All posts in Articles

World of Beer prepares for Exton opening

Central Chester County is about to become home to a new craft beer tavern. World of Beer Franchising Inc. announced it is opening its first location in Pennsylvania in Main Street at Exton on the site of what had been a Wendell August wrought aluminum giftware shop that closed in January 2013. Beer isn’t in the title of the new business that plans to open in May for nothing. World of Beer franchise locations have over 500 bottles of the suds, 50 rotating taps, a cask engine and an infusion tower.

The franchise, which goes by the acronym of WOB, operates more than 75 taverns in 21 states. WOB-Exton will be located across Commerce Drive from the township building and employ about 75 people. “We feel this is a great beer market with a lot of craft beer consumers,” said Jason Asher, regional general manager. “Craft beer is exploding. Wines exploded about 20 years ago and now it’s beer’s turn. There are a lot of (beer lovers) out there who want to try new things.” That is one reason World of Beer sends new employees to a two-week school to educate them about beer.

“If we’re not introducing you to new beers we’re not doing our job,” Asher said. “If you sit down and order a Blue Moon, we’ll suggest other beers you might like as well. We try to give the best experience possible.” Asher said the Exton World of Beer location will partner with many local breweries, including: Victory Brewing of Dowingtown; Levante Brewing of West Chester; Sly Fox Brewery of Phoenixville; Tröegs Brewing of Hershey; Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton; Stoudts Brewing Adamstown; Lancaster Brewing of Lancaster; Conshohocken Brewing of Conshohocken; Tired Hands Brewing of Ardmore and Yards Brewing of Philadelphia.

In keeping with the craft beer culture, WOB rotates taps daily so guests will have a different choice on every visit. WOB pairs its craft brews with the franchise’s “Tavern Fare” menu. Items include the Giant Bavarian Pretzels, a Guinness “Brat” Slider and the Chimay Burger topped with melted Chimay cheese made at the brewery in Belgium. Asher said World of Beer has been working on renovating the building since November. The 3,885-square-foot tavern, with a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio, will feature the franchise’s archetype design. They showcase the hundreds of bottled beers offered through the windows of the tavern’s signature beer cooler, and a long bar features rows of taps. “The state of Pennsylvania has a long-standing adoration for great beer paired with great food, which is why we picked this location to open a new WOB,” Brian Pugh, WOB-Exton owner, said in a statement. “Our tavern’s database includes beer in 68 styles from 47 states and 82 countries, guaranteeing an experience that guests can’t get anywhere else.”

The newest business fits in well with Main Street at Exton’s future plans, an executive with the management company said. “We are delighted that World of Beer selected the historic barn at Main Street at Exton for its first Pennsylvania location,” said Jennifer Houghton, director of leasing for Plymouth Meeting-based Wolfson Group Inc., which developed and manages Main Street at Exton. “As one of the region’s few open air lifestyle centers, Main Street at Exton offers World of Beer a perfect setting … and the landmark barn is a unique, authentic building that really resonated for them.” The exact opening date was not determined as of Wednesday. But Asher said WOB would hold a fundraiser around the opening date for pediatric cancer research with a goal of raising $10,000.

– WOB-Exton will be open from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit


Brian McCullough

Fugett eighth graders compete to advance to ‘Shark Tank’

The eighth graders at Fugett Middle School were eager to pull any judges their way to take a look at all the hard work put into their ideas. All around the cafeteria were posterboards and excited students, but it wasn’t for a typical science fair. Instead, these computer science students had teamed up into groups to create, promote and “sell” something as part of the business they created.

“We sell it and teach it as them just coming together as a group to generate a concept, idea or project,” said Tracy Clark, a co-founder of the event and computer science teacher at Fugett. “It can be a remix of something you have already seen, but you think you can make it better, or it can be an original idea.”

On Thursday afternoon, the student teams displayed their finished projects, which varied from tutoring, an app for finding available parking spots, makeup and a date-rape drug detector in the form of a bracelet. Judges walked among the groups with a sheet to score the groups on their websites, videos and logos and scratching.

“Each individual student in the team of three is responsible for that task, whether it’s the website, scratch programming or video production,” Clark said. “From there, they do a project management kind of thing.”

But that’s not all that the students did. Some groups went above and beyond, having sweatshirts made, having lipsticks to show off and even bracelets. “Some are doing extras, like building an app, T-shirts and logos,” said Bobby Swier, co-founder and another computer science teacher at Fugett. “It’s as much as a real-life business company as you can get in eighth grade. Anyone can go and make a website without actually adding to it. Some people have different features, where there are links to their Facebook and Twitter, and they have an account where you can buy specific items on there.”

Funded by a grant from the West Chester Area Education Foundation, the top two or three groups from the day will move on to the Shark Tank and go against two or three teams who advance from the fourth marking period, which will go through the same process.

Thursday’s event was more of a preliminary, as Clark called it.

The Shark Tank is based off of the reality television show on ABC and, just like the show, the groups will face a panel of judges – the sharks – who will grill the students on their business.

“The kids really get involved and take it another level,” Swier said. “It’s nice when you have people from the business world actually give feedback to the students and some of them are projects where you look at them and they could actually be sold and we could buy it today. They’re that good. It’s really impressive for eighth graders.”

Just like the three girls who came up with the date-rape detecting pill, who were eager to share this potentially life-saving idea.

One of the girls admitted the idea stemmed from a relative of hers who went through the experience of a date-rape drug.

These girls invented a fashionable bracelet with a dangle charm. Pretty normal looking to anyone. Except the dangle charm holds a pill in it that can be put into a drink and test to see if it has been contaminated with a drug. The pill will fizzle if it detects something in the drink and if it’s fine, it will just quickly evaporate.

“The projects that move forward are those that are real,” Clark said. “Last year, we had a website where I thought I was actually designing my own cell phone case. I get to the checkout and I couldn’t (buy it) and I worked backwards and saw it was one of our projects. It’s that real, authentic, genuine kind of whatever-it-is and that’s what pushes them forward.”

The students only have from the beginning of the marking period to start coming up with their ideas and come out with the completed concept, which has only been since the end of January.

“Some kids crunch it out at the last minute, but it is overwhelming to see eighth graders come up with the designs and the concepts that they do,” Swier said.

For the Shark Tank, which will happen later in the school year, the finalists will present not only in front of the judges, but the entire eighth grade. The winners will receive a big prize, which is kept under wraps so as to not ruin the surprise. However, it is something they will all enjoy. “These are eighth graders engaging in something they like, but it’s also pretty high-level academically, too,” Clark said.


By Candice Monhollan, cmonhollan@

PennDOT to replace Birmingham Road bridge in Birmingham

Construction is scheduled to begin the week of April 11 to replace the Birmingham Road bridge over Radley Run in Birmingham, Chester County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said.

The Birmingham Road bridge has been closed to motorists since Sept. 22, 2015 due to severe structural damage. The bridge is located between the intersections of Lambourne Road and Stoney Run Drive.

During the bridge closure, Birmingham Road through traffic is detoured over Route 52 (Lenape Road), Creek Road and Route 926 (Street Road). Local access is maintained up to the construction zone. Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the area.

PennDOT will remove the old bridge and construct a new, cast-in-place concrete bridge. The new one-span structure will be 18 feet long and 24 feet wide. It will carry one travel lane in each direction.

The existing one-span, steel-beam bridge was built in 1938. It is 15 feet long and 26 feet wide. The structure was posted with a 18-ton weight limit and carried an average of 3,553 vehicles a day when it closed.

Loftus Construction, Inc., of Cinnaminson, N.J., is the general contractor on the $500,000 project that is funded with 100 state funds.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

West Chester Microtel Inn Robbery

Authorities in West Goshen Township are asking for the public’s help in their search for two armed robbery suspects. The men walked into the Microtel Inn along Willowbrook Lane in West Chester Monday 09/14/2015 morning, armed with guns.

They got away with an undetermined amount of cash. No one was injured in the incident.

Anyone with information on the identities and/or whereabouts of the suspects is urged to contact police.

Pope’s U.S. Visit, 2015 Guide

On September 26 and 27, the city of Philadelphia will be utterly transformed in preparation for the arrival of Pope Francis. Officials are expecting over 1.5 million visitors to the city. “We are hosting the largest event in the city’s history,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “Make no mistake, the City of Philadelphia will have the world’s attention, and we are doing our part to be as prepared and coordinated as possible.” Roads will be closed. Train schedules will be completely overhauled. The National Guard, Secret Service, Coast Guard, along with state, county, and local law enforcement will be on hand. Meanwhile, the region is celebrating the arrival of the head of Vatican City in every conceivable way, from paraphernalia to fake Pope androids.

Here’s everything you need to know to be prepared for the upcoming papal visit.

Part I: Logistics

Papal Itinerary

The stop in Philadelphia is only a small part of his larger, inaugural trip to the United States. He will also be traveling to New York City and Washington D.C.

The Pope will arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday, Sept. 24. That evening he will do a prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (open only to the Clergy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral).

On Friday, Sept. 25, he will visit the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly. At 11:30 a.m., he will conduct a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center (ticket lottery closed).

At 4 p.m. Friday, he will visit Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem (open only to a select group of students and administrators from four Catholic schools in New York, and a gym full of Catholic Charities representatives)

He will also do a procession through Central Park (ticket lottery here) before a 6 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for the mass are reportedly very limited and not sold to the public; contact your own diocesan chancery office for more information.

Pope Francis will arrive at Philadelphia International Airport at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 26.

His first event in Philadelphia will be a 10:30 a.m. mass at Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, a historic church that has stood since 1864. It is the largest brownstone structure in Philadelphia. This mass is closed to the public.

Francis will then proceed to Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, where he will meet with bishops at the chapel there. This event is also closed to the public.

His first public event will follow at Independence National Historical Park in center city Philadelphia, where he will give a speech on religious freedom and immigration.

He will conclude Saturday with an appearance at the Festival of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 7:30 p.m. There will be a variety of entertainment on hand, including musical and visual “high level performers,” according to the World Meeting of Families’ official site.

On Saturday evening, Francis will return to Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to sleep.

The next morning will be kicked off with another meeting with the bishops at the Seminary at 9:15 a.m.

At 11 a.m., as has been a trademark of his reign, Francis will visit prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in North Philadelphia. Prisoners there have already prepared a special chair for Francis as a gift.

At 4 p.m., the Pope will return to the Parkway to say the concluding mass for the 2015 World Meeting of Families.

He will then meet with organizers of the World Meeting briefly at 7 p.m., before boarding his return flight to Rome at 8 p.m.

Public Transportation

For the Papal mass on Friday, Sept. 25 at Madison Square Garden, NJ Transit plans to run extra trains to New York and add buses bound for the Port Authority Bus terminal, according to No special ticketing is needed, and the state Department of Transportation will not close eastbound roads to New York for the papal visit there.

SEPTA has been completely overhauled in preparation for the Pope’s arrival.

All passengers wishing to use Regional Rail to travel on the weekend of September 26-27 must purchase a special Papal pass. This pass is the only pass that will be accepted for travel over the weekend.

Passes cost $10 a day, and can be purchased at select SEPTA stations around the region. For a list of locations where passes can be picked up, please see the SEPTA website.

SEPTA’s regional rail will only depart from certain stations at certain times. Unless otherwise indicated, all other stations are closed. Here is a list of all stations operating departing trains, with the arrival station in parenthesis.
•Airport Line (Jefferson Station)
•Airport Line (University City Station)
•Chestnut Hill West Line (30th Street Station)
•Fox Chase Line (Jefferson)
•Lansdale/Doylestown – Ft. Washington (Jefferson)
•Lansdale/Doylestown – Pennbrook (Jefferson)
•Manayunk/Norristown (Jefferson)
•Media/Elwyn – Media (University City)
•Media/Elwyn – Primos Station (University City)
•Paoli/Thorndale – Paoli Station (30th Street)
•Paoli/Thorndale – Radnor Station (30th Street)
•Trenton – Cornwells Heights (30th Street)
•Trenton – Levittown (30th Street)
•Warminster (Jefferson)
•West Trenton (Jefferson)
•Wilmington/Newark – Wilmington Station (30th Street)
•Wilmington/Newark – Marcus Hook (30th Street)

To alleviate congestion, two travel time slots will depart for center city in the morning. Trains will begin leaving between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and then again from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Cornwell Heights will only depart from 5:30 until 8:30, while Croydon will only leave from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Return service will be between 5:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

There will be no service from center city to outlying stations during the morning travel period, and no service to center city from outlying stations in the evening travel period.

Buses and trolleys are also operating on modified schedules, in addition to the Norristown High Speed Line. See the full schedule on the SEPTA site.

During the weekend of Sept. 26 and 27, NJ Transit regular tickets will not be accepted and the agency will not be operating regular weekend service on either the Atlantic City Rail Line or the River Line. Special tickets went on sale beginning Saturday, Aug. 15 for people planning to ride the Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line as the routes will only operate on a limited schedule on both days.

Customers need to purchase their NJ Transit tickets in advance of this weekend. No one will be allowed to ride without a special event ticket and no tickets will be sold on Saturday, Sept. 26 or Sunday, Sept. 27. No other fares, including monthly passes, Family SuperSaver or cash, will be accepted on the Atlantic City Rail Line or River Line.

PATCO, which crosses from New Jersey into Philadelphia over the Ben Franklin Bridge, will also be operating a modified schedule.

Only special passes will be accepted to ride PATCO on September 26 and 27. One day passes are $5 and two day passes are $10. They can be purchased here.

PATCO will operate from four of its New Jersey stations:
•Ferry Avenue
•Broadway (Walter Rand Transportation Center)

And all service will run to only one Philadelphia station, at 9th/10th and Locust.

Road Closures

The most significant road closure during the Papal visit is the Ben Franklin Bridge. In addition, the following highways will be closed. These roads will close at 10 p.m. Friday and open at 12:00 a.m. Monday.
•I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95
•I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95
•I-76 westbound from I-95 to US Route 1
•US Route 1 in both directions from US Route 30 to Belmont Avenue (Pope Francis is staying overnight at Wynnewood’s at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary)
•I-95 will be open but certain ramps will be closed

Within the city itself, a “traffic box” surrounding center city and parts of University City has been established.

Cars will be able to travel inside the green lines below, but they will not be allowed to exit.

Meanwhile, significant traffic is expected on other major roads throughout the region that will remain open.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is working with officials to ensure that construction will not slow traffic in sensitive areas over the weekend.

Road closures and the huge influx of visitors will create severe traffic in the suburbs. Route 422 is one major road likely to be affected.

All residents and visitors are advised to avoid traveling by private vehicle, especially toward the city, whenever possible on September 26 and 27.


Montgomery County announced on August 23 that 600 National Guard troops had been requested for the weekend of September 26 and 27.

The personnel, requested from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, will help with traffic control, crowd control, and infrastructure security.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Montgomery County and its residents to experience something as important and inspirational as a Papal visit,” Josh Shapiro, chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners, said in a press release. “The eyes of the world will be on our region, and I am confident that the long term benefits of Pope Francis’ visit will far outweigh the temporary inconveniences we might face. Our entire Public Safety Department and all of their local and regional partners have worked hard to help ensure inconveniences are minimized and safety is maximized.”

In addition, the county has asked for helicopters, boats, refueling trucks, and other personnel to assist the Joint Rapid Response Teams and other supporting teams working to keep both motorists and those on boats safe.

The county’s Bomb Squad has also been training in anticipation of the weekend, and the Secret Service is organizing security in the city.

In New Jersey, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is taking the lead as “incident command,” according to, but the Secret Service has been tasked with protecting the Pope, with help from the FBI and New Jersey State Police. Partnerships have also extended to Burlington, Gloucester and Salem counties in planning for emergency situations that could occur.


The City of Philadelphia has launched a hotline to help area businesses prepare for the big weekend in September.

The Philadelphia Department of Commerce has launched a hotline that will be available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to p.m. The hotline is available via phone at 215-683-2100 and email at

Other questions can be answered at the city’s information center for the Pope’s visit, here.

II. Pageantry

A Pope has not visited Philadelphia since Pope John Paul II came here in 1979.

He spent time at Logan Circle, the Convention Center, and the Civic Center, saying mass and speaking to the crowd. He also visited a shrine in Doylestown.

Like Francis, John Paul visited the historic Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul and said mass there. Over a million people were present.

Francis’ visit in 2015 is of huge cultural and historical significance, and the Philadelphia region is sparing no effort in an opulent display of pageantry.

Uptown Entertainment Alliance

Help Bring A Theatre To West Chester

Uptown! Entertainment Alliance is a non-profit organiztion promoting cultural, economic, and civic life experiences in our community through live theater, music, dance, film and other local events in the heart of West Chester, Pennsylvania’s historic district.

Uptown! will do this by:

  • Creating a cultural hub for individuals and families within walking distance to West Chester’s bustling boutiques and restaurants
  • Engaging underserved age and income groups through age and culturally sensitive programming.
  • Preserving an important part of local and national history…Read more
West Chester needs a theater
Uptown! Entertainment Alliance started as a conversation among friends. Over the past three years, that conversation has evolved into a formalized, passionate effort to bring a theater to West Chester, PA. Highlights include:

  Forming a 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation.

  Initiating research which validates the need for a theater

  Presenting live performance in alternate venues

  Hosting two sold-out fundraising galas

In February 2013, Uptown! found a home for its theater – the historic West Chester National Guard Armory located at 226 High Street. With the help of local legislators, Pennsylvania State Senator Andrew Dinniman and Pennsylvania State Representative Dan Truitt, Uptown! Entertainment Alliance secured an Agreement from the State of Pennsylvania to transform this grand old building into a multi-use theater.
Help them by donating @

Brandywine Ballet Company’s Nutcracker

West Chester, PA – Brandywine Ballet, Chester County’s largest non-profit ballet company, is proud to announce its 2014 performances of The Nutcracker December 12 – 21 2014, Brandywine Ballet continues its residency this season at Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, 700 S. High Street, West Chester, PA. Individual tickets range $25-$40. Tickets and a complete schedule are available by telephone at (610) 696-2711 and on-line at Make sure you mention the advertisement in West Chester Magazine.
Read more →

Childhood Obesity, Time For Change

The percentage in the United States of Childhood Obesity has been on the rise for many years.   Approximately 1 out of 5 children are overweight or obese.  In 2012, the percentage of obese children skyrocketed to 18%.  It is likely that children who are obese will remain obese in their adolescent and adult years.    Obese children face health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, early heart disease, diabetes, bone problems, acne, skin conditions, and the list continues.
Read more →

The Golf Grip, How To Hold The Club

The reason the grip is so important in each of our swings is that it is the only connection our body has to the club.  By applying your hands correctly to the club you will experience more control of the club face at impact.

There are three acceptable grips used in golf. First is the  baseball grip in this grip all ten fingers will be resting on the club. The baseball grip is commonly used by juniors or women to allow them to have more control over the club since their hands are typically smaller then men’s. The second grip is the interlocking grip, in this grip you will take your right pinky and interlock it between your left hands index and middle finger. The third grip is the overlapping grip, in this grip you will take your right pinky and overlap it so it is resting on top of your left index finger. All of these grips are acceptable you just need to find the one that feels best to you. 
Read more →

West Chester’s Best Restaurants Poll

West Chester provides its community with a well kept downtown full of charm and history. Although located just west of Philadelphia, West Chester borough is able to satisfy its community without any worries of losing customers to the bigger city near by. The restaurants located in the borough have a great hold on the area. During a recent poll conducted up and down Gay Street and High Street, people seem to rave about a few restaurants in particular.

Read more →