• Cool…or Creepy?
Amazon plans to bring its cashier- and checkout-less grocery store—called “Amazon Go”—to Havertown, in the Llanerch Shopping Center on West Chester Pike. The company recently filed an appeal with the Haverford Township Zoning Hearing Board to get a variance for a larger promo sign at that location. According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, a liquor license is pending as well. There are over two dozen Amazon Go stores in the United States. To shop, customers open an app on their phone and start piling items into their bag. There’s no need to scan each item; Amazon relies on a combination of artificial intelligence, computer vision and sensor data to ensure customers are only charged for the things they actually leave the store with (thus the creep factor!). When you’re done shopping, you simply walk out. (People say it’s weird at first; it almost feels like shoplifting.) Amazon bills your account and e-mails you a receipt automatically. The Havertown location will sell ready-made meals, fresh produce, meat and seafood, bakery items and household essentials. Here’s a great primer to read before you Amazon Go! Warning: Eliminating the checkout process makes it verrrry easy to overspend.
• Another Crumbl
Social media and calorie bomb sensation Crumbl Cookies just opened another location in Newtown Square, at 3741 West Chester Pike. This is the second location for owners Chris and Natalya Hummer, who also operate the Crumbl Cookies in Jenkintown. The couple will open a third storefront in Exton this summer (just in time for swimsuit season!). With over 300 bakeries in 36 states, Crumbl is now the fastest-growing cookie company in the nation. Every Sunday, the brand announces its cookie flavors for the week via the Crumbl Cookies app and TikTok, where it has amassed over four million followers. All cookies are baked onsite in specially designed open kitchens and presented to the customer in the brand’s signature pink box. Flavors range from basic (chocolate chip) to exotic (Sea Salt Butterscotch Pretzel). Not a cookie fan? The chain also sells ice cream to go.
• Vetri Steakhouse Has a Name
Marc Vetri’s buzzy new Italian steakhouse—slated to open in Bryn Mawr this summer—has a name: Fiore Rosso, which translates to “Red Flower.” Renovations are still underway, and Vetri and Chef Jesse Grossman—an Osteria and Vernick alum—are busy tinkering with the menu, which Vernick says will spotlight wood-fired grilled steaks, roasted vegetables, crudo and pasta. Fiore Rosso will replace the old Enoteca Tredici, which closed in the wake of owner Greg Dodge’s mounting legal troubles. Those who follow Vetri on social media aren’t shocked by his venture out west; he’s been an outspoken critic of Philadelphia’s Covid-related dining policies since early 2020.
• Bag It
Several Main Line townships, including Haverford and Radnor, have introduced ordinances to ban plastic bags at most retail stores. In Radnor, a proposed ordinance includes a six-month “ask-first” policy, in which businesses may only distribute plastic bags if customers specifically ask for them. After the six-month period is up, customers would pay ten cents per bag. Businesses that don’t comply could face fines of up to $500. Reaction from commissioners was mixed, with some praising the ordinance and its environmental benefits and others concerned about the effect of the bag fee on low-income residents. Haverford wants to take it a step further and ban single-use plastic items too, including straws and stirrers; township commissioners voted 7-2 to approve the ordinance at its first reading. Philadelphia, Narberth and West Chester already have plastic bag bans in place.
• Earth Day Yay!
Speaking of protecting our planet, there are LOTS of ways to honor Earth Day on the Main Line this year, including Tyler Arboretum’s Celebrate Earth Day, Naturepalooza at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and Narberth Park’s beloved NarbEarth Day (back after a two-year pandemic hiatus!). And if you’re looking for ways to show Mother Earth some love, Narberth’s SHIFT Sustainable Goods publishes a weekly eco-challenge on its resource-rich Web site.
• Yoga Near Stoga
Conestoga Head Field Hockey Coach Regan Marscher has opened a yoga studio near the high school called Tejas Yoga Collective. The word Tejas (pronounced “Tayjuss”) is Sanskrit for “inner light” or “illumination.” Marscher has recruited Amy Orcutt, head coach of Conestoga’s nationally ranked girls’ lacrosse team, to teach classes as well. Tejas offers an array of classes for yogis of abilities and interests, including Power Flow, Fire Flow, All Levels, Gentle Yoga and Yin Yoga, a slow-paced, quiet and contemplative practice.
Got a scoop for In The Loop? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org