Spotlight Philly: Celebrity news, local gossip and stories about the city you love

Hughe Dillon

While most of Philadelphia is too nail-bitten at the results of each World Series game — along with praying the Eagles can maintain its undefeated run — to care about much else going on in town, lets try.

Starting with restaurant gossip—it looks as if Stephen Starr’s “luxury sports bar experience,” the sportsbook-cocktail-and-haute cuisine-filled mega space Bankroll – created with Paul Martino’s Bullpen Capital (an early investor in the sports betting app, FanDuel) – will now wait until early 2023 to open its doors rather than at the end of 2022 as originally planned. Located in the grand, one-time Boyd Theater space on Chestnut Street, Bankroll’s nearly 500 seats and opulent surroundings won’t hold a gaming license, but will make it comfortable and tasty for you to act in a sportsbook-like manner. Besides, Starr is busy in NYC with Pastis, his elegant French bistro and its new home in the Meatpacking District.

Philly designer John Y Wind’s “Whiskey Rebellion” event/Meet the Maker reception at the boutique Hyatt Centric on Nov. 3 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) comes with a fascinating explanation. Wind reminded SPOTLIGHT that, ”the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 served as an epilogue to the Revolutionary War— farmers and distillers in Western Pennsylvania rioted to protest the new federal whiskey tax. As conflict grew. President Washington sent troops in an early test of the new government’s power. Fast forward to the 1950’s, when the Jim Beam Distilling Company sought to avoid another federal whiskey tax by packaging excess output in hand-painted, figurative ceramic decanters. In 2022, this is my Whiskey Rebellion. By re-contextualizing these decanters, I’m rebelling against the origin stories of the 18th century heroes, and insisting they stand up to the values of our times. It might not be realistic, but it is the power of art and my way of fighting and calling out the multiple legacies of discrimination that we as a country have inherited.”

Everyone in Fitler Square who had to watch M. Night Shyamalan film ‘Servant’ from their windows, rejoice: the fourth, final season of the spooky Apple TV+ Original series commences Jan. 13, 2023 – Friday the 13th – with stars Lauren Ambrose, Rupert Grint, Toby Kebbell and Nell Tiger Free in place.

Philly concert-goers get ready— two hometown favorites have concert tickets rolling out. Philadelphia rapper and criminal justice reform advocate Meek Mill is back in town for a homecoming concert at Wells Fargo Center, Nov. 26 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his debut album, ‘Dreams and Nightmares’. Tickets went on sale Nov. 2. And Pennsylvania native and current Billboard charts topper with ‘Midnights’, Taylor Swift, announced her Eras Stadium Tour with Philly dates: May 12 and 13 at Lincoln Financial Field. Advance tickets go on sale Nov. 9.

A local focus: Henri David


Everyone knows what Halloween’s best friend, Henri David, did over the weekend – he threw this city’s biggest annual costumed affair going on 54 years, this time on Mischief Night, in the sold-out ballroom of N. 17th Street’s Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. Regarding the costumes of his 2022 Halloween: The Ball, David said, “honestly, I don’t how Philadelphia did it, but this year, they got even weirder than usual. They really showed up and put out.”

Hughe Dillon

But what does David do the day after the city’s biggest ball, beyond running his 8th and Pine jewelry shop, Halloween, where he often stays late to provide soon-to-be-married couples with engagement and wedding rings? (“I always get people here, late, screaming, “I need to get married, and need you to make me the ring, NOW,” laughs David.) Along with dining at favorite spaces like Tequilas on Locust Street and prepping for the Philadelphia Theatre Company’s grand gala this Friday, David hunkers down, and makes a week out of storing all of his stilts, props, fabrics and tchotchkes for the next year.

“Normally I take my store’s staff and everyone of my helpers behind helping me do my costumes (and there were at least 6 that I counted) and running the event to a big dinner the next night,” said David. “But this year, the next night was Halloween itself, and everybody has some sort of plans. So this year was the first night that I took Oct. 31 off, and just cleaned. It was liberating.”


More from our Sister Sites