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End of line for Geechee Girl Rice Cafe

Friends of the chef/owner Valerie Erwin are arranging what they call the Geechee Gala, a tribute on Saturday Jan. 10 to the woman who brought the foods of Georgia and South Carolina’s low country to the fore in Philadelphia.

Geechee Girl Rice Cafe - a Mount Airy staple - has closed after nearly 12 years, but it's not going quietly.

Friends of the chef/owner Valerie Erwin are arranging what they call the Geechee Gala, a tribute on Saturday Jan. 10 to the woman who brought the foods of Georgia and South Carolina's low country to the fore in Philadelphia.

Among the organizers are folks from Weavers Way, Slow Food Philly, Feast Your Eyes, Les Dames d'Escoffier, the Philadelphia Women's Culinary Guild, Anson Mills,and World Wide Stereo.

The $100-a-head event at the restaurant (6825 Germantown Ave.) will include a buffet prepared by guest chefs, plus wine and craft beer. Erwin herself is not cooking, but has asked her sister Alethia to make the family's signature fried chicken. VIP tickets are $250.

So what happened?

"Small restaurants are always financially precarious," said Val Erwin. "I suppose I could look at it analytically and find some trend, but the truth is last winter was so terrible, we never really recovered. Not every business has enough of a cushion to see it through."

Erwin is job-hunting now.

Event info is here.

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