East Kensington is now home to one of the best new bars in town. A collaboration between Cary Borish, Mike Parsell, and Jon Medlinsky, Martha (named for its location on York & Martha Streets) is really pretty special in a very unassuming way.
I went for their soft opening this past Friday, and I spoke to Mike Parsell, a local developer who I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past, about the redevelopment of the building:
“I can tell you that we used a high percentage of salvaged materials for the build out, without it looking too much like "reclaimed wood". The bar itself is made from beams in the old ceiling and we milled it on site, it never left the building. All the mahogany trim is from a Cecil Baker condo we renovated last year. We also tried to make the building as Environmentally friendly as we could under our budget which included a high degree of insulation, an efficient radiant floor heating system, and LED light bulbs where possible.”
The space is beautifully repurposed. I am always drawn to good design, which is one of the reasons I chose my profession. Not to mention, there is balcony seating, a fireplace, and a record player for music where everyone is invited to pick and play a record. Coming in time for spring (or the occasional warm winter night like Friday was) will be the addition of outdoor seating.
The bar offers a 24 line draft system, of which only 10 pour beer. The other taps include drinks like wine, kombucha, & cocktails featuring local spirits. The food menu appears to be a very simple selection of vegetables, cheeses, and charcuterie. That may seem familiar, but what strikes me about their menu is that they’re serving something so familiar, that has been pushed all too far aside that it seems like a rare menu item - Hoagies! Hoagies, being a local Philadelphia term for the sandwich, were once a staple to our city, but seem to have long been overlooked. Martha chefs serve these Philly favorites made with many local ingredients, including local rolls from Philly Bread.
Just to add more beauty and small artful touches, the lighting is low and warm and the menu is softly projected on the wall. This makes it incredibly easy to read, and also guarantees everything on it is accurate up to the minute. This, in addition to their gorgeous instagram feed (@marthakensington) just really seals the deal with this place. Martha is more than a neighborhood bar, Mike, Cary and Jon have made it a destination worth the trip.
Author:Michael Garden Phone: 215-500-2981 Dated: December 17th 2015 Views: 3,100 About Michael: Michael’s real estate practice is focused on quality properties in established and developing neig...
Michael’s real estate practice is focused on quality properties in established and developing neighborhoods that offer all the desirable amenities of urban living. Rittenhouse Square to Queen Village, Kensington to Passyunk, and great outlying communities such as Chestnut Hill and Spruce Hill are all within his domain.
Michael ventured into real estate in New York in the 1990’s developing residential and small business commercial properties as an investor, contractor, and end user. In 2005 he moved to Philadelphia and began working with individuals, couples, families, and investors to achieve their real estate goals. Since then, Michael has developed a comprehensive knowledge of the neighborhoods of Philadelphi a, our changing market conditions, and how to position each deal. He has an inherent ability to understand his client’s motivation, tastes, and bottom line, making him in an invaluable asset to each transaction. Michael’s attention to detail and his sensitivity to the interests of all involved parties are redefining buyer’s and seller’s expectations, one client at a time.