Indications are strong that Deuce, the Northern Liberties pub that closed Sunday, will reopen in mere weeks. This would cheer up

Rachael Ray's

producers, who were all over the joint 48 hours before, shooting the Food Network show

Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels

.

Supervising producer Wade Sheeler yesterday said he was "shocked" at hearing of the shutdown.

Former owner Laura Vernola said she knew of the closing, but had been confident that the restaurant would reopen under new management before the show's scheduled premiere in early summer.

Ray's cameras also visited Fork: etc., Amada, Tangerine, Sansom Street Oyster House, Rouge, Naked Chocolate Cafe, Django, Xochitl, Ortlieb's, Capogiro, Tacconelli's and Chez Colette. Which raises another potential issue: Chez Colette, in the Sofitel at 17th and Sansom Streets, is looking to reconceptualize later this year as a Stephen Starr-designed French-Vietnamese spot that the Sofitel would operate.

We all scream

How does one train for the first-ever national frozen-custard eating championship?

By drinking water by the gallon, says Audubon's Elliott Maruffi-Cowley, a social worker in Cherry Hill by day and a competitive eater by night. Ice cream doesn't hurt, either.

Maruffi-Cowley - who says he ate 16 scoops with six toppings in 4 minutes, 29 seconds in a test run - will compete Saturday at a custard shop in Woodbridge, Va. Whoever eats the most in six minutes will win $250 and bragging rights.

Maruffi-Cowley, whose nom de guerre is "The Savage," finished second in the 2006 National Strawberry-Eating Championship. He's also a WIP Wing Bowl veteran, and as "Wing Tutt" in 2006, he famously heaved.

Briefly noted

The Moshulu on Penn's Landing this weekend starts hosting the Sunday jazz brunches sponsored by WJJZ (97.5), last at Warmdaddy's.

Hundreds of music and radio executives will gather today at the Loews Hotel for a conference run by Kal Rudman, founder of the trade journal Friday Morning Quarterback. RCA's Clive Davis will receive a "lifetime visionary award." Among locals attending will be Bob Pantano, Steve Friedman, Tony Harris, Charlie Lake, Dean Papadakis, Steve Ross and Jim Murray.

David Boreanaz, actor son of 6ABC's Dave Roberts, is expected to blog about the Flyers' Stanley Cup quest at http://fans.nhl.com. Boreanaz was a hockey nut even before his days at Malvern Prep.

Producer Philip Roger Roy, who has announced the closing of Menopause the Musical before, insists that the show will go dark April 27 after 1,200 performances at Society Hill Playhouse.

When CBS3's Pat Ciarrocchi goes to D.C. to cover the pope's visit next week, she may hear her own voice in Nationals Park. One parishioner from each diocese was chosen to do a video welcome before Mass next Thursday. Ciarrocchi, of St. Matthias in Bala Cynwyd, was the Philadelphia Archdiocese's choice.

The circuit

Coach

Dick Vermeil

still has a thing for birds. An eagle-eyed colleague spotted him last week tucking into a quail salad at the Chester County bistro Sovana.

Eagles QB Donovan McNabb helped judge a segment of "Runway Challenge," Philadelphia University's fashion-design reality show that's playing out weekly on NBC10's 10! show. The casual menswear from designers Regina Amato, Karen Bloomfield, Jess Gardner and Casey Saccomanno will air 2 p.m. Monday.

William H. Macy, here Saturday for the Philadelphia Film Festival, visited the DiBruno Bros. store on Chestnut near 18th, ordered sushi and sat upstairs in the cafe with two friends. Jeff Daniels dropped in yesterday and raved about the egg salad. Daniels is in town shooting a romantic comedy, The Dream of the Romans.