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Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013, 11:46 AM
Mark Bee of N3rd and Silk City. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Mark Bee, who owns Northern Liberties' N. 3rd and Silk City, is venturing into Center City.

He's planning to take over 1320 Chancellor St.,, the longtime home of Sisters, the lesbian bar that closed in August. It's off Juniper Street, about a block off Washington Square West's white-hot 13th Street strip (Barbuzzo, Zavino, Sampan, Jamonera, El Vez, etc.).

Bee is unclear on plans, other than an American restaurant on one floor and a nightclub on the second floor. "The building is really well-maintained," Bee told me. "The only real challenge will be assembling a team." (He initially had designs on the neighboring Key West, but that did not pan out.)

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013, 11:08 AM

Pearl's Oyster Bar, which has lined the 12th Street windows of Reading Terminal Market for at least 45 years, is getting a dramatic makeover shortly.

David Braunstein, whose parents, Dani and Lisa, bought the place in 1981, says to expect butcher block tables and a new cladding of distressed wood.

But he's started already with the food by hiring chef Jason Ledee, last at Green Eggs Cafe after time at White Dog Cafe.

POSTED: Thursday, October 24, 2013, 11:57 PM

Casona, the Latin BYOB in Collingswood, announced on its Facebook page that it has closed.

"We would like to thank all of our loyal customers, the Borough of Collingswood, our employees and everyone who helped Casona of Collingswood for the past 7.5 years be the great establishment it was.

"We're sorry to say we'll be closing for business as of today, October 24, 2013. We're devastated by this and fought the best we could. The problems that the owner, Mark Infantado has suffered from his former partner in 2009 (mid recession) and his two injuries made it impossible for Casona to survive.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 5:14 PM
Future home of Simply Shabu, 1023 Cherry St. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Princeton-raised, Rutgers-educated Dennis Tuan spent six months in Taiwan, working with his brother on a food startup.

Although the business did not do so well, he got an education in shabu shabu, the Asian fondue/hot pot that involves cooking raw meat, seafood and/or vegetables in a broth at the table. 

He noticed that Philly's Chinatown lacked such a restaurant, though a few (Ken's, Tai Lake) will do 'em with notice.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 4:43 PM
Stella Rossa, 10th and Walnut Streets.

The Center City branch of the red-gravy house Stella Rossa Ristorante soft-opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 10th and Walnut Streets - where Square Peg was. (It's opening even more softly this Saturday night with a benefit for PAWS.)

This location - a 200-seater on two levels - will serve dinner only through Saturday, Nov. 2; close Sunday, Nov. 3; and open full-blast for breakfast, lunch and dinner at 7 a.m. Monday, Nov. 4. (They'll give out one comp appetizer per table on Nov. 2.)

The "breakfast" applies to a coffee and grab-and-go section open daily.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:22 PM

Vedge owners Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby are still blowing the ink dry on a lease for a second restaurant.

The couple - whose vegan destination in Washington Square West is one of the city's great recent success stories - is going to Rittenhouse Square with a still-unnamed boîte at 126 S. 19th St., next to Zama and just up 19th Street from the square and La Colombe.

It's now the home of Smak Parlour, a boutique, which will remain in business through the holidays. Landau and Jacoby won't get the keys till January, with an expected March 1 opening, they say.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:08 PM
Jennifer Choplin is on board as chef at Tap Room On 19th St.

Tap Room On 19th St. - the neighborhood bar at 19th and Ritner Streets in South Philly - is fixing to change hands.

The plan - according to Michael Strauss, a commercial real estate broker buying the place with musician Pete Fry - is to close down after the Oct. 30 settlement and reopen soon after.

The name will remain for now.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 11:35 PM
Mikey's American Grill in University City. (from Mikey's website)

Friday, Oct. 25 will be last call at Mikey's American Grill, the sports bar that has held down the corner of 32d and Chestnut Streets in University City for five years.

Co-owner Jeff Sotland and his brother Steven said they were giving up what Jeff, an attorney, called a "toxic" relationship with the landlord, Dranoff Properties.

Court records showed that the Sotlands and Dranoff had battled over numerous issues, including noise. The case was settled last spring.

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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