Sunday, March 1, 2015

POSTED: Sunday, March 1, 2015, 1:41 AM

Now that Teddy Sourias' German beer hall Bru is rolling along at 1318 Chestnut St., things are looking down.

As in, downstairs, in a space beneath Bru and next door.

U-Bahn (1318-20 Chestnut St.), opening at 4 p.m. March 5, has a lot going on: arcade games, a stage where live acts will play at least three nights a week, and two bars.

POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2015, 10:47 AM
Nick Farina in the window of Eat, 712 W. Girard Ave.

Nick Farina's pop-up destination - EAT at 712 W. Girard Ave. - is ready for launch.

Farina intends EAT as a kitchen for chefs who don't have their own restaurants - whether to friends and family or to prospective investors and the paying public. The spot, next to the original Tiffin just outside Northern Liberties, was a branch of Farina's Union Taco.

Most meals are $60 including tax and tip.

POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2015, 5:02 PM
Nicholas Elmi at Laurel. (MICHAEL KLEIN )

Laurel - Top Chef Nicholas Elmi's Franco-American salon on East Passyunk Avenue - is joining the move into tasting menus only, Tuesday through Saturday, effective in May.

The snug, 22-seat BYOB has been offering an a la carte menu during the week with the option of the tasting menu, while featuring the tasting menu only on Fridays and Saturdays.

But he reaches out to say that he has noticed that the demand for the tasting menu during the week has increased to about 70 percent of his customers.

POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2015, 1:43 AM

You can get cannoli and coffee all over, but none come with the floor show that René Kobeitri provides at the new Cafe Crema, just up Ninth Street from Geno's in South Philly. It was, briefly, a yogurt shop and a hot dog shop.

René, the quirky Frenchman who also owns Rim Cafe across the way, bounces between the cannoli case and the coffee station in the window, with a tabletop roaster alongside all manner of French presses, siphons, and pour-over devices.

Ask him about the house coffee. Or don't ask him about the house coffee. He'll tell you anyway. It's Yirgacheffe. Ethiopian. He says he roasts it hourly.

POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 4:28 PM
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant's newest location, in Ardmore. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

How about an even dozen?

Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies are going to Huntingdon Valley - Abington Township - for their 12th location of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, as they plan an early 2016 opening in the Huntingdon Valley Shopping Center on Huntingdon Pike.

It will occupy the old RiteAid space, in what will be new construction.

POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 2:29 PM
Future home of the Irish Pol at 114 Market St.

Saturday, Feb. 28 is last call at The Irish Pol (45 S. Third St.) as owner Darin Urbaczewski signed a lease Wednesday for a new location around the corner, at 114 Market St.

The building, next to Franklin Fountain, has been empty for at least six years. Back in the late-'90s, it was the swish, two-bell Di Palma's, an Italian destination, but later sank into Clubland as a hookah bar called Club One14.

Urbaczewski says the new location of the Irish-Polish bar - which has an enviable beer selection and awesome wings and pierogi - will open at the end of March.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 4:28 PM
Heritage, 914 N. Second St. (Gabrielle Bonghi /

Been a while, but Jason and Delphine Evenchik are in the final few weeks of prep work for their long-in-the-works jazz/funk-theme bar across from North Bowl in Northern Liberties.

Heritage is due to open in mid-March at 914 N. Second St., which housed Feast Your Eyes catering before it moved north.

Jason Evenchik (Time, Bar, Vintage, Growlers, Garage) calls the style rustic American with a "soft, warm" vibe: 50 seats inside plus 24 at the bar (a 40-foot beauty carved out of black walnut) and live music nightly. Taps created out of an old gas pipe setup will dispense 36 beers.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 12:20 PM

If early crowds are an indication, Joseph and Theresa Rimmer Scull have hit on the right combination at 22nd and Carpenter Streets with a Mexican bar called Los Camaradas.

After a spell as Divan Turkish Kitchen, the bar had been two short-lived clunkers, SoWe and The Strip Joint, under different management.

The Sculls - he was chef at the late Solaris Grille in Chestnut Hill, while she is a former beverage manager at La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount - added sconces and other decorative pieces from Mexico during their two-month spruce-up.

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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