Marcie Turney & Valerie Safran’s Restaurant & Boutique Group is the Ultimate Takeover of 13th Street

When Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran say they love 13th Street, they really mean it. The name of their restaurant and boutique EMPIRE is literally called We <3 13th Street. They’ve transformed South 13th Street from a desolate space into what is now known as Midtown Village; one the top Philly shopping and eating destinations.

Here’s the run down of their places:

1Open House

Open house, interestingly enough, doesn’t offer food; but it’s a relaxed housewares boutique on the corner of Chestnut and 13th Street. Within months of opening, the shop expanded to double it’s original size and is a top spot to pick up modern decor for the home.


Lolita is a modern Mexican restaurant known for fabulous margaritas, among others. Regarded as one of the best Mexican Restaurant’s in Philadelphia, Lolita was established in 2004 and has since undergone a renovation and a reinvention of the menu with a new focus on Mexican street style foods.


Grocery is a gourmet food market that provides restaurant quality foods in an everyday market setting. Perfect for those who work in Philly to stop in for a quick lunch or for those who don’t feel like cooking dinner for the night. Try their oats in the morning with a variety of toppings, make a salad from the gourmet salad bar, try one of their daily soup offerings, or grab something from the hot foods bar.


Verde is another major point of differentiation from other restaurant groups, selling unique jewelry pieces, accessories and gifts. While you’re browsing the fashion items, you can also purchase Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates, located inside of Verde. The chocolate stand features interesting flavor combinations and beautiful designs from Marcie Turney. If you don’t believe us when we say the chocolates are to die for, you may believe Oprah’s praises.  


Barbuzzo is a Mediterranean bar and kitchen that garnered an award for “Best Dessert” by Philadelphia Magazine as well as a nomination for a James Beard award, among other accolades. Their salted caramel budino is inarguably one of the best desserts, if not the best dessert in Philadelphia. You won’t be disappointed with any of their savory dishes, either.


Jamonera is a spanish food and tapas joint. This restaurant is a small venue with an intimate feel, making it perfect for a date night or for catching up with a friend. Savor a plate of paella or go crazy ordering a bunch of small tapas plates. Then finish off your meal as the Spanish would, with some sweet port!

7Little Nonna’s

Little Nonna’s serves up your Italian grandmother’s dishes and we dare even say it might even taste better. Start with the garlic bread that comes served with a whole head of sweet roasted garlic, and then try the hearty Sunday gravy. You won’t regret it.

8Bud and Marilyn’s

Last but certainly not least is Bud and Marilyn’s, the latest addition to the empire. Named after Turney’s grandparents, the restaurant is reminiscent of the restaurant her loved ones owned. It serves up simple American food that just screams comfort. Some highlights from the menu are Marilyn’s fried chicken with zucchini pickles pickles and warm biscuits, or any one of their monstrous slices of cake.