Category Archives: Uncategorized

Restaurants and social in West Philly

LINK TO GOOGLE MAP (image at bottom of this page).

Note: Some restaurants in Philly are BYO. A few are cash only.

DOCK STREET BREWING CO (701 S 50th) – brew pub & good pizza
BOOKER’S (5021 Baltimore Ave) Modern American With Southern Flare. Can accommodate large groups. Black-owned business.
LOCAL 44 BEER BAR (4333 Spruce) – brew pub, good beer selection
CLARKVILLE (43rd and Baltimore) – pizza, craft beer & wine
HipCityVeg (214 S. 40th) – “fast, fresh, vegan,” close to Rotunda
HONEST TOM’S (261 S 44th) – tiny taco joint

Middle Eastern
SAAD’S HALAL RESTAURANT (4500 Walnut St) – Halal Middle Eastern eatery serving falafel, shwarma & baklava for dining in & taking out.
MANAKEESH CAFE, BAKERY, & GRILL (4420 Walnut St) – Lebanese, including Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Zabihah friendly options, especially known for baked goods.

KABOBEESH (4201 Chestnut St) – kabobs and such

MOOD CAFE (4618 Baltimore Ave) – Chaat and Lassis. Not a sit down restaurant

KAFFA CROSSING (4423 Chestnut) – injera etc & good coffee. Black-owned business.
ABYSSYNIA (229 S 45th) – restaurant on first floor, great dive bar FIUME on second floor. Black-owned business.

Southeast Asian
VIENTIENE CAFE (4728 Baltimore) – beloved cash only Laotian BYOB next to A-Space (Wine and Spirits store at 4906 Baltimore)
DALENG (4653 Walnut St) tiny place, good food

HAN DYNASTY  (3711 Market St) Szechuan. Can accommodate large groups.

48th STREET GRILL (310 S 48th). Can accommodate large groups. Black-owned business.

GREEK LADY (222 S 40th) – cafeteria style mostly largely Greek menu geared to the university crowd; large portions; close to Rotunda

Wine, spirits, beer
You’re welcome to bring contributions to the social. PA liquor laws are peculiar. The nearest wine/spirit stores are at 4301 Chestnut and 4906 Baltimore. Take-out beer is available at 4333 Spruce, 4300 Walnut, 4721 Pine St, and more.

Grocery and special diet
SUPREME, 4301 Walnut St – supermarket
MARIPOSA FOOD CO-OP, 4824 Baltimore Ave – organic and special diet options.

The White Hat and FaSoLa at Philly Folk Fest


whitehatPhilly FaSoLa’s finest, The White Hat (aka Ben Cocchiaro), is appearing at the Philly Folk Fest in Schwenksville, PA, at 2:00 pm on Friday, August 15th and 5:00 pm Sunday, August 17th.  He’ll be performing solo on Friday and giving a shape-note singing workshop on Sunday.  If you’re at the Folk Fest, come check him out!

Ben is appearing as part of the Philadelphia Music Co-Op Showcase.  Here’s his bio from the folk fest web site:

Drawing on the dual traditions of shape note singing and ragtime guitar, Ben Cocchiaro (alias: The White Hat) makes the centuries-old sound contemporary and the modern sound timeless. Having cut his chops playing to the inebriated in half a dozen time zones, Ben’s award-winning fingerpicking and “voice of savage cool” now return to the Old Pool Farm with a new folk remedy, and this one’s not going down easy.

Here’s Ben’s playlist of shape-note songs and others:

Keystone 2015 Info

Information from the 2015 Convention: Please join us in singing from The Sacred Harp at the seventeenth annual session of the Keystone Sacred Harp Convention, Saturday and Sunday, January 24-25, 2015 at The Rotunda4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 in West Philadelphia. There will be additional singings on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evenings.

All events are free and open to the public. The convention singing starts at 10:00 AM on Saturday and 9:30 AM on Sunday.  It runs until mid-afternoon with a break for dinner around noon. Please bring a dish to share. Note that there are no kitchen facilities.

Printable Flyer, Directions, and Map HERE.

Restaurant List for Saturday Evening HERE.

Full Schedule (Thursday–Sunday). See also Google MAP.

  • Thursday, Jan 22, 7:30-9:30 PM: Regular singing from The Sacred Harp, A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave. in West Philadelphia.
  • Friday, Jan 23, 7:30-9:30 PM: Special singing from The Shenandoah Harmony, St. Mary’s at Penn, 3916 Locust Walk in West Philadelphia.
  • Saturday, Jan 24, 10:00 AM-3:30 PM, Keystone Sacred Harp Convention, The Rotunda.
  • Saturday, Jan 24, approximately 4:00-5:00 PM, special singing from The Trumpet, The Rotunda. There will be a dessert social at a home in West Philadelphia, 7:00 PM.
  • Sunday, Jan 25, 9:30 AM-3:00 PM, Keystone Sacred Harp Convention, The Rotunda.
  • Sunday Jan 25, 6:30-9:00 PM, regular singing at Exeter Friends Meetinghouse, 191 Meeting House Rd, Douglassville PA, 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

rotunda_finallogo_outlineLocation. The Rotunda,  4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, is in West Philadelphia near the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.  It is a short subway ride or a 25 minute walk from 30th Street Station, Philadelphia’s main train station.  Paid parking is available directly across Walnut street. The Rotunda is an accessible facility.


Hospitality. Please fill out this form to request hospitality. See also this list of local hotels. Contact Joel Bassett, vice-chair, for questions or child care requests in advance of the convention: (210) 296-7072,

Public Transportation. Amtrak trains, SEPTA regional rail (including the airport train), and several bus lines stop at 30th Street Station. Exit the station and cross 30th St to enter the subway station at the corner of 30th and Market.  Take the Market-Frankford line west two stops to 40th St.  Walk south two blocks to Walnut St and turn right. The Rotunda will be on your left, just past the Rave cinema complex.  Enter the Rotunda from the left side door, in the alley between it and the cinema. See MAP.

Driving Directions and Food Drop-Off. From I-76 East or West, take Exit 346A – South Street, which is a LEFT exit.  Turn away from Center City and continue on Spruce Street.  Turn right on 38th St and left on Walnut.  The Rotunda will be on your left, just past the Rave cinema complex at the intersection of 40th and Walnut. The food drop-off point is at the wheelchair access, immediately past the building on Walnut Street. See MAP.

Parking. The closest parking garage is across Walnut Street from the Rotunda. Reduced daily parking passes ($15/day) for the garage will be available at the convention registration table. Email to reserve a parking pass; a limited number will be available at the convention. Normal rates are $10/first hour plus $2/each additional hour. Discounted parking ($12/day) is available at the lot at the southwest corner of 38th and Sansom, a five- minute walk away. Street parking is free on Sunday. There is some free parking available on Friday after 7pm off Irving Street (see map).

Accessibility. The Rotunda is an ADA accessible facility. An entrance ramp is to the right of the building as you face it from Walnut Street.  If you have any concerns, please contact Joel Bassett,

Ben Cocchiaro, chair, (215) 285-2321,
Joel Bassett, vice-chair, (210) 296-7072,

More. Check out recordings from past Keystone Conventions on our site!