South Street West - or whatever you want to call the stretch of South west of Broad Street - seems to be the next "it" neighborhood.
You have a newly renovated Jamaican Jerk Hut, The Quick Fixx, the Baja Room, Sawatdee, Govinda's (the quick-serve, anyway), Jet Wine Bar, Pumpkin, La.Va, Tenstone, etc.
June should see Magpie Artisan Pie Bakery & Boutique, a vintage/modern 20-seater (plus 8 at the counter) at 1622 South. The Cambridge, a bar from Hawthornes Cafe's crew, is due to replace the Tritone at 1508 South this spring. You have the city's second Honey's Sit N Eat coming to 21st and South. I know of two other projects - now under wraps.
Next up - perhaps this weekend - will be Rex 1516 (1516 South St., 267-319-1366), whose husband-and-wife owners (Evan Malone and Jill Weber) own Jet Wine Bar across the street at 1525 South.
Why? "We want to invest in our neighborhood," Weber told me.
Rex 1516 has a faded-mansion look (distressed woodwork, wrought-iron chandeliers, antique mirrors, wooden paneling along the bar from the old Rittenhouse Club), Southern-inspired cooking from Alabama transplant Regis Jansen (ex-1601), an in-house pastry chef (Shamus Moriarty, formerly of Farmers' Cabinet), and a bar list from manager Heather Rodkey (ex-Adsum, Rouge). Incredibly straight-ahead food and drinks.
It'll serve lunch, dinner, and late night daily.