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Dan Gross: Were oyster thieves hoping for pearls?

AW, SHUCKS! “Who steals oysters out of the back of a truck?” asks Jason Cichonski, owner of Ela (3rd & Bainbridge), who was among restaurateurs who didn’t get his delivery Wednesday following the Rittenhouse Square theft of a box of Pacific oysters.


"Who steals oysters out of the back of a truck?" asks Jason Cichonski, owner of Ela (3rd & Bainbridge), who was among restaurateurs who didn't get his delivery Wednesday following the Rittenhouse Square theft of a box of Pacific oysters.

"There's a lot of worse things that can happen to you," oyster distributor Paul Appleby said of what he says was the pilfering of about 90 pounds of oysters from the back of his Ford F-350 on 18th Street near Locust.

Appleby, who owns West Chester's SeaFresh Oysters, said he parked, made deliveries to Parc and Dandelion, and returned to his truck. When he got to Morimoto (723 Chestnut), he realized he was missing two boxes containing about 1,000 oysters.

"Are they gonna try hawking them? 'Who wants to buy some Kusshis,' " Appleby asked of whoever stole the bivalves. "How are they gonna open them? I hope they're skilled with knives.At least they didn't steal my truck."

Appleby, who valued the mooched mollusks at about $500, seemed amused by the episode and wasn't sure if he was going to file a police report. "This is like my busiest day. I don't know, I guess I'll call," he said.

'Dead' actress raised

Cherry Hill-raised Lauren Cohan has been named a series regular on AMC zombie drama "The Walking Dead." Cohan, who moved to England at 13 and speaks with a British accent, plays Maggie on the series. Her promotion was first reported by's Michael Ausiello.


Increasingly irrelevant Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stopped for dinner at Saloon (750 S. 7th) Tuesday night. Gingrich, who went for a calamari salad and veal chop, was joined by political consultant Charlie Gerow and two other men.

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon lunched alone at Rouge on Rittenhouse Square during the team's day off Tuesday. Phillies sideline reporter Gregg Murphy, formerly of Comcast SportsNet, was also at Rouge at the time.

Tony Danza went for Pabst Blue Ribbon at McGillin's (1310 Drury) Tuesday night. A few customers complimented his A&E show, "Teach," for which he spent a year teaching English at Northeast High School. We're told he left a generous tip at the bar.

Phils support Hamels

Bravo cameras rolled Tuesday night at a Hamels Foundation event at the Inn Keeper's Kitchen at West Chester's Dilworthtown Inn when "Top Chef" alum Jennifer Carroll cooked for Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, and Phillies including Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon, Shane Victorino and Kyle Kendrick. Carroll's being followed for a show called "Life After Top Chef." The event raised $10,000 for the Hamels Foundation, which aids inner-city schools as well as education efforts in Africa.

Actors get grub on

"Think Like a Man" star Michael Ealy sampled cheesesteaks, pork sandwiches and chicken Italiano sandwiches at Tony Luke's (Front & Oregon) Tuesday. He was in town promoting the film with comedian/radio host Steve Harvey, who wrote the book on which it is based and who also produced the movie. The guys attended a screening Tuesday night at the Ritz East hosted by WDAS's Patty Jackson.

For a pretty fit guy, actor Fran Kranz, who stars in "Cabin in the Woods," seems to eat everything in sight. Kranz, on break from his Broadway run in "Death of a Salesman," got to town Sunday and had a burger at Parc and another at Village Whiskey, then gelato at Capogiro. And on Monday, between interviews promoting the thriller, which is out Friday, he went for a sandwich at Paesano's, dinner at Amada and then snacks and drinks at Distrito.

Biz spins for fashion

"Just a Friend" rapper Biz Markie traded his microphone for turntables Tuesday night and served as DJ at a Mitchell & Ness (12th & Chestnut) spring fashion event.

Philadelphia Union players including Freddy Adu, Danny Mwanga, Chris Albright, Danny Califf and Zac MacMath hung out; as did former MLB catcher Ben Davis, now a Comcast SportsNet baseball analyst; Fox 29's Mike Jerrick, and his former colleague John Bolaris; and photographer Zoe Strauss, whose Philadelphia Museum of Art show closes April 22.

93.3 WMMR DJ and reporter Matt Cord and 94WIP's Spike Eskin were also among those mingling with M&N president Sean McKinney, as were Jon Marks and Sean Brace of 97.5 The Fanatic.

93.3 WMMR's Marisa Magnatta, CWPhilly's Kharisma McIlwaine and Skin Palette tanning-studio owner Julie Dorenbos, along with her husband, Eagles long-snapper Jon Dorenbos, also took in the party after a charity event at Opa (1311 Sansom) promoting Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars, in which they will compete April 22 at the Crystal Tea Room. It's a benefit for the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of America. n

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