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Innovation & Job News

Main Line's Milkboy expanding to Center City, hiring 20

A suburban boy is moving to town. Milkboy, one of the area's most beloved coffeehouses, is expanding from the Main Line to the Midtown Village section of Philadelphia, hiring a projected 20 new employees. Milkboy began in 1994 as a four-track cassette recorder and one microphone, growing into a recording, communications and promotional powerhouse, with two cafe/live music venues in Ardmore and Bryn Mawr.

Now Milkboy takes the party downtown, opening a multilevel bar and restaurant at 11th and Chestnut in Center City this spring. The venue will have two floors, with a fully stocked bar downstairs, and a stage upstairs. Milkboy co-founder Jamie Lokoff estimates capacity at 150 to 200 people, and of the food, he says, "Just because you're going to see a show in rock club, you won't have to sacrifice what you're eating." Milkboy is in talks with some of the city's best known chefs. "It's a lot more than what we can do in Ardmore," says Lokoff, "and it will be more geared toward a rock club environment."

Construction has been beset by the unexpected. "The owner of the building terms the area 'the hole in the donut,' " says Lokoff, who explains that the leased property, which couldn't possibly be more central, was lacking both a gas line and a telecommunications cable. Passersby to the Ardmore coffeehouse may have seen union picketers lately. Lokoff explains that the building owner, not Milkboy, hired the contractor. While several unions are represented, the contractor chose not to employ workers from the Carpenters' Union. Because of that hiring choice, says Lokoff, representatives are picketing Ardmore with signs reading, "Shame on Milkboy Coffee." Milkboy maintains a sense of humor about the controversy, selling Shame on Milkboy Coffee T-shirts. Lokoff says the Philadelphia location should be open late spring 2011.

Source: Jamie Lokoff, Milkboy
Writer: Sue Spolan

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