They run a Philly bar on TV, and next year it will be for real.

Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson, the husband and wife who play Mac and Sweet Dee on FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, will be investors in a bar at 226 Market St. in Old City, now operating as Skinner's.

Center City lawyer William Morrin confirmed that the couple are backing prospective operators Ben Haney and Eric Vesotsky, McElhenney's friends from St. Joseph's Prep. The Upper Darby-born, South Philly-bred McElhenney graduated in 1995.

On the comedy - which cocreator McElhenney sold to the network six years ago under the high-concept description "Seinfeld on crack" - the Mac character is part-owner of a South Philly bar called Paddy's Pub.

The new place will be called Mac's Olde Towne Tavern, and it will maintain its feel as a drinker's bar, Morrin said. He was unsure of a timetable but said it would open early next year. The deal had been rumored at

Skinner's partner Peter Schriber said a closing date was not set.

Stepping up

He can dance, for sure, but will he graduate? University of the Arts sophomore

Russell Ferguson

said Friday that he feels like he's "floating in a dream. . . . I think I'm about to wake up and things will be normal." Ferguson, 20, won Season 6 of Fox's

So You Think You Can Dance

($250,000 prize, plus a national tour and an appearance on the Oscars) by "krumping" - a style of street dance. He's on leave from UArts, and said he's not sure he's coming back. The Boston native praised UArts' "open environment" and its dance faculty, especially

Kim Bears-Bailey


Zane Booker


Crystal Frazier

, and

Curt Haworth

. Simple career goal: "I just want to bring a smile to people's faces," he said.


Tables at Bibou, a 32-seat French restaurant near the Italian Market, are even harder to come by now that the BYOB is seventh in critic

Alan Richman

's list of the nation's 10 best new restaurants in January's GQ. Richman, who eons ago wrote for the old Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, burbled on and on about the Frenchness of it all, and called Bibou's "moist, creamy pig's-head terrine practically the French countryside on a plate." Compounding the reservation issue: Owners

Pierre and Charlotte Calmels

will close for two weeks' vacation after Jan. 17.

The circuit


Leslie Caron

got an unexpected gift when she was here this month. The


star's mother, dancer

Margaret "Peggy" Petit

, was the subject of a 1919 portrait by

Ambrose McCarthy Patterson

. The artist's daughter,

Yvonne Patterson

, lives in Flourtown and wanted Caron to have it. Miss Patterson is up in years, and a friend of hers,

Susan Johnson

of Erdenheim, reached out to Inquirer film critic

Carrie Rickey

to facilitate delivery. At the Free Library before Caron's Dec. 2 appearance, Johnson gave the painting to Caron, who tucked it into her leather satchel. Caron was on her way to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Two Liberty Place residents say Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, wife Heidi, and baby son Caleb have left the fancy high-rise in favor of their new digs, a four-bedroom in Newtown Square.

Headline this: "Pork for Duchess of York at Fork." Sarah Ferguson, here touting the film Young Victoria, lunched at Fork in Old City Thursday, and the menu included charcuterie, a pappardelle appetizer, salad, and grilled chicken.


At least two young locals have lead roles in films exhibiting next month at Sundance in Park City, Utah: Lower Merion-bred

Sarah Steele

, 21, who starred in 2004's


and is a student at Columbia University, is in the comedy

Please Give


Amanda Peet


Oliver Platt

, and

Catherine Keener

, and Bristol's

Charlie Saxton

, 20, is in the

Joel Schumacher



. Both are repped by

Edie Robb

at Station 3 Entertainment.

Nolan Reese, son of Eagles voice Merrill Reese and his wife, Cindy, was an assistant visual effects editor on the new blockbuster Avatar. He's working on Iron Man 2 with Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.


Moore College of Art and Design got a head start last week on the installation of


, a 40-foot mural by London artist

Paul Morrison

. The piece, part of the Philagrafika exhibition that will start Jan. 29, spans the exterior of Moore, at 20th and Race Streets. It incorporates found images of trees and shrubs culled from various sources that are manipulated, edited, and collaged to create a landscape growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk. The large tulip symbolizes a hopeful reminder of the spring yet to come - not soon enough, after this weekend's weather - and the persistence of nature.

Those seeking to bunk at the new Le Méridien hotel at 1421 Arch St., across from the Municipal Services Building, should hang on to their satchels. Though it has appeared finished for some time, Starwood has moved back the grand opening to April 15 - seven months after an initial target. A spokeswoman said unexpected issues had arisen with the restoration of the 1912 Georgian Revival building, designed by Horace Trumbauer.

Philling orders

How long ago were Phillies fans swiping their credit cards to obtain

Cliff Lee

gear? The Phillies' Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park is taking 50 percent off the price of its jerseys with the pitcher's name and No. 34 as

Roy Halladay

merchandise, also with No. 34, arrives. founder

Dan Hershberg

is offering coupons to those who bought "Thanks, Cleveland" shirts on his site when Lee arrived and now want to buy shirts reading "The Doc Is In."

Next step for Abraham

We have not heard the last of

Lynne Abraham

, the outgoing district attorney, who dropped hints about her future in an interview with

Larry Kane

that will be shown on his

Voice of Reason

(5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Comcast Network, replayed at 11 p.m. next Sunday). She says not only that she has an unspecified job lined up, but also that she plans to seek elective office again. Governor? Attorney general? No clues.