The New Leaf Café/Club – A Welcome to Rosemont/Bryn Mawr with an Odd Beginning

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politeia's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 weeks ago
Joined: 2008-07-30 :00

We have a new non-profit café/yoga studio and social activity center for young people who can hang out and play live music at the site of the old Smith and Hawkins on Montrose Ave. next to Rosemont Village Mall where Gullifty’s is located. It’s on the side of the mall next to the Photo Driver’s License Center and Rosemont Pharmacy.

It certainly is a worthy endeavor, and especially since it provides education regarding emotional/mental health issues and substance abuse for young people. The front area of the building is a coffee house and the large walled off back area is where they do yoga, live music, art shows and educational seminars. Their Website provides more information on what New Leaf Café/Club is about.

From their Facebook Page, it would seem that youth music is a large focus, which I think is great in a non-alcoholic setting with adult supervision.

Main Line Times did a Write Up Recently while interviewing one of the owners, Mary Nixon Hiltbrand, where she states:

“The New Leaf Club is a community youth center that has a café and juice bar,” she said as she took a moment to tell of her plans. “We have a social space for open mic’s, art show film and photography. We want young people to have a safe place where they can come and express their talents. “

I have met Mary, and she strikes me as a civic minded, entrepreneurial mother with kids who have left/are leaving the nest who wants to continue to help young people.

New Leaf Café/Club just the other day opened its café for business to the general public (I think it might have a different name – The Full Measures Café. The temporary sign out front calls it “The New Leaf Café”) and I had been meaning to stop by.

However, last night there appears to have been a hiccup in opening this new business/organization in regards to how it presents itself to the community.

At about 8pm Saturday night the 25th I am told a lot of young people were noisily congregated outside while the main door had a red “closed” sign on it (the website states it is open Sat. evenings until 11pm). Several neighbors on Rose Lane, which is right next to the New Leaf Café/Club found the shouting and loud talking of scores of young people to be excessive and quite bothersome. I am told a side door was then opened and scores of young people entered the club and loud music with very heavy bass that could be heard over a block away – and down all of Rose Lane, emanated from the club. Neighbors also found this to be very bothersome.

I have been made aware by a witness from Rose Lane that by 8:45pm six (6) Lower Merion Police cars (and at least as many officers) were parked outside the club (pics below).

Now, I do not know if a neighbor complained about noise or if a complaint was made by somebody at the club. Six police cars seems like an awful lot for a noise complaint, so I am not sure. A witness from Rose Lane tells me a young woman of about college age was handcuffed and put in a police cruiser, with the police previously having pulled out a bag from a cruiser that appeared to contain equipment to test if substances are drugs.

My hope and expectation is that this is an isolated incident where some young people who had access to the building were doing their own thing without the knowledge/supervision of the owners. Apparently there were no older adults talking to the numerous LM police officers outside the club – just some young people.

Going forward, I would expect that this can be used as a learning experience, and I wish the New Leaf Café/Club the best given its worthy mission and hope there are no more incidents like this and that the right of quiet enjoyment of neighbors nearby and on Rose Lane can be respected without loud music and noisy young people outside.


Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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dmuth's picture
Last seen: 11 weeks 8 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-12 :35

Nice pics and writeup!

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
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