Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Alleged mob ties kept Lombardi’s out of Parx, Eagles lose to Saints in a big way | Morning Newsletter

All the local news you need to know to start your day, delivered straight to your email.

Pennsylvania gaming regulators say Mike Giammarino is unsuitable to operate a restaurant in a casino because of alleged links to organized crime. Giammarino,  shown here in 2013 in Gennaro's Tomato Pie in South Philadelphia, is fighting back.
Pennsylvania gaming regulators say Mike Giammarino is unsuitable to operate a restaurant in a casino because of alleged links to organized crime. Giammarino, shown here in 2013 in Gennaro's Tomato Pie in South Philadelphia, is fighting back.Read moreDAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Well, the Eagles made history Sunday. It just wasn't the good kind. We've got everything you want to know (or absolutely do not want to know) about their embarrassing loss to the Saints this morning. If you would like to think about literally anything else, my colleague Andrew Maykuth's report on the reason the famed Lombardi's pizzeria never made it to Parx casino, where it planned to open, will definitely do the trick. Accusations that its owner is tied to the mob kept the prized pizza away.

Reading this online? Sign up here to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: Lombardi’s Pizza was set to open in Parx Casino. Then investigators alleged it had mob ties.

In May 2017, news broke that Lombardi's, which claims to be the nation's oldest pizzeria, would be part of a big expansion at Parx Casino in Bensalem.

But in December, just weeks before the doors were scheduled to open, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board moved to revoke owner Mike Giammarino's 2016 permit alleging he was associated "with reputed organized crime members," which Giammarino has challenged.

Parx paid Giammarino for his investment and opened the eatery under a new moniker, but the restaurateur is still fighting to clear his name.

» READ MORE: Birds’ embarrassing loss is worst by defending Super Bowl champ in history

Not only does Sunday's 48-7 loss to the Saints have the honor of being the Eagles' worst loss since 2005, but it was also the largest loss by a defending Super Bowl champ in history.

Quarterback Carson Wentz was visibly frustrated after throwing three interceptions and no touchdown passes and the defense, once again, couldn't stop the run. The team's embarrassment was evident in who showed up or rather, didn't — in the locker room after the game.

To add injury to insult, the Birds lost three more starters Sunday: Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, and Rasul Douglas all left with injuries. Next week the Giants come to Lincoln Financial Field off of a two-win "streak."

» READ MORE: For GoFundMe scammers, the lying was easy

Last week Kate McClure, Mark D'Amico, and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. were all arrested on charges of theft and conspiracy after duping more than 14,000 donors into donating over $400,00 in a month for Bobbitt.

Before they blew through the money and turned on each other as their lies unraveled, the trio received international attention for the heart-warming story of Bobbitt's act of kindness and the GoFundMe campaign launched to pay it forward.

Now, those who fell prey to their lies are looking back on the viral story and wondering how they hid it all so well.

What you need to know today

  1. Nearly 1,300 names are on a list of people unaccounted for more than a week after deadly fires began spreading through California. The death toll has risen to 77 and the search for the remains of victims continues but could be hindered by rain in the forecast.

  2. Last week, the nation's Catholic bishops gathered to discuss, among other things, reforming their policies for responding to sexual misconduct in the clergy. Within their ranks, a generational divide over how to move forward was clear.

  3. Officials still haven't found a place for a "navigation center" for homeless people in addiction, but in six weeks Philly's "Project Resilience" has made great strides fighting the opioid crisis in Kensington.

  4. A 2-year-old girl was struck and killed in the parking lot of the Haverford Area YMCA Saturday. On Facebook, current and former members have complained that the bustling parking lot is often packed with traffic.

  5. The midterm elections were devastating for Republicans in Philly's suburbs, but the shifts can't all be attributed to President Trump. The real story is much more complex.

  6. Massive vote-drive organizations were hoping for a "historic" turnout of young voters this year and, while it was higher than in some midterm elections, it was well shy of historic in our region.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

View this post on Instagram

Synchronicity | 2018 Philadelphia Half-Marathon

A post shared by Jason Coopman (@jasoncoopman) on

Here's hoping all those marathoners are recovering today!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. Looking for Thanksgiving Eve plans? Restaurants and bars from West Philly to Old City to Ardmore are hosting special deals and events.

  2. New Sixers star Jimmy Butler surely gained some fans after draining a game-winning shot in overtime Saturday night, and he's quickly gaining momentum as he settles in with the new team. After all, he said, "Basketball is basketball."

  3. Phillies owner John Middleton finally broke his long silence Friday, and what he said about the winter sounds promising: "We're going into this expecting to spend money."

  4. Though Thanksgiving has its staples turkey, cranberries, stuffing every family has its own culinary traditions and some Philly chefs have especially quirky ones.

  5. Congratulations are in order for Anea B. Moore, a University of Pennsylvania senior and Philadelphia native who just won a coveted Rhodes Scholarship.

  6. Speaking of Penn, Amy Gutman is in line to become the longest-serving president in the university's history. So far her tenure has been characterized by facing criticisms head-on.


"At a time when we face threats to our democratic institutions and competing economic models around the world, these lessons — and using them to inform America's role in the world — are more important than ever." — Sen. Chris Coons and Sen. Bob Corker on the three lessons they learned while working together across the aisle.
  1. Philadelphia offered Amazon $1.1 billion in incentives to bring its second headquarters here. Now that they have officially passed, the Inquirer Editorial Board has some ideas for what the city could do with that much money.

  2. As the number of international students choosing to study in the U.S. reportedly declines, Keya Sadeghipour, dean of the College of Engineering at Temple University, writes that attracting international students requires a global approach.

What we’re reading

  1. It's difficult to truly understand the incredible impact of the California wildfires from the East Coast, making the Los Angeles Times' detailed and devastating explanation of how the deadly fires spread an important read.

  2. If you missed the Knight Foundation's On The Table day earlier this month, CityLab has recapped the event after sitting down with Philadelphians to talk transportation, business, food and more. 

  3. South Street's Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is hosting hallacas-making classes this holiday season but, just in case you can't make it, Billy Penn went along and learned how to create the traditional Venezuelan dish.

  4. House-flipping fans, try not to drool over Curbed Philly's long read on the renovation of a Fishtown carriage house that's now a tap house.

  5. Foodies eat up lists of "best restaurants" and "top dishes," but what happens when a family business is named No. 1? Thrillist's essay on the demise of America's best burger joint is a cautionary tale.

Your Daily Dose of | Falafel

Love falafel? Restaurant critic Craig LaBan has created a guide of his favorites in the region, just for you.