Restaurant Owner and Stunt Queen Brings the North Pole to North Philly in Epic Neighborhood Block Party

How do you top hiring a live-ass camel for your son’s Dubai-themed prom? If you’re Saudia Shuler and the occasion is Christmas, the answer should be pretty obvious.

Reindeer. Bring on the damn reindeer.

Shuler was back at her extravagant best Wednesday night, throwing a massive block party and toy giveaway she called “North Pole Comes to Norf Philly.” As Jenice Armstrong for the Philadelphia Daily News wrote, the restaurant owner and event-planning genius “spared absolutely no expense.”


Not only were there the aforementioned live reindeer (“Tubby” and “Comet”), but the block party boasted two oversized Christmas displays, a photo booth, a DJ (who at one point, naturally, blasted the 2017 anthem “Bodak Yellow”), a snow machine and giant ice sculptures.

“It looked like Christmas on steroids,” Armstrong wrote.

According to the news site, the line for the 5 p.m. free-toy giveaway began forming around 1 p.m.—but the bounty was worth the wait. At the end of the line, kids found Shuler, rocking a shoulder-baring Santa dress (“Saudi Claus,” she called it) and sitting on a gold-trimmed white throne. After sitting the kids on her lap, chatting and posing for pictures with them, Shuler had elves escort the children to a “front room of a rowhouse packed with toys.”

The North Philly kids received luxe gifts like miniature white Bentleys and Batmobiles, as well as guitars, bicycles, scooters and hair bundles.

All told, Shuler had arranged for at least 800 presents to be given out to the neighborhood kids.


This isn’t the first time Shuler, who owns and runs the soul food restaurant Country Cooking, has given back to the community. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that she gave away hundreds of book bags as back-to-school gifts. And when Meek Mill was locked up, Shuler shut down Country Cooking and gave away “Free Meek Mill Meals,” platters of fried fish and grits, to raise awareness about the rapper’s harsh punishment.

Read more at the Philadelphia Daily News.

Staff writer, The Root.



Im from north philly, and Saudi definitely is a light in the community! And her food is AMAZING too..its good to see her get some light for the great things she does!