RTM Traffic Continues to Grow
Whether it's because tourism is growing or the inceased Center City population because of all the new condos and condo conversions, both or some other reason entirely, visitors at the Reading Terminal Market continue to grow at a hefty pace -- well in excess of 10 percent.
For the week of July 30-Aug. 5, the number of visitors to the market reached 127,582, an increase of more than 15 percent compared the same week of the prior year. For the week of July 9-15, visitors totaled 116,105 this year vs. 104,474 last year, an increase of more than 11 percent. (There were no major events at the convention center or the Marriott during these weeks this year or last year.)
There may be another change in the works for on-street parking. The Philadelphia Parking Authority notified the RTM that it is considering changes along the south side of Arch Street adjacent to the terminal. Under the proposal what's currently a loading zone open to both trucks and passenger vehicles (20 minutes, if I recall correctly) would become 30-minutes for trucks only from 5 a.m. to 12 noon; from then until 8 p.m. it would be metered for 30-minute maximum stay.
Market management is still looking for a tenant for the former Foster's space. Although there's been talk of Kitchen Kapers moving in, there's no deal right now. In his monthly newsletter to merchants, RTM GM Paul Steinke says a priority will to bring back to the market a kitchen hard goods retailer. As for the demonstration kitchen, originally installed under Steinke's predecessor Marcy Rogovin in the late 1990s and later taken over by Foster's when they moved into the space, Steinke says its future is being evaluated in light of the need to repair and upgrade its facilities.
Speaking of upgrade of facilities, Tom Nicolosi says he's purchased the additional ovens, refrigerators and other appurtenances for his capacity expansion. When everything is installed DiNic's will expand hours to 6 p.m. daily as well as start opening on Sundays.
Over at Fair Food Farmstand today, lots of different colored cherry tomatoes, including tiny Black Cherokees (very sweet, hardly any acidity). Although I wasn't in the market for it, there was a nice hunk of boneless lamb shoulder from Meadow Run in the freezer case.
Pomegranites have made their seasonal debut; smallish fruits are available at Iovine Brothers for a buck apiece.
I'll be cooking spare ribs on the Weber kettle tomorrow, hence my trip to the RTM today so I could apply the dry rub well in advance of cooking. As I write they are in close contact with a Memphis rub made from hot and sweet paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, celery salt, black pepper, brown sugar, salt and cumin. I'll probably do a mustard-vinegar mop while they're cooking.
This week's shopping list (not heavy on the produce 'cause I've got a little left and I plan on a Headhouse Square visit Sunday):
FAIR FOOD FARMSTAND $2
HARRY OCHS $14.39
IOVINE BROTHERS $0.62
Capers in salt
AJ'S PICKLE PATCH $4.53
LE BUS $3.75
HERSHEL'S DELI $6.00