Saturday, May 21 is the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, in which Walnut Street is closed from Broad Street west to the square for a giant block party from noon to 5 p.m. (The resulting traffic jam will dovetail nicely into the Apocalypse.) Philabundance will be at the 19th Street side, collecting canned goods. Donors can get chances to win two prizes from Starr Restaurants, whose seven RitRow locations will be doing demos and selling food on the 1800 block. You get one raffle ticket for each canned good donated or seven raffle tickets for every five cans donated. You also can buy your way in: one ticket for $1 and seven for $5. Prize #1: Dinner for two at each of Starr's 16 Philadelphia restaurants. Prize #2: Dinner for four at the winner's residence, catered by Stephen Starr Events. Drawing will be at 4:45 p.m. The goal is to double the amount raised last year, which totaled $3,800 and 710 pounds of non-perishable food, which in turn provided up to 14,000 meals to families in need.
Also on the nonprofit side: Night Market Philadelphia, the University City street-food festival hosted by the Food Trust, will return, bigger, on Thursday, June 9, from 6 to 10 p.m. at 39th and Market Streets. (Rain date: June 16.) Organizers say the 30-plus food carts will include Guapos Tacos, from Jose Garces; hot dogs from Dapper Dogs; Nomad Pizza, with its wood-fired oven in a 1949 REO Speedwagon (Nomad will be assuming the location of Horizons, 611 S. Seventh St., this fall); Indonesian foods from Hardena; and ice cream from Little Baby’s. The Blockley will set up a beer garden. Two more Night Markets are planned for 2011. They will be announced at nightmarketphilly.org.
August Moon, the Korean-Japanese mix in Norristown, has reopened, eight months after closing for renovations. It now has a serious sake program of about two dozen varieties.
Saturday, May 21 will mark the reopening of Swanky Bubbles in Old City. On Thursday, a crew from Spike TV's new series Bar Rescue started a renovation under the gimlet eye of consultant Jon Taffer. (Downey's at Front and South Street was Taffer's project last week.) The public is invited in to see the "reveal," which will be after 9 p.m. Both restaurants' episodes are due to air this summer. Along with the renovation, Swanky Bubbles has lost its name, which happens to be among the cheesiest in Philadelphia restaurant and nightclub history. It's been reflagged Sheer.