Sunday, January 25, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, January 8, 2015, 3:11 PM
The former Mildred at 824 S. Eighth St. will become Coeur.

The crew from Memphis Taproom, Local 44, Strangelove's and the soon-to-open Clarkville have released info on their next project:

Coeur will take over the short-lived Mildred at 824 S. Eighth St,. in Bella Vista.

Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly promise "a classic, back-to-basics menu a la Montreal in a cozy and casual neighborhood setting." 

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 11:04 PM

Old Original Bookbinder's, a Philadelphia institution for decades, is being revived at the hands of Jose Garces and crew.

On Friday, Jan. 9, the former bar reopens as The Olde Bar (125 Walnut St., 215-253-3777), a reinterpretation of an oyster saloon.

And it's pretty much as you remember it, though more polished: dimly lit, oldtime globe fixtures, tin ceiling, mirrors, red booths, shaded lighting on the tables, candles. "I look in all these booths, and I see my family," said Erich Weiss, who is in charge of the beverage program.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 1:15 PM
Excitement on the west side of 13th Street, below Sansom. (1) Sampan, (2) the future Double Knot, (3) Springboard Media, (4) the future Tredici. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Michael Schulson is expanding his holdings on 13th Street south of Sansom Street.

In December 2009, he opened Sampan, a modern Asian small-plater, at 124 S. 13th St.; he followed that up the following spring with Graffiti Bar in the back alley.

Now he is going next door with an ambitious, two-level project called Double Knot, due to open this summer.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2015, 10:35 AM

Celebrity Cruises is removing one annoyance from the Center City restaurant experience:

The parking charge.

On Thursdays during the January edition of Center City District Restaurant Week (Jan. 22 and Jan. 29), the cruise line will pick up the parking tab at four Parkway garages that serve many of the participating restaurants - the Curtis Center at Seventh and Sansom Streets; 12th and Walnut; 12th and Filbert Streets; and Liberty Place on 16th Street between Chestnut and Market Streets.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 5:33 PM
(via Facebook)

The Lola Bean, a coffee shop that opened in September 2010 on a once-empty strip of Frankford Avenue north of Girard Avenue in Fishtown, will serve its last lattes on Jan. 16.

Owners Erica Zito and Mary Button took to Facebook to announce the impending shutdown, thanking their customers and staff and calling it "a very difficult decision to come to, and we can’t imagine that there would ever feel a right time to make this choice. ..."

"Now we have decided it’s time to focus on our family, our beautiful son who brings us endless joy, and our future ventures."

POSTED: Monday, January 5, 2015, 1:51 PM
Geechee Girl Rice Cafe. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

Geechee Girl Rice Cafe - a Mount Airy staple - has closed after nearly 12 years, but it's not going quietly.

Friends of the chef/owner Valerie Erwin are arranging what they call the Geechee Gala, a tribute on Saturday Jan. 10 to the woman who brought the foods of Georgia and South Carolina’s low country to the fore in Philadelphia.

Among the organizers are folks from Weavers Way, Slow Food Philly, Feast Your Eyes, Les Dames d'Escoffier, the Philadelphia Women's Culinary Guild, Anson Mills,and World Wide Stereo.

POSTED: Monday, January 5, 2015, 12:32 PM
Second-floor balcony, beneath a skylight and overlooking the first floor, at Gran Caffe L'Aquila, 1716 Chestnut St. (Michael Klein /

Here's an ICYMI roundup of restaurant stuff that happened between Christmas and New Year's.

The Mainland Inn in Harleysville - about four minutes from the Lansdale exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike - has reopened after a gorgeous renovation and a newfound appreciation for organics and housemade everything. Chef Ezra Duker's $75 tasting menu is a true value. Story here.

Gran Caffe L'Aquila - a stunning restaurant/cafe that combines all the great aspects of an Italian wine bar, gelateria, coffee roastery, coffee bar, moderately romantic ristorante, and pastry shop under one roof in Rittehouse - has opened. Story here.

POSTED: Monday, January 5, 2015, 10:22 AM
Daniela D'Ambrosio and Todd Braley are the chef/owners of the French bistro The Pickled Heron, in Fishtown. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)

Tune-in alert:

Daniela D’Ambrosio, chef/co-owner of Fishtown's The Pickled Heron, will appear 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8 on an episode of Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network. The episode is titled “New Kids on the Butcher Block.”

From the Food Network site:

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

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