going to help you set up your Netflix account.”
Main Line Sound & Video answers the phone, troubleshoots issues, walks you through the new technology, sets up logins, whatever it takes.
Because what good is a state-of-the-art anything if you don’t know how to use and maintain it?
“We install about 95 percent of what we sell – anything from a basic TV all the way to wiring your whole house,” says Colabelli.
Not sure what size TV to buy, how to mount it or achieve the best sound in your home theater or out on the patio?
MLS&V will gladly schedule a site visit and confer with your builder or designer.
“We’ll do things others won’t,” he says. “We charge by the hour and because we’re faster and more efficient and can do a lot of electrical work ourselves, we’re often cheaper.”
The best brands are all here – LG, Sony, Samsung and Bang & Olufsen – along with premium, lesser known lines like Seura, Bowers & Wilkins and Lutron.
And the sales environment is relaxed. “No one works on commission. It’s really about selling the product that best fits the application, showing customers what’s available, being creative and thinking outside the box.”
Main Line Sound & Video is Colabelli’s only location. He opened in October 2003, two months after leaving Goodman Radio, a car and home audio provider in Bryn Mawr. He saw a “Space Available” sign in Eagle Village Shops and remembered that the shopping center’s owner, the late Dodo Hamilton, was already a customer.
He calls securing a highly visible storefront in a high-growth area of the Main Line “dumb luck … Being here has been a foundation for the company. But you still have to do the work: have the best products, price them competitively and gain customers’ trust. We’ve done all those things.”
Main Line Sound & Video, Eagle Village Shops, 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 800, Wayne, 610-687-3555.
Cheers to Choices is the credo of Wallace Dry Goods, purveyor of top-shelf boozeless beverages and craft mocktails.
“The world is shifting its perspective on drinking; there’s no longer a pure black and white picture separating those who do from those who don’t drink alcohol,” explains proprietor Robin Cummiskey. “We’re here for those who choose to live a dry lifestyle every day or just some days. Your reasons are your own.”
While its storefront is being readied in the former “Main Line Precious Metals” exchange on Lancaster Ave. across from Maido, Cummisky has been staging Wallace Dry Goods popups at The Living Room music venue and beyond.
When it opens this fall, the retail shop will also sell barware, glassware and cheeky cocktail napkins. “We’re here to support you in what and how you choose to drink – with or without alcohol,” Cummiskey explains.
She’ll also host regular beverage tastings and workshops for the general public, bartenders and restauranteurs.
Cummiskey chose Ardmore because it’s where she grew up and her parents still live. She feels the town is perfectly placed to capitalize on the surge of city transplants and the cultural shift to low- and no-alcohol drinking.
“There’s been incredible growth in the No-Alcohol space in recent years – it’s not just your sugary no-alcohol wine of years past. Brands are focusing on complex flavors and natural ingredients and low- to no-sugar alternatives. I’m excited to bring something new here.”
Cummiskey’s own background is in retail buying and merchandising– she’s worked for Anthropology, Vineyard Vines and David’s Bridal, among others. “When the opportunity arose to combine my experience in retail with my own on-again off-again relationship with alcohol, I couldn’t pass it up.”
Fa la la-di-dah. Wait ’til you hear what Surrey is dreaming up for December.
The Devon-based nonprofit is bringing back a dearly departed Main Line tradition – the holiday house tour – and trust us, tour goers are in for a treat.
Six professionally decorated residences – each with a unique theme, florist and tablescape artist – will be featured, including a rare peek inside Edgewood Hall (below), the home of the tour’s co-chair Eddie Ross.
A nationally celebrated home décor, food styling and entertaining editor and author, Ross and partner Jaithan Kochar spent the last several years lovingly restoring their 100-year-old colonial in Wayne.
Among the tour’s intriguing themes: a woodland Christmas, a pop-art holiday, an equestrian Christmas, a “retro” holiday and an English Manor Christmas.
Spoiler alert: A live ballerina – the Sugarplum Fairy, perhaps? – will welcome guests at one tour stop.
Looking for tree-trimming tips? A Villanova estate will be transformed into an “Enchanted Forest” of 25 -30 spectacularly decorated holiday trees, which will be auctioned off.
A companion Holiday Shop will run until 6 p.m. at Valley Forge Military Academy. Tourgoers can shop for unique gifts, notions, florals and confections from carefully curated vendors and pick up boxed lunches courtesy of The Classic Diner.
“A place as special as the Main Line deserves a holiday house tour,” says Ross, who was involved in similar tours in Greenwich, Conn. before he relocated to the Main Line. His co-chair is domestic diva and Christmas enthusiast Pat Nogar of Living Well with Pat Nogar.
Holiday tours are still staged in West Chester and Norristown but the last holiday tours on the Main Line were hosted by Agnes Irwin School Parents Council from 1974 to the early 2000s.
In ’74, the school’s “Christmas in the Country” tours were $7.50, $5 more for lunch at Aronimink.
Fifty years later, the plan is to sell 500 tickets for $85 each, including a boxed lunch from The Classic Diner and a tasteful holiday gift bag.
Proceeds benefit Surrey Services, a leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive aging-in-place services to area seniors.
The Surrey Holiday House Tour will be held Friday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Holiday Shop at Valley Forge Military Academy & College will be open to tourgoers and the general public from 11 to 6. Tickets are $85 and include boxed lunch and map for self-guided touring. The house tour is currently seeking event sponsors, Holiday Shop vendors and Enchanted Forest tree decorators – florists, designers, etc. Contact [email protected].
The Main Line has girly medspas galore but a cutting-edge medical aesthetics place for men?
No such animal … until now.
Medical Man Cave is a new, physician-owned “hair and body institute” that treats issues most men don’t want to talk about: hair loss, sexual performance, undersized penises and oversized love handles.
In look and feel, the Cave aims to loosen guys up and make what could be embarrassing procedures as pleasant as possible.
There’s a well-stocked bar and snacks in the lobby – Casamigos tequila, anyone?
The walls are painted a cozy, cavernous black. There’s cushy leather seating, floors are strewn with cowhide rugs, and cedar candles scent the air. If you’re staying awhile, you can slip into silk pajamas and a fluffy black robe and enjoy a complimentary lunch from your favorite restaurant in the private lounge.
They’ll even send an UberX to pick you up and take you home.
“We offer really cutting-edge technology in a comfortable environment – we pamper our patients,” says Practice Manager Tami Frantz. “And our pricing is more than competitive. I tell patients if you can find someone who can beat my price and offer what we offer, I’ll match it. But they can’t. No one does what we do.”
Open since early spring, King of Prussia is one of six Medical Man Caves across the country and its fastest growing location to date.
“The response has been great,” Frantz says. “We’ve had patients from Boston and Buffalo. People are flying in or driving five hours to get here. It’s crazy.”
Hair transplants and “permanent male enhancements” are the most popular procedures but there’s also a strong demand for erectile dysfunction fixes, fat-freezing body sculpting sessions, and Semaglutide shots (i.e. Ozempic) for weight loss.
Not in the market for a hair transplant? Medical Man Cave also offers PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections or exosomes.
As for those, ahem, permanent male enhancements, Medical Man Cave’s are minimally invasive and don’t involve surgery or stitches. Instead of penile implants, a permanent, collagen-boosting filler is injected into the penis.
“Not many places use our technique,” says Frantz. “It’s safe and effective. The penis can double in girth in 90 days and, unlike hyaluronic acid injections, results are permanent. It’s a one-and-done.”
For erectile dysfunction, Medical Man Cave offers shockwave therapy, PRP shots, peptides and exosomes as well as the usual Viagra and Cialis.
The King of Prussia and San Diego locations are owned by Dr. Abhi “Kas” Kasinadhuni, 34, a genial vascular medicine specialist who practices at two Centers for Vein Restoration – in Wayne and King of Prussia.
“This is a really safe space for men – that’s what really drew me to the concept,” Kas tells SAVVY. “You can come in, have a drink, watch the game and feel comfortable talking about very sensitive topics.”
Both Kas and Frantz talk about the personal satisfaction they get from seeing patients once belittled in locker rooms and bedrooms regain their confidence.
Both have given patients their cell phone numbers and come in after hours and on weekends when needed. “We’re very patient-centered,” says Frantz. “We’re not one of those factories. This is a luxury facility but we have great prices and we’re very down to earth.”
Adds Kas: “You don’t pay for consultations and follow-ups. We stand by our work. It’s not about the money. It really is about changing lives.”
Medical Man Cave, 170 N. Henderson Rd., King of Prussia, 833-322-1339.
No need to wait until May to get your horse show fix. The Devon Fall Classic gallops into the Dixon Oval later this week.
In the ring: All show-jumping, all the time, culminating in top riders competing in Saturday night’s $25,000 Open Speed Stake.
For the kiddos: Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and carnival games. Walk right up. Unlike the spring show, there’s rarely a line.
On the fairgrounds: More than 50 curated merchants and assorted food vendors. Newcomers include Wayne merchants Gryphon Café and Love Birds Boutique, Asian Fusion food truck Slurp Philly, Pet Portraits by Joe and Gotta Make the Cupcake.
There’s a DJ in the Pavilion from 5 to 8 daily and live music from 7 to 10 at Clydesdale’s Corner, the no-frills watering hole under the grandstand: Old Fangled Band on Thursday, Bad Neighbor on Friday and Just Add Water on Saturday.
It’s the 10th anniversary of the Devon Fall Classic which raises funds for the nonprofit Devon Horse Show Foundation.
After less than two years, Otoro Sushi is out and, as of August 15, Motto Sushi is in.
Motto, Japanese for “more,” is aptly named.
The 60-seat restaurant and sushi bar in the old Alfredo’s space, serves the same high-quality, hand-crafted sushi Otoro was known for – the fish supplier is the same – but there’s more of it: more appetizer choices, more special rolls.
What Motto doesn’t have more of: Hibachi, teriyaki and tempura dishes. They’ve been 86ed altogether.
“We want to focus on what we’re good at – sushi, sashimi and ramen – and simplify the kitchen menu,” Motto owners Mia and Rain Zhuang tell SAVVY.
A user-friendly touch: each of Motto’s 19 “Special Rolls” lists what’s “in” (inside), “out” (outside) and on “top.”
We tried two of their most unusual – and highest priced – rolls: The Golden Wind (shrimp tempura, spicy salmon and tuna, and avocado, topped with 24K gold soy paper flakes for $22.95) and the Motto Motto (seared steak, scallions, spicy tuna and asparagus with crushed truffles for $18.95). Both were generously sized and super tasty.
The Zhuangs are also keeping Omikase (a multi-course, sushi chef’s choice menu) for $50 pp.
They’ve brightened up the place with lighter paint and are waiting on deliveries of authentic Japanese art.
Mia, who has an MBA from St. Joe’s, will manage operations. Rain (below) will be Motto’s head sushi chef
Not new to the biz, the couple also have a stake in Kinya Ramen Bar in West Orange, NJ and were partners in Fat Tuna on St. Joe’s campus.
According to the Zhuangs, Otoro closed because of a disagreement between co-owner Tiffany Lo and an investor.
Motto, 688 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, is open for lunch and dinner daily. Eat-in, takeout, delivery and catering. Order online.
You simply can’t beat the central Main Line location, gracious floor plans and quality construction at Lockwood Lane, a new, 9-lot custom home cul-de-sac in the Radnor section of Villanova. Brought to you by award-winning Main Line builders Chip and Tad Vaughan, each Lockwood home sits on .6 to 1.1 acres and features a fresh farmhouse exterior, soaring ceilings and luxury finishes. “Homes are grand but not grandiose,” says Chip Vaughan, who calls the South Ithan Ave. neighborhood “dignified but casual.” While other builders nickel and dime you, high-end amenities are standard at Lockwood Lane, among them Thermidor appliances, Kohler fixtures, custom built-ins, beams, millwork, cabinetry, low-E windows and two-zone HVAC. And Vaughan uses the latest technology to ensure your new home will be as energy efficient as it is secure. The 6,400 sq. ft. base model has a three-car garage, four bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Prices begin at $3,795,000. More info here.
Looking to live away from it all – but not in the boonies? There’s an extraordinary, bio-sustainable custom estate on nine private acres for sale in Chester Springs with your name on it. Built in 2010, the 10,000 sq. ft. contemporary Craftsman home (designed by Brooke Drinkwater and built by John Diament) boasts 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, a first-floor primary bedroom and guest suite, spacious office with mahogany cupola, lower-level bar and billiards room and more. Utility costs are surprisingly low, thanks to geothermal heat and AC, roof overhangs and Lutron lighting. The outside is just as special. Enjoy a John Munro pond with adjacent art studio, specimen plantings, water features, negative-edge pool with waterfall, raised Jacuzzi, outdoor kitchen and pool house. Because the property is bordered by open space, views from multiple patios and terraces are uniformly spectacular. Walking trails, historic Yellow Springs and Marsh Creek State Park and the PA Turnpike are just minutes away. View the flipbook here. Price available by request.
***SAVVY Picks are shoutouts & promos on behalf of our sponsors. To learn more about becoming a SAVVY Pick, email [email protected].
Road testing SlenderPro, a new weight-loss program in Bryn Mawr
Tall, slim and a ferocious exerciser for decades, the last five years were not kind to SAVVY Sales Director Kathy Stevens.
A self-professed “extreme extrovert,” the Villanova mom was lost when the pandemic hit.
“No tennis, no gym, no restaurants, no hair or nail salons – my world closed in around me and I did what most people did: worried and cooked. What I didn’t do was weigh myself,” she recalls.
Menopause only made things worse. Chronic sleep loss – and a nagging sweet tooth – led to poor food choices and uncharacteristically lazy days.
When the world opened up again, Kathy returned to full-throttle tennis and exercise, only to be sidelined by injuries that required a walking boot on a fractured foot and surgeries on her knee, rotator cuff, elbow and wrist.
By May 2023, she had gained 12 pounds and at age 55, was struggling to shed the weight on her own.
Intrigued by a sales call to a new SAVVY advertiser, SlenderPro, she signed on for the 6-week program. Her twice-weekly visits to SlenderPro’s clinic near Bryn Mawr Hospital were easiest. First, she relaxed in a fat-melting, skin-tightening red-light therapy bed for 20 minutes, then did 10 minutes of whole-body vibration therapy.
The bigger challenge was SlenderPro’s structured diet. Anti-inflammatory and low-glycemic, it was designed to kickstart her metabolism and boost fat-burning, and was supported by SlenderPro’s all-natural supplements.
“It took three weeks to adjust to the no-sugar, no-alcohol program but watching the scale go down really helped,” Kathy says.
As SlenderPro promised, she lost the 12 pounds (and 10 inches) in six weeks and has kept it off all summer. If her weight fluctuates, she knows how to get right back on track. “For someone who has always been fit and ate healthy, I learned a lot.”
How’s this for a change of pace (literally)? Ember, that mammoth new apartment building on Swedesford Rd., is opening ahead of schedule.
You read that right. The first tenants move in Oct. 2 and contractors should be gone by year’s end.
We say “mammoth” because Ember has 250 units in all shapes and sizes, plus another 9,000 sq. ft. of amenities.
By comparison, there are just 67 units at The Fritz in Berwyn Village. One Ardmore, which rises eight stories, has 110. Even The Yards, that imposing building on Lancaster Ave. in Fraser/Malvern, has 25 fewer units.
But good things come in large packages, say the folks at Bozzuto, the project’s developer, builder and manager.
All but 18 have one or two bedrooms. Units range from 500 – 1,500 sq. ft. Rents start around $2,000 and max out at $4,500.
Exterior amenities include two courtyards, a resort-style pool, sundeck, fire pits, BBQ grills, outdoor kitchen and a private path to the Chester Valley Trail.
Indoors, residents can work from home in co-working spaces and “personal focus zones” or chill with friends in the lounge, billiards room, bar and exhibition kitchen. They can wash Fido at the pet spa or stretch his legs at the on-site dog park. There’s also a bike storage/maintenance room, a 24-hour fitness center and yoga studio.
“We’re hoping that bringing in 250 apartments worth of people is going to invigorate the area,” says Ember’s property manager Max Martinez, making specific mention of Will’s and Bill’s Brewery next door, Barnes and Noble, Golf Galaxy and the smaller merchants in Swedesford Plaza. “It’ll be nice for them to have heads and beds nearby.”
Despite what seems like an avalanche of apartment projects on the Main Line, developers, Bozzuto among them, remain bullish on the market. High-quality housing remains in short supply and high demand, Martinez says. Ember opens up the area to people seeking “an elevated lifestyle” and a toehold in T/E who’ve been scared off by soaring interest rates and real estate bidding wars.
The high cost of borrowing is cutting both ways. Developers are reportedly delaying approved projects due to high interest rates. You have to wonder if that’s the holdup at nearby Berwyn Square. Easttown officials tell us a demolition permit has yet to be pulled for the old Handel’s block – despite the developer assuring us this summer that he would break ground this fall.
We shall see.
Old-school barber ends a 47-year run in downtown Wayne
After cutting four generations of Main Line heads, Pat the Barber – legally, John Patrick Shannon – has hung up his clippers.
“I’ll miss the people and the town – it’s a good area,” Shannon, 79, told SAVVY in late June just before he closed the door for good.
Shannon says he had a big clientele until 10 years ago when customers started expecting appointments. The old barber business model – show up and wait your turn – no longer cut it.
No doubt the advent of full-service men’s salons like nearby Philly Bloke and RAZRBAR sheared off some of Pat’s customers, too.
Shannon’s health has also declined. Ambulances were sent to his shop at least twice in recent years due to what he calls “a lung condition” that requires a procedure he’s put off. Scheduling that procedure will be a top priority in retirement, he said.
His barbering career started and ended on the Main Line. Shannon says he cut hair for six years at Dougherty Hall on Villanova’s campus from 1964 to 1970.
This and That
The four-year wait for a successor to the Gladwyne Acme is over. After a $6 million renovation, McCaffrey’s Food Markets is set to open in Gladwyne Village Sept. 21, the boutique supermarket’s 9th area location. Family-owned McCaffrey’s is known for its gourmet prepared foods and takeout, fresh produce, meat, seafood and cheese. The Gladwyne store includes a gourmet sandwich station, coffee bar, a huge craft beer and wine selection, custom cakes and hundreds of organic and gourmet offerings including cheeses from around the world.
Paoli will soon get its first Armenian/Middle Eastern market café. Café Pom will serve prepared dishes and Mediterranean specialty foods in the former Studio H Salon space in Paoli Plaza, which ended its 17-year run last spring. Pom owners Anita and Tory Torcomian tell us they’re modeling Café Pom on the now-closed Armenian Delight near their Broomall home but with tables and space for private events for up to 50. The couple’s first foray in the food biz, they hope to open in late October.
Seriously good eats are coming to the Village at Ellis Preserve, the final phase of the sprawling Newtown Square mixed-use development. Among them: La Colombe, Sedona Taphouse, Ruth’s Chris, Otaka Sushi, Turning Point and Spread Bagelry. Also signing on the dotted line: Club Pilates, Yoga Six and La Chelé Medical Aesthetics, which will offer injectables, skin rejuvenation, cosmetic dermatology and such. Village merchants should start opening next spring, according to Steve Spaeder at Equus Capital Partners.
A more laid-back canine is coming to the old Fox & Hound site at the KOP Mall: Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar. Decked out like a Rocky Mountain lodge, Lazy Dog specializes in comfort food, whisky cocktails and craft beers. It’s the California-based chain’s first PA location. Ground-up construction should take about a year.
If you’re one of about a zillion parents worried about the effects of social media on your children, have we got a (free) event for you. Local libraries, members of the League of Women Voters and area Rotary clubs are joining forces to present, “Let’s Talk: Kids and Social Media,” a free, livestreamed YouTube event Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. Leading the convo will be social media researcher, author and parent Devorah Heitner, PhD, who will share insights from her latest book, Growing Up In Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World. Watch parties are encouraged and study guides are available. Register here to receive emailed link to the free webinar.
Remember the hubbub over plans to raze the old Paoli Clockworks and erect a giant digital billboard in its place? After Tredyffrin nixed the proposal, Catalyst Outdoor Advertising did as promised: it took the township to court. And lost. Twice. First, in the Court of Common Pleas, and then, effectively, on appeal to the PA Commonwealth Court. While the state court did find part of a township zoning ordinance unlawful, it upheld the township’s decision to deny a permit to Catalyst. Long story short, no flashing, fancy billboard will be coming to Paoli’s busiest corner anytime soon.
Congrats to big-hearted T/E community booster and ARCH supporter Jeanne Braun, who will be honored at the 2023 FLITE Golf and Tennis Outing at Waynesborough Country Club on Sept. 18. FLITE (Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown) funds academic support programs for disadvantaged T/E students.
CVS in Berwyn is closing this week, part of a nationwide cost-cutting consolidation.
Other summer closures worth noting: Cowan’s Flowers in Wayne after 101 years and Diane’s Sidewalk Deli in Chesterbrook after 30 years.
Both Radnor and Easttown Townships passed unanimous anti-Semitism resolutions this summer. Galvanized by swastikas spray-painted on township signs, Tredyffrin supervisors passed a similar resolution in late May after which hundreds turned out to rally against Jewish hate in Chesterbrook. Not six weeks later, four adults waved a pro-Nazi banner over a bridge on Valley Forge Road. Despicable.
Fed up with spotty trash pickups from private haulers like A.J. Blosenski, Tredyffrin is taking matters into its own hands. The township is switching to municipal trash service and is interviewing perspective haulers.
Cole Wellness Spa and Salon in central Wayne has been re-christened La Parisienne Salon and Spa. Owner is the same: Priscilla Detiger.
A popup for three years, Christine Shirley boutique and sewing studio in Wayne will resume regular shopping hours in October.
Lower Merion’s lone gun supplier is appealing Lower Merion’s new zoning reg that restricts gun shops from operating in mostly residential areas or near public schools. The owner of Shot Tec in Bala Cynwyd claims his business is technically not a gun shop because customers buy firearms online and only visit the store for pickup. Shot Tec is near Cynwyd Elementary and Bala Cynwyd Middle School. The push for the township’s first firearms ordinance came after a petition asking Lower Merion to close Shot Tec garnered 3,000 signatures.
Toll Brothers is building 280 luxury townhomes on 159 undeveloped acres in Malvern. Anfield at Malvern will include a clubhouse, pool, pickleball courts, walking trail and dog park.
Fans of modern interiors are finding their way to Design Within Reach, newly opened near Lola’s Garden in Suburban Square. The brand’s 36th location, the 4,200 sq. ft. Ardmore studio offers higher end modern furniture and accessories displayed in stylized vignettes – everything from Postmodern to Bauhaus Industrial to Modern Pastoral.
Speaking of modern furniture stores, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is no more. The nationwide furniture chain, which had an outpost in the King of Prussia Mall, abruptly closed its doors a few weeks ago and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. Some 4,000 customers, including yours truly, paid for furniture that was never delivered. (PS Let us know if you’ve been left high and dry, too.)
Dom Fixes Bikes, the nonprofit started by 14-year-old Dom Pecora, has moved from a small Paoli garage to bigger digs at 393 E. Lancaster Ave. in Fraser. Dom is also leading the charge to put a bike skills/pump track at Mill Road Park in Tredyffrin.
Amada in Radnor is now serving weekday lunch and weekend brunch.
Newly expanded to a second floor, StudioFlora is fast becoming a hub for green thumbs. The Berwyn flower shop is now offering Friday night and Saturday workshops in addition to its weekly BYO Vase flower-arranging sessions. Plant dish gardens, craft a terrarium, design a succulent planter and more.
Worth repeating: heart disease kills more women each year than breast cancer. With that nugget in mind, hope you’ll gather your gal pals and join yours truly, SAVVY editor Caroline O’Halloran, for Holiday Sip and Shop, a benefit for Main Line Health’s Women’s Heart Initiative, Thursday, Nov. 16 at Waynesborough Country Club. Enjoy a signature cocktail, cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, oodles of pop-up shops, a Gingy’s fashion show, raffles and more. The evening’s emcee, I’ll briefly share my family’s ongoing battle with heart disease. The Women’s Heart Initiative empowers local women to Learn, Act and LIVE through education, support and heart health screenings. Order your $75 ticket here.
Huge props to Team SAVVY’s Nicole Dresnin Schaeffer. A petite powerhouse with an oversized heart of gold, she’ll be honored at the Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia’s 30th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, Oct. 12 . Couldn’t happen to a nicer gal!
Power to the plants. National heavyweights in the field of healthy, sustainable farming, cooking and eating are flying to Philly for Future Food Right Now, an Oct. 20-21 summit organized by the Main Line’s own maestro of macrobiotic nutrition (and former T/E guidance counselor) Sheri Demaris. TV personalities, podcasters, authors, chefs, physicians, farmers and restaurateurs will dish on such topics as food as medicine, food innovations, regenerative organic farming. Attend in person at the Cirra Center for $225 or virtually for $125. Student and senior discounts.
May we suggest a tasty alternative to the season’s ubiquitous Oktoberfest beers? Chocolate Peanut Butter Autumn Ale. A collaboration between Asher’s Chocolate Co. and Conshohoken Brewing Co. and crafted with chocolate, peanuts, pumpkin and vanilla, it’s available for a limited time at all Conshy Brewing tap rooms. A portion of proceeds benefit pediatric cancer research.
Kudos to award-winning Main Line TV filmmakers Jill Frechie and John Ricciutti. Their latest documentary, “It’s Just Joe,” was selected for the First Glance Film Festival at the Bourse in Center City. A legendary photographer of fashion supermodels, Petrellis is 93, lives in Radnor and is still working, Frechie tells us. (Bravo, sir.)
Meet Main Line jewelry designer Lisi Lerch and Korin Korman, owner of Body + Beauty Lab in Radnor, at “Beauty, Bellini & Bungalow Boutique” at Rosalie Wayne, Monday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Shop Lisa’s fall line and Body + Beauty Lab’s popup skincare boutique. $30 tickets for this Fearless Femmes event include a bellini and lite bites.
If it’s fall, it must be festival time on the Main Line. A few for your radar:
*Fall Classic at the Devon Horse Show Sept. 14 -18. See our story above.
*Radnor Fall Festival, Sunday, Sept 17, noon to 4 p.m. on North Wayne Ave. Kiddie rides, face painting, Top Dog contest, restaurant samples, community vendors, music/dance/martial arts performances.
*AbbeyFest, Saturday, Sept. 16 at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli. Christian rock acts, food trucks, merch tents, family activies, Eucharistic Adoration, Confession and Mass celebrated by Phila. Archbishop Nelson Perez.
*Bryn Mawr Night, Friday, Sept 22, 5 – 8 p.m. (rain or shine). Live performances, Happy Hour specials, shop & sip with special discounts at participating stores, “BrynMawrtinis” at participating bars.
*South Wayne Porchfest, Saturday, Sept. 23, 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free music – from a capella to zydeco – plays on the porches of South Wayne. School and community choirs and pep bands, too. Carla’s Pizzeria and Sugaree water ice on Pembroke Ave. between Midland and St. David’s Rd.
*Fall for Ardmore, Sept. 30, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Schauffele Plaza. Live music, drinks, food, kids’ activities, shopping and more to celebrate the town’s sesquicentennial.
And finally, if you aren’t yet following @SAVVYMainLine on Instagram and Facebook, what are you waiting for? We now use those platforms to share hot news that just can’t wait. If you saw our feed, you were among the first to know that Cabrini is closing and selling its campus to Villanova U. and that Eataly is coming to the King of Prussia Mall. Just sayin’ 🙂