Sunday, December 21, 2014

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 12:10 PM
Snockey's, 1020 S. Second St. (via Trend/MLS)

Everything has a price.

For 1.35 million clams, you can own Snockey's, the century-old Queen Village oyster and crab house.

The business and its building on Second Street just above Washington Avenue are being marketed; a large ad appeared in the Philadelphia Weekly. You can also see the listing online.

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 10:19 AM
Jim Miller, a server at the Fountain since it opened in July 1983, examines glasses as fellow servers prepare the dining room of the Fountain Restaurant. ( David M Warren / Staff Photographer, file )

The Fountain at the Four Seasons Hotel on Logan Circle will serve its last meals on Dec. 27 as the hotel begins a six-month wind-down to its closing next summer. (The hotel will have a new restaurant when it relocates to the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, due to open in 2017. The new hotel operator on Logan Circle will also have a restaurant within, but it won't be the Fountain.)

I'm collecting your stories of memorable meals.

Share by emailing me here.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
A case at Local Collingswood. (via Facebook)

Perhaps a business school case study can be done about the fate that befell Local Collingswood, an ambitious market/cafe that folded after three weeks at 714 Haddon Ave. in the bosky borough.

In a note posted on Facebook, management wrote: "With great sadness we want to announce our closing. We envisioned this very market for several years and built it precisely to that vision. But while we attracted some great followers, our sales were not reflective of even our most conservative projections, and therefore had to make this very tough decision. We want to thank all of our customers (our good friends who came out and the new friends we met) for the goodwill and excitement they shared with us during our brief tenure. And we want to especially thank our staff, who helped us deliver great food to a great community."

Public reaction has ranged from sad to incredulous - as in, why owners gave up so soon on a business that was three YEARS in the planning.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 11:15 PM
Liberty Hall Pizza in Lambertville, awaiting finishing touches.

Liberty Hall Pizza, a wood-fired Neapolitan pizzeria, goes live at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 in the Canal Studios Complex at 243 N. Union St. in Lambertville, N.J.

Chris Bryan, whose resume includes Nomad Pizza, and business partner Danny Popkin of Modern Recycled Spaces, have a Valoriani oven at the 50-seat BYOB.

Industrial space includes exposed steel beams, brick walls, polished concrete floor, gas lanterns, and an oversize factory door.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 4:31 PM

Among the quirks of the Chinatown bar Hop Sing Laundromat - aside from the militant no-camera policy - is the strictly enforced no-sneakers policy.

The owner, Le, is straitlaced that way and turns away people every night.

But he has a sense of humor.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 5:07 PM
Owner Wilson Tang in what will be Nom Wah Tea Parlor, at 218 N. 13th St. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Philadelphia's relatively sleepy dim-sum scene will get two major new players in January.

Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh of Cheu Noodle Bar are in the very late phases of construction at Bing Bing Dim Sum (1648 E. Passyunk Ave.), which they bill as a dim-sum destination with the same "funky inauthenticity" as Cheu. That is, don't expect old-school renditions of Chinese small bites. (They're hiring, too.)

On the other hand, I just stopped to see Wilson Tang, who is bringing a branch of his family's New York City destination Nom Wah Tea Parlor to 218 N. 13th St. in a quiet slice of Chinatown. It's a former hardware store, a block north of the Convention Center, between Race and Vine Streets.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 3:33 PM
Sade Darcy (left) and Jennifer Salhoff. (courtesy photos)

The 13th season of Fox's Hell's Kitchen - the Gordon Ramsay-run cooking-competition series - is down to four finalists.

The winner - to be named Wednesday, Dec. 17 - will become chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, opening in February at Caesars in Atlantic City.

Caesars' Diamond Lounge will host a public viewing party from 8 to 10 p.m. and at least the winner is due to be there.

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 1:00 PM
Dining room at the Saint James. MICHAEL KLEIN /

The Saint James, in Suburban Square in Ardmore, will close after business on Dec. 30.

Owner Rob Wasserman, whose downtown holdings are Rouge and 500º, said six weeks of heavy renovations will yield a new restaurant. Wasserman says it will be "very family-friendly." I'm hearing some form of Italian.

Wasserman, his wife and young boys moved to the Main Line from Center City after opening The Saint James in October 2012. Since then, Wasserman said, he and his wife were struck by the lack of appealing dining options.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at

Michael Klein
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