Monday, March 30, 2015

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 4:59 PM

Tuesday, Feb. 24 Wednesday, Feb. 25 is the targeted opening of Chestnut Street Philly Bagels at 1705 Chestnut St., in the former Tokyo Lunch Box across from the new Forever 21 store.

It's an offshoot of the popular South Street Philly Bagels, at 613 S. Third St.

Aaron Wagner, whose family of New York emigres also owns the Bagel Spot in Cherry Hill, has brought in Jonathan Yamini as his business partner.

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 3:24 PM
Jim's Steaks at Fourth and South Streets, July 25, 2014. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

The South Street location of Jim's Steaks will be closed from Monday, Feb. 23 through the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 27.

Management says it's redoing stair treads and risers, tile and painting, replacing counters, major equipment cleaning and refurbishing and what it calls "other necessary maintenance."

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 1:59 PM
Elements Cafe will pay $2 per inch per person at the table. (Photo courtesy of Elements Cafe.)

One of the frustrations of the restaurant business are the weather forecasters.

All they have to do is whisper the word snow, and the reservations begin to vanish.

It doesn't matter if the weather-guessers are right or wrong.

POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2015, 11:24 AM
Kitsch decorates the Tin Roof on Broadway in Nashville. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Tin Roof - the Nashville-based chain of bars with live music - will not open in Philadelphia, after all.

The $2 million project at 1525 Sansom St.- in a renovated building whose Chestnut Street front is now occuped by Liberty Travel - has been derailed by what owner Bob Franklin called zoning issues that were taking "too long for all parties." He described the decision to back off an "amicable agreement by all parties to go another direction."

The project was green-lit in fall 2013.

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 3:46 PM

For her restaurant-ownership debut, Drexel MBA Sarah Levine has realized a longtime dream by setting up a quaint 30-seat BYO bistro in the heart of Old City.

Luna Cafe (317 Market St., 215-309-3140), opening Friday, Feb. 20, ascribes to the eco-friendly, fresh-and-local mantra where possible. "I want to have a community place," Levine said.

She called on former coworker Jordan Andino, who was cooking at the Westin Hotel's Winthorp & Valentine while she tended bar, to set up the menu.

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 1:51 PM

Lisa Miccolis was sitting in a coffeeshop in Australia during her many travels. "I had a muffin and an ice tea and I said to myself, 'What am I going to do with my life?'"

She thought about the sense of community she had seen while working as a barista at such Philadelphia shops as Hausbrandt, MilkBoy and Town Hall Coffee. She also thought about a Zimbabwean teen named Ephraim whom she met during a trip to South Africa, following a term teaching with AmeriCorps at YouthBuild charter school in North Philadelphia. Ephraim is an orphan, and had fled his homeland. But in South Africa when he reached 18, the support system had ended.

How about combining the two: putting out-of-the-system foster children to work at a coffeeshop so they could learn about business.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 2:31 PM
Gus's location in downtown Memphis. (via

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken - the staple that grew out of a roadside shack in Mason, Tenn. - is on a franchising spree that will take it to Philadelphia this year.

I wish I had more information for you than that, but company officials dropped the word on their Facebook page with no elaboration as to exact location. I hear that a summer location is planned and that franchisees have a lease in their hands ready to sign. Stay tuned.

Also on the chain's list of openings are Atlanta, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Fort Worth, Knoxville, Kansas City, Kan., and Chicago.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 12:35 PM

The James Beard Foundation has released its list of semifinalists for its 2015 James Beard Awards.

This is the "long list," from which the actual list of nominees will be created.

The nominees will be named March 24; on the same date, the Beard will announce other nominees, as well as the nominations for book, journalism, broadcast media, and restaurant design awards. The awards gala will be held May 4 in Chicago, while the book, journalism, broadcast media, and restaurant design awards will be doled out in New York on April 24.

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
Latest Videos:
Also on
Stay Connected