Welcome to that hot ‘n hazy stretch of summer known as August! Cool off at Ardmore’s newest ice cream shop, Paoli’s newest swim school and other new chill spots below. Stay cool, neighbor…
• Pickleball for All!
Whether you’re a pickleball newbie or pro, Dink City Pickleball makes it easy (and affordable!) to score a court and up your game. Nestled on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy & College in Radnor, Dink City features 16 brand-new, state-of-the-art pickleball courts. Unlike other local pickleball facilities, no memberships or contracts are required: Just download the CourtReserve app on your phone, pick a clinic or court time and play!
Local grads Bryson Craft (Episcopal Academy) and Rob Norton (Radnor High School) are the dynamic duo behind Dink City and its pay-as-you-play business model. When the pair spotted VFMA’s seldom-used tennis courts, they struck a deal with the school to convert them to pickleball courts for the community. According to Craft and Norton, Dink City is the largest pickleball facility on the East Coast.
Weekends feature more of a festive atmosphere with food trucks, corn hole and live music. Courts are available year-round and lighted for evening matches. Offerings range from lessons, clinics and leagues to open play and tournaments, including a Pickle Palooza Tournament on Saturday, August 19. Dink City will also host your next private party or corporate event.
Dink City Pickleball is located at 800 Radnor Street Road in Wayne. Hours are 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.
• Something Sweet
Ardmore’s newest ice cream shop brings a treasured Italian treat to the Main Line. “Affogato” is an icy-hot dessert that features a scoop of ice cream or gelato topped with a shot of freshly brewed hot espresso. Lu & Aug’s offers several varieties, including Dirty Chai, Salted Caramel and Peppermint Mocha. Look for seasonal flavors to come.
The shop is named after the owners’ two teenage children, Laiyla and Augustine, and it’s a full-on family affair with both kids pitching in to keep their namesake cafe running smoothly. Lu & Aug’s also serves baked goods from Famous 4th Street Cookies and Dottie’s Donuts, plus coffee and pup cups. Want to stay and sip? The 1,200 square-foot eatery offers indoor seating for 22. Owners and Ash and Pretha Kailath of Delaware County hope to open more locations in the future.
Lu & Aug’s is located at 28 Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Sunday 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
• Making Waves in Paoli
A new swim school is making big splash in Paoli, taking over the old Pier One in Paoli Shopping Center. Part of a nationwide franchise, Big Blue Swim School Paoli hopes to capture a slice of the Main Line learn-to-swim market. The school offers small-group lessons for kids ages three months through 12 (scheduled via mobile app) and private instruction by request.
The Paoli facility features a heated pool, showers and individual changing rooms and slip-resistant antimicrobial carpeting. There’s also a dedicated parent viewing area and free Wi-Fi.
Students are divided into classes by age, and lessons are 30 to 45 minutes long. Time will tell how Big Blue fares against established competitors like Goldfish Swim School in Malvern and Media and KIDS FIRST in Broomall and Plymouth Meeting.
Sign up now and take advantage of Big Blue’s “First Dip Deal”: $25 for your first four weekly lessons.
Big Blue Paoli is located at 82 East Lancaster Avenue. Hours vary; check the Web site for details.
• A Love Letter to Lentils
Lentils are having a moment! Case in point: A new take-out spot in Ardmore devoted to the vitamin- and fiber-rich legume. Lentil & Co.’s modern Mediterranean menu features lentil bowls, farm-fresh salads with homemade dressings, fresh-pressed juices and coffee from Conshohocken’s Keep It Real Coffee.
The lentil bowls are clearly the stars of the show here, from “The OG” (lentils, quinoa charred onion, Jerusalem salad and Greek yogurt with lemon mint vinaigrette) to “The Cool Kid” (lentils, quinoa hummus, avocado, beets, carrots and green beans with lemon mint vinaigrette) to “Psychedelic” (lentils, quinoa, filet tips, mushrooms, caramelized onions and housemade red peppers).
Lentil & Co. is located at 44 Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
• Cabrini Closes Its Doors
After years of shrinking class sizes, financial woes and leadership turmoil, Cabrini University will close for good after the 2023-24 academic year. Founded in 1957 as a private Roman Catholic university in Radnor Township, the school tried mightily to stay afloat but ultimately determined its revenue obstacles were too significant to overcome.
In an interesting twist, Villanova University will purchase Cabrini’s 112-acre campus. While Villanova has pledged to honor the Cabrini name and mission in some fashion, no official plans (or sale price) have been released.
In the meantime, Cabrini students are invited to apply for admission to Villanova via an expedited, fee-free review process. (No guarantees, however.) Cabrini faculty and staff can apply for jobs at Villanova as well. Other local colleges and universities have stepped up as “partner institutions,” meaning they will honor credits earned at Cabrini, maintain similar levels of financial aid and support students as they complete their degrees. These institutions include Ursinus College, Rosemont College, Holy Family University, Gwynedd Mercy University and Eastern University.
• Brunch With La Familia
Amada Radnor now serves brunch on the weekends, family-style. For a $35/person, parties can select three entrees and two side dishes to share, plus an individual brunch entrée.
Menu highlights include Sangria Pancakes with Canela Whipped Cream, Croquetas de Jamon (Serrano Ham Croquettes), Shakshuka (Baked Egg and Tomato Piperade) and Torrijas (Fried French Toast, Sidra Apples, Sherry Caramel). A children’s menu is available as well.
Amada Radnor is located at 555 E. Lancaster Avenue. Brunch service is Saturday and Sunday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
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