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The Pop Shop in The News!





 
The Pop Shop featured on the Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay!!

Yep, our grilled cheese has been officially recognized as the best  by The Food Network! Bobby Flay came to The Pop Shop for a Grilled Cheese Throwdown! The show filmed in January . We couldn't be more honored. Join the mailing list for more info about the broadcast.

Learn more about Throwdown!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_bt



Celebrity chef Bobby Flay cooks along side of Pop Shop co-owner Bill "Stink" Fisher during taping of a Food Network show, Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 in Collingswood. (Douglas M. Bovitt/Courier-Post)

Bobby Flay Makes a Surprise Visit to Collingswood

By CHUCK DARROW
Courier-Post Staff

Famed chef, restaurant owner and TV star Bobby Flay made a surprise appearance in Collingswood this afternoon to film an episode of his "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" series at The Pop Shop restaurant.

In the "Throwdown" series, Flay surprises makers of certain foods and challenges them to a cook-off of their specialty.

Flay was in Collingswood for a grilled-cheese battle. The Pop Shop offers dozens of specialty grilled cheese sandwiches.

The Pop Shop crew prepared to serve up a special grilled-cheese sandwich called The Calvert, which, like all the grilled cheese items on the menu, gets its name from a street in the borough. The sandwich, on rosemary foccacia, includes roast turkey, sliced avocado, applewood smoked bacon, Monterey jack cheese and balsamic mayonnaise.

Just before 3 p.m., every table in the eatery was filled with regular customers, most of them local families with small children. Camera crews from The Food Network were setting up, allegedly to tape an episode of "All Grown Up," a show about cooking for kids.

The restaurant's staff kept busy in anticipation of the event, hanging lights, rearranging furniture and readying the restaurant for the big event.

Cameras began to roll just after 3, with Pop Shop owners "Stink" and Connie Correia Fisher chatting with the audience about how they come up with ideas for their grilled-cheese specialties.

About seven minutes into taping, a Lincoln Navigator SUV pulled up in front of the eatery, and Flay got out and walked into the shop, causing the crowd to go wild, cheering and shouting.

Flay walked up to the Fishers, put out his hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Bobby Flay, and I'm here to challenge you to a grilled-cheese throwdown."

At that point, taping stopped, as Flay chatted with the Fishers and the crew prepared to film the main event.

Flay has been in the South Jersey region for several other "throwdowns," including a cheesesteak battle with Tony Luke, a barbecue battle with Butch Lupinetti of Mount Laurel and a mac 'n' cheese battle with Delilah Winder from the Reading Terminal Market.

Flay lost two of the battles, winning only the mac 'n' cheese throwdown, as determined by a panel of judges.

The Pop Shop is at 729 Haddon Ave.

Here's another article from The Courier Post ... http://courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080122/NEWS01/801220362








Staff photo by Tim Hawk
Flay puts Pop Shop to the Test

By Siobhan A. Counihan
THE GLOUCESTOR COUNTY TIMES
scounihan@sjnewsco.com

COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. -- When asked to throw a "grilled cheese party" for 50 guests at the Pop Shop, owners Connie and Bill "Stink" Fisher thought it was for "All Grown Up," a new Food Network show featuring grown-up twists on classic kid cuisine.

But when celebrity chef Bobby Flay walked through the eatery's front door Monday afternoon, the Fishers knew what was going on before the culinary competitor could say the word "throwdown."

As soon as the shock wore off, the couple decided to play along and accepted Flay'¹s challenge.

"We knew there wasn't a show called 'All Grown Up' on Food Network, but we thought we would just be one of the first episodes," Connie said as she prepared the Calvert, a grilled cheese special featuring Monterey jack cheese, roasted turkey, apple-wood smoked bacon, avocado and balsamic mayonnaise on rosemary focaccia bread.

"I'm so impressed that they would pick us," said Connie. "That is just the amazing thing. We'¹re honored, amazed, humbled, proud."

On "Throwdown with Bobby Flay," the famous restaurateur and Iron Chef challenges cooks who are masters of one particular dish to a cook-off. In this case, he challenged the Fishers to a grilled cheese battle. With over 31 varieties of the classic comfort food on their menu, the Fishers are veritable grilled cheese experts.

Flay has also challenged area favorites Tony Luke and Delilah Winder to cheesesteak and mac 'n' cheese battles, respectively.

Stink Fisher said that, regardless of the outcome, to be challenged by Flay is an honor.

"To be up in this realm now, it blows us away," Stink said "Either way we win. No, I'm lying -- we want to win."

Flay's sandwich, like most of his "Throwdown" creations, was a complete departure from the Pop Shop's. His sandwich featured goat cheese, brie, bacon, watercress and green tomatoes piled onto a Pullman loaf.

"Goat cheese doesn't melt very well, so I added the brie," Flay explained. "No matter what I do, I try to go for big flavors."

Thanks to those "big flavors," the 'Bobby Flay' could soon become an addition to the Pop Shop's menu.

"I loved it," Stink said. "I think it's a great combination of flavors. And it's kind of personal. That'¹s why I think we have so many variations. I'd put it on the menu on sourdough bread."

Both sandwiches made a great impression on the 50-plus adults and kids in the audience.

"I think it's oozing with deliciousness," Ravenna Wilkins, a Voorhees resident, said of the Calvert."The cheese is great, and the avocado I think gives it a little oomph."

Eleven-year-old Haley Brogdanoff also preferred the Pop Shop's sandwich to Flay's decidedly more mature flavor profile.

"I think they're gonna choose the Pop Shop sandwich, and I tried both," said Brogdanoff, also from Voorhees. "I love how the bread is all crunchy, and also how the cheese is all gooey."

Regardless of the outcome of the judging -- you'll have to tune into the show to find out, because this reporter doesn't want to give away the surprise -- the program is sure to bring added publicity to the already-booming business when it airs sometime this spring.

"I think it doesn't get any bigger than this," said Monica Conroy, Connie's cousin and a Woodbury Heights resident. "The fact that they're seeing all their hard work pay off, it's just so exciting. Now, America will know they really do make the best grilled cheese."





Barbara Fisher, left, and Joanne Correia, mothers of Pop Shop owners Bill and Connie, taste the grilled cheese sandwich of Food Network's Bobby Flay and the Pop Shop's Calvert grilled cheese sandwich during a throwdown, pitting Bobby Flay's grilled cheese against the Pop Shop's grilled cheese sandwich. In the middle is Connie's cousin, Monica Conroy of Woodbury Heights






City Paper Says we have the Best Grilled Cheese!

Every week City Paper names it's "Top 5" in a food category. In the August 2 issue The Pop Shop's own "Park" grilled cheese was named #1 of the five. Awesome. Read the whole article or just our part here...

"1. The Park
- Your mama might make a mean grilled cheese with Kraft singles. But can she do it more than 30 different ways? The Pop Shop can. Our sammich of choice is the Park, a Pop Shop original that melts American on a halved Philly soft pretzel. We are trying this at home immediately."


Phillies Phever Grilled Cheese Takes on Tampa!

To celebrate the Phillies and Rays World Series match up,  The Pop Shop challanged Tampa area Chattaways to create a special Series sandwich. Whichever restaurant sells more of their special sandwich will receive bragging rights and a plaque. Each restaurant awill donate one dollar for every sandwich sold during  the Series to Susan G. Koman for the Cure. The sandwiches will be available for the duration of the Series.

 

The Pop Shops Phillies Phever Grilled Cheese is A Four Decker grilled cheese (because the Phils are  going to take the series in 4 games) on split soft pretzels (fresh from South Philly) with alternating layers of hand-carved Philly-style beef, Cheese Whiz (No American here!!), and crispy onions rings (symbolizing the World Series Rings our Phillies  will receive) and topped with hot horseradish sauce (commemorating our smokin' hot pitching).

 

Baseball is as American as soda fountains on Main Street so it makes sense for The Pop Shop your neighborhood soda fountain and more to also celebrate the Phillies with an all-American ice cream sundae. The Take Me Out To The Ballgame sundae consists three scoops of Bassetts chocolate ice cream, peanuts, pretzels, and cracker jack topped by warm gooey warm caramel sauce and whipped cream.


 


Our Pancakes Voted "Best of South Jersey"!


See those delicious pancakes on the cover of SJ Magazine? Those are our homemade 100% from scratch Betty's!! SJ Magazine voted us "Best of South Jersey" for pancakes!

We could not be more proud. When we first starting talking about opening The Pop Shop we knew we wanted to use our family recipe. People in the business said we were "crazy" to think we could make our own scratch batter. Well call us crazy but our pancakes - we call 'em Bettys - are fresh, homemade and now they are WINNERS!

Not only do we make them from scratch - we make a over 10 varieties. Have you tried the Apple Brown Bettys? How about the Black and Whites (made with Oreos) or the Chocolate Turtle Bettys with chocolate chips, pecans and hot gooey caramel? During the summer we especially love Big Mammy Blue Betty's with Jersey berries baked right in. Mmmmmm!


Wow! Read what SJ Magazine said about us....

"Yeah, yeah, we know you love their sundaes and milkshakes. And we know you love the cool fifties feel and the soda fountain, but have you tried the pancakes? You can order these massive wonders any time (Eat pancakes for dinner? Why not!) and you probably wont clear your plate. Made from scratch, the Bettys - thats what they call them - come in a variety of flavors: apple brown, Georgia pecan, peanut butter and chocolate chip, and the popular Black and White Bettys, with oreo crumbs swirled in. Theyre so big theyll be falling off your plate, but dont forget to leave room for dessert. After all, this is the Pop Shop."

 

Click the cover to visit the web site
Publisher's Note from Curious Parents Magazine

Its a Blast to Eat in the Past On one particular Friday night, the family was smaller than usual. Our three teenagers had commitments with their friends which left us with our three younger childrena much smaller group with a very different dynamic. Unlike the teenagers who have an opinion about everything, the younger kids are always eager and more appreciative of anything we do with them. Jackie and I discussed dinner ideas with the kids and they were gung ho for a trip to Collingswood and dinner at the Pop Shop.

Walking into the Pop Shop was like walking back to the 1950s of American Graffiti. Linoleum floors, tin ceiling tiles, bright colors, mirrors and wooden shelves edged with metal trim all added to the feel. The wait staff wore bright white aprons and the serving dishes are all real glass and ceramic. We were not prepared for the vibrant crowd that we encountered when we arrived, but the noisy turmoil just added to the excitement for the kids.

The five of us sat on stools at the counter and surveyed the place. Most of the groups were either families with parents and children or groups of tweens and teens. The families were celebrating birthdays, aided by the singing of the Pop Shop staff, or just enjoying togetherness on a Friday night out. There was a group of three moms catching up on the weeks events with each other, while their toddlers drew pictures with crayons and paper scattered on the table, chairs and even some on the floor. The tweens and teens were engaged in animated conversation in the safe environment of a neighborhood hangout. Its central location in Collingswood makes it easily accessible by bicycle from neighboring towns or by car for newly minted teen drivers.

What is the formula that makes the Pop Shop successful while there are so many other soda shops that try but cant quite get it right? Their location is optimal, located centrally in a densely populated cluster of towns with a lively night life. The dcor authentically recreates the feel of a 1950s Soda Shop without going over the top.

But most of all, its the menu that draws the crowds. Filling a four page broadsheet with what must be over 200 items, the menu is extensive. Besides having a huge number of items, the menu also has diversity: six kinds of eggs benedict, 11 kinds of pancakes, 30 kinds of grilled cheese, seven vegetarian selections and kids favorites like fluffernutter, egg in a hole, green eggs and ham and macaroni and cheese. The French fries are deep-fried crispy and brown, served with a pinch of coarse salt and theres malt vinegar on the side (my personal favorite) to top them off. The soda and ice cream are delicious and served in tall glass sundae cups or long ceramic banana split dishes. There is no paper, styrofoam or plastic to be seen. You can visit the Pop Shop at any time of day or night and find something on the menu to quench your hunger.
 
After the kids were done gawking at the scenes of the place, Jackie and I had a great conversation with them and headed home. No doubt this will be one of those experiences that the kids refer to fondly in the future: Remember when the big kids were out and you and mom took just the little kids to the Pop Shop Sincerely, John Piccone 

Reading this letter made Stink and I both cry (Yes, even big guys cry!). Our goal when we opened The Pop Shop was to be a place where memories were made. To be the place kids remembered when they grew up. So glad that - at least for this family - we hit the goal.




From SJ Magazine

Worth Watching in 2007

Stink Fisher
Though his name might make you wonder, Stink Fisher seems to be enjoying the sweet smell of success. For starters, the Collingswood resident just celebrated the one-year anniversary of The Pop Shop, a local soda fountain/diner he opened with his wife Connie. (Theyre already looking to open a second location.) Fisher is also an actor and last year landed the role of Denny, Vince Papales best friend and roommate in the movie INVINCIBLE.  Read the rest of the article.


Stink's a Movie Star!

For those who have been asking - yes, that's Bill "Stink" Fisher in the new movie Invincible. Click here and check fun photos and trivia from Stink's career!


Connie's a Dairy Star!

Co-owner Connie Correia Fisher is one of six chefs asked to serve on a national panel of dairy experts. Read more!


From The City Paper

Some people avoid Jersey like a garlic-breasth uncle, but the following figures are tempting enough to warrante a trip over the bridge: 10 kinds of fries, 12 types of pancakes and 31 varieties of grilled cheese. The updated comfort foods celebrate the classic 1950s diner without getting too meat-and-potatoes. (There are tons of options for vegetarians and vegans.) Retro steel doors, a vintage Seeburg jukebox and a fully operational soda fountain await diners. Try the Haddon of Brie, served with carmelized apples, Black Forest ham and grain mustard on pumpernickel. If you don't like this one, there are 30 more to try. Go Jersey!


From The Philadelphia Inquirer

Family restaurant for family town

By Rusty Pray

Bill Fisher and his wife, Connie Correia Fisher, sat in a booth at the Pop Shop bickering over when they first got the idea to open a family-friendly restaurant amid the trendy eateries along Haddon Avenue in Collingswood.

They finally agreed they had talked about it before their son, Holden, now 4, was born, "but once we had a baby, we realized there was no place in town we could go to dinner with him," Correia Fisher said. "We also realized a lot of people were moving into town with kids, and there was a need for a casual family restaurant."

They decided what they wanted was a restaurant with a retro feel that harkened back to the 1940s and '50s.

 


From New Jersey Monthly

Food: Burgers, shakes, breakfast
Ambience: Old-fashioned ice cream shop; bright, loud
Service: Friendly but slow
Wine List: None
Dinner for Two: $40

Bill and Connie Correia Fisher have lived in Collingswood since before it was chic. They watched their little downtown shake the dust off as one successful restaurant after another opened. But even with more than ten new restaurants in town, there was still no place for parents to take the kids for a burger and a milkshake.

Connie, a restaurant consultant and cookbook publisher who runs Small Potatoes Press, pitched the idea of a family-style restaurant to several chefs, but no one bit. Then, after a frustrating attempt two years ago to eat out with a three-year-old, the couple just decided to do it themselves.

They found a prime location on Haddon Avenue, got a loan, imported an old-time soda fountain, counter, and stools from Ohio, and the Pop Shop was born.

With a 1950s-diner theme, the 83-seat dining room is painted bright turquoise, hot pink, and pale yellow, with a black-and-white tile floor, chrome tables, and comfy booths.

In general, the burgersmade from a half pound of fresh Angus beef and grilled to orderare juicy and tasty. And the possibilities for toppings are endless, including just about anything but the kitchen sink: Granny Smith apples, cranberries, pesto, black beans, lemon-basil vinaigrette, chili, even an onion ring.

 


AVI STEINHARDT/Courier-Post

January 29, 2005, The Courier Post

Kid Friendly Pop Shop Has Something For Everyone

The Pop Shop in Collingswood is not a best bet for a romantic evening with your significant other. It's noisy, crowded and, with all the Lillys and Dakotas and Jareds and Jacobs running around, you may think you walked into a daycare center by mistake.

But kids, it seems, are the target audience. The menu offers such treats as cotton candy soda and Green Eggs and Jam. Saturday morning pajama parties are held and an upcoming Kids Karaoke Night is planned.

Grown-ups will find plenty to like, too. With their 50-year-old soda fountain, 1953 Seeburg jukebox and bubblegum color scheme, Pop Shop owners Stink Fisher and Connie Correia Fisher totally pull off the nostalgia of the glory days of the American soda jerk. It's a little bit of Jones, a little bit of Nifty Fifties, and it's exactly what you would imagine this era to be....

... Rouge and Barclay Prime landed on GQ magazine's national list of best burgers, but The Pop Shop's really warrants an addendum to the roster. Patrons can customize with a plethora of toppings, cheeses and breads. Non-carnivores will appreciate a veggie option. The old-school beef burger with blue cheese, caramelized onions and Granny Smith apples, on sourdough ($7.25) was bovine bliss. ...


 

From The Philadelphia Inquirer

Family-friendly dining, and '50s style, in Collingswood

The Pop Shop

729 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, 856-869-0111.

Price range. Breakfast items are $5.25 to $8.95; lunch and dinner selections run $3.25 to $9.95.

Parking. There's usually plenty of street parking along Haddon Avenue or on one of its side streets.

What's the story? Owners Stink Fisher and Connie Correia Fisher, longtime Collingswood residents, had watched the restaurant boom along Haddon Avenue and wished there was a place among the fine-dining establishments that they could bring their toddler to. Making use of Correia Fisher's background as a restaurant writer and marketing consultant, they opened The Pop Shop at the end of September with an eye toward family-friendly, low-cost dining. Chef Nonna-Marie Reikert, another Collingswood resident, previously worked at the White Dog Cafe and Down Home Diner.

The scene. Black-and-white checkered tiles, chrome tables and booths, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and retro fixtures bring back the 1950s.

What we had. The Pop Shop's varied menu warranted more than one visit. I sampled the lobster macaroni and cheese ($9.95), topped with huge chunks of lobster and full of melted cheddar with a buttery, crunchy bread-crumb topping. My boyfriend had one of the 31 varieties of grilled-cheese sandwiches - the Maple ($7.50) - made with Vermont cheddar, grilled chicken and bacon, served on fat, crisp slices of sourdough.

On a later visit, I kept to the special blue plates and tried the chicken potpie ($9.50) - shredded chicken, veggies and gravy over two puff pastries. My friend chose another of the grilled cheeses, the New Jersey ($7.75) - provolone, grilled chicken, tomatoes and pesto on ciabatta bread. I also sampled a cherry Coke from the authentic soda fountain, and realized what Mom meant when she lamented that the beverage was now sold in bottles. The huge dessert menu is another don't-miss - it has an ice-cream choice for anyone.

Chef's suggestions. Breakfast is served all day, so try the Bettys ($5.25) - homemade pancakes taken from a family recipe. They're huge and come in several varieties.

Nice touches. Bring the kids! The Pop Shop isn't like other places, offering the young'uns chicken fingers and spaghetti. There are two kids' menus - for ages under 12, and for ages under 5 - with fun and healthful foods. On Saturday mornings, it's a pajama party: Children can wear their PJs.

After you eat. There's plenty to do along the redeveloped Haddon Avenue. Make yourself something sparkly at Jubili Beads, a few doors down. Groove to some tunes at Abbey Road Records (next door), or get a cup of coffee at Treetops or Groove Ground, both nearby.


From The Courier-Post

Success of Pop Shop overwhelms owners
By CHRISTINA MITCHELL
Courier-Post Staff

Longtime food writer Connie Correia Fisher and husband Bill opened their retro restaurant/ice cream parlor in Collingswood Sept. 20, and if you've managed to eat at The Pop Shop, consider yourself lucky. Lines out the door are not uncommon; on a recent Saturday night, you couldn't get near the Haddon Avenue spot.

Collingswood resident Fisher admits she and her staff are a bit overwhelmed by an average 300 to 600 customers daily since opening, crowds that give her little time to work out the kinks. Part of the problem, she says, is that her kitchen hasn't had enough time to familiarize itself with a large, ambitious menu.

"We only seat 83, so that's a lot of turning over," Fisher says. "And it's busy all day. We don't have that traditional break . . .. When you're that busy you have trouble focusing on the details I thought I would be focusing on at this point."

It's no secret trendy Collingswood needed a breakfast spot. With more than 35 all-day breakfast items -- including four kinds of French toast alone -- The Pop Shop has more than filled that need. But there are also 31 kinds of grilled cheese, 11 versions of french fries, nine kinds of hot dogs. There are vegetarian options and a large children's menu with a 99-cent offer for babies (crustless peanut butter and jelly with side dish choices that range from smashed avocado to organic baby food), as well as traditional egg creams and Bassett's Ice Cream.

This is no diner operation. Fisher says she appreciates customers' patience as she "reinvents the wheel" and offers food cooked from scratch, including pancakes.

"I hope we can convey to people that it's worth the wait," she adds.

Pop Shop is open six days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and until 8 p.m. Sunday. It's at 729 Haddon Ave. Call (856) 869-0111.

Light bites: Franco's, formerly of Westmont, will relocate to Ellis Street in Haddonfield, near the Acme. Grand opening is Oct. 15 . . . Cork Restaurant in Westmont will host a beer dinner at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 18, with Philadelphia's Yards Brewing Co. Cost is $40 for four courses. Call (856) 833-9800 . . . Philadelphia's famous Palm Restaurant reopened Sept. 12 after a one-month renovation . . . Combining French, Laotian and Thai influences at Champa Laos in the Centrum Shops of Cherry Hill is Michael Raethong. The chef/owner opened in May and serves lunch and dinner. Call (856) 795-0188 . . . Catelli in Voorhees continues its Dinner With Wine series at 7 p.m., Friday with wines from Italy's Antonori Estates. Cost is $60 for hors d'oeuvre and four courses. Reservations are required. Call (856) 761-6069.

To share restaurant news, call Christina Mitchell at (856) 317-7905, mail to her c/o Courier-Post, P.O. Box 5300, Cherry Hill NJ 08034 or e-mail
cmitchell@courierpostonline.com.


From aroundphilly.com - Thom's Table

Owned and operated by husband-wife team, professional actor Bill Fisher (“The Invincible” and remake of “The Longest Yard”) and area food media mogul Connie Correia Fisher’s new café and creamery was inspired by the 1940s soda fountain restaurants that places like their adopted hometown of Collingswood were known for local meeting spot.

The Fishers say that the menu features quirky diner-inspired comfort cuisine as well as a large selection of hand-dipped Bassett’s ice cream, milkshakes and desserts. Diners will have the opportunity to build-their-own-burgers and sandwiches, and the menu also has vegetarian dishes, salads, fries and snack foods plus blue plate platters, including vegetarian and special dietary requirements, with most items priced between $6 to $10, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Housed in the former Purple Iris store, The Pop Shop seats 83 people, making it a perfect addition to Collingswood’s vintage downtown, with a 1952 Seeburg juke box, a mirrored soda fountain from a 1950s Five & Dime from Ohio and staff wearing period hats and bowling shirts.


From Visionstoday.com
Meanwhile, Connie Correia Fisher, editor, publisher, publicist and well-known foodie, is taking a different tack with The Pop Shop (729 Haddon Ave., (856-869-0111,Collingswood, N.J.) . The new café and creamery, housed in a former neighborhood drug store with a classic soda fountain, offers a nostalgic 1940-1950’s vintage ambiance. Executive chef is Nonna-Maria Reikert, formerly of the now-defunct Hamburger Mary’s in Philadelphia.