Sunday, December 21, 2014

Archive: May, 2009

POSTED: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 12:00 PM

Larry Mendte's six-month house arrest will end Monday, when the U.S. Probation Office will remove the monitoring equipment that's made him a prisoner of his Chestnut Hill home.

Mendte pleaded guilty in the summer in federal court to cyber-spying on former CBS3 colleague Alycia Lane and passing sensitive info to gossip columns.

Meanwhile, Lane's civil lawsuit, in which she alleges Mendte and the station ruined her career, continues. Mendte, who has not divulged his next career move, still has to serve 2½ years of probation.

POSTED: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 6:49 AM

When last heard from, the Howard Stern prankster known as Capt. Janks was sitting in Montgomery County prison after being accused of taking money from bar owners in three states for personal appearances he skipped out on.

Janks (Thomas Cipriano of North Wales) was sprung on bail last week, and Friday night (5/29), comedian Artie Lange held a benefit comedy show at a club outside of New York. Proceeds will help Cipriano make restitution, said Thomas Carluccio, his attorney. Carluccio says he's identified about 20 bars in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware who say Cipriano scammed them, and he said Cipriano wants to make good on all accounts.

Cipriano, who did not attend Lange's show, is living with his parents, said Carluccio, a fan who is representing him for free.

POSTED: Friday, May 29, 2009, 3:07 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

Rick’s Philly Steaks, ousted last year from Reading Terminal Market, is looking for its soft (perhaps slightly chewy) opening on Thursday (6/4) in the food court beneath the Bellevue. (It might be Friday, owner Rick Olivieri explains, as his contractor broke a toe.) Olivieri is hoping to stage a star-studded grand opening on June 19.

On Wednesday, June 17, from noon to 2 p.m., chef Tom Colicchio (Craft Restaurant and Top Chef) will be at Williams-Sonoma to sign copies of his new book Wichcraft. It's free.

POSTED: Friday, May 29, 2009, 11:58 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

The Inn Flight on Old York Road in Abington, across from Abington Memorial Hospital since 1970, has been sold. It closed for good last night.

Buyer is David Van Buren, an associate of restaurateur Marty Grims (Moshulu, Du Jour, White Dog Cafe). Manager will be Michael Dombkoski, former co-owner of the shuttered ¡Pasión! in Center City.

Dombkoski says it'll be a gastropub. No name yet. It's due to open by September.

POSTED: Friday, May 29, 2009, 10:13 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk

The frenzied final days of construction and staff training are underway at the Oyster House, the seafooder formerly known as the Sansom Street Oyster House at 1516 Sansom St. (SSOH, under different ownership, closed last year.)

Since I first tipped the info on this project back on Jan. 8, the facade has been shrouded in plywood.

Opening is scheduled for dinner Thursday 6/4, with lunch to follow in about two weeks. I'll have the full story in "Table Talk" on Thursday, but for now, here are some high points:

  • Owner is Sam Mink, working with his father, David, who opened Sansom Street Oyster House in 1976. This is a generational thing: David Mink's father, Sam, got into the seafood biz in 1947 when he bought Kelly's on Mole Street, which was closed in 1969 to make way for the Centre Square project. (Fellow Philly history buffs: That block of Mole came in off of Market Street between 15th and 16th. It is now beneath Centre Square II, the tower closest to 16th.) Kelly's then briefly moved into 1620 Ludlow St., now beneath One Liberty Place.
  • Brett Webber Architects gutted the interior, and about the only original stuff is some wainscoting. Milk-glass cocktail rail (saved from Kelly's) will be installed in the front windows.The look is wide open, vaguely industrial (thanks to exposed steel), with a white-subway-tiled-backed drinking bar and oyster bar toward the front. The white bar and oyster bar tops are made from marble landscaping salvaged from Independence Mall. Whitewashed brick walls are adorned with 200 pieces from the Mink family's collection of oyster plates. Tables were made from 19th-century oak salvaged from the roof of the Academy of Music.
  • No sidewalk plans. Windows will not fling open.
  • Moderate prices.

POSTED: Thursday, May 28, 2009, 10:39 AM
Filed Under: TableTalk
Credit: (Mark Stehle)

Susanna Foo is selling her Center City restaurant after 22 years, and the last night of service at 1512 Walnut St. will be Saturday, June 13.

Foo will spend all her time at Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen in Radnor, a 10-minute walk from her home. Those who dine at Walnut Street in its final weeks will get a 20-percent voucher for dinner in Radnor.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 7:30 PM
Filed Under: TableTalk

This just in:

Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov, flush with critical success at Zahav, are going into 900 South St. -- the former Crescent City -- with a Texas-style barbecue restaurant. Name and chef are to be announced. Zahav designer Elisabeth Knapp got the nod to do the interior.

BBQ seems to be the rage, as Philadelphia Fish & Company reflagged itself Q BBQ & Tequila Bar and other spots like Bebe's Barbecue in the Italian Market and Holy Smoke in Roxborough are getting traction. (Of course, any mention of BBQ in Philly will set off an outpouring of wailing that "Philly doesn't [or don't] know real barbecue.")

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 4:20 PM

What's more exciting than watching race cars go round and round and round on television?

Why, hearing race cars go round and round and round on the radio.

Philly's 950 ESPN has obtained the rights to radio coverage of NASCAR’s 2009 Sprint Cup Series, starting with the Autism Speaks 400 at 2 p.m. Sunday (5/31) from Dover International Speedway. For you visual types, Fox is carrying the race on TV.

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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