Developer Bart Blatstein must be in the mood for inexpensive (for him) casino-related land. In March, he paid $13 million for the site at Columbus Boulevard that Tasker intended for the dead-in-the-water Foxwoods Casino project. The other day, Blatstein phoned to say he was taking advantage of Atlantic City’s current bargain-basement real estate prices, buying the Caesars Pier shopping center — all 300,000 square feet — with casino architect Paul Steelman.
Mention you heard that Blatstein snagged the Pier for less than $3 million, a fraction of its $200 million-plus cost, and he neither confirms nor denies. “The place is half empty, or half full, and my idea is to strengthen the Pier’s existing tenants and add additional businesses,” says Blatstein, referring to potential businesses from young, entertainment-minded entrepreneurs. “And no gaming,” he adds.
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The Flaming Lips announced all the “fwends” involved in their “With a Little Help From My Fwends” Beatles tribute album, with part of the proceeds going to animal welfare. Collaborators include Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket and Philly’s own Dr. Dog.
After its Restaurant Week dinner debut, Chops at the Comcast Center quietly opened its mod indoor space over the weekend for full service, with a New York strip as its signature dish.
Before the Philadelphia Orchestra’s opening gala Friday, to kick off his third season as music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin dedicated a permanent photo gallery featuring orchestra players at the Kimmel Center.
The Bloody Mary Liberation Party’s first festival/contest at Howl at the Moon on Oct. 19 will feature restaurants like ELA and Farmacia and judges including Jenn Gentilini and Brian O’Neill Jr., co-creators of Philly-based Lord Darnley’s Bloody Mary Mix.
Seen on the scene
• DesignPhiladelphia’s opening night soiree included its creator, Hilary Jay, Jane Golden of the Mural Arts Program and Josh Goldblum of Bluecadet, at Bluecadet’s Frankford Avenue studio. Golden and Goldblum met up again at WHYY Studio’s muraLAB event with Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin.
• Speaking of Eagles, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy were spotted, separately, at Del Frisco’s. Over at Brent Celek’s Prime Stache, Todd Herremans and Riley Cooper signed autographs during a benefit for Herremans’ charity.
• Between sold-out shows at the Academy of Music, Neil Young invited students from the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy to sound check. Young’s sons have cerebral palsy and he’s a big supporter of HMS School.