Saturday, August 29, 2015

An old hand opening on Sansom Street

"Willy" Bouikidis, who owned Race Street Pizza before the Convention Center moved in, will take over 1518 Sansom.

An old hand opening on Sansom Street

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Willy Bouikidis next to a cigar case left behind in his restaurant space at 1518 Sansom St.
Willy Bouikidis next to a cigar case left behind in his restaurant space at 1518 Sansom St.

Agapios "Willy" Bouikidis, a restaurant veteran, will take over 1518 Sansom St.

For 25 years, the storefront was Black Cat Cigar Co. before its move to the burbs. It's next door to the Oyster House and beneath a section of Nodding Head.

With his brothers, Bouikidis ran Race Street Pizza at 13th and Race Streets from 1976 to 2006, when the Convention Center expansion displaced them.

Bouikidis said he tried to stay away from the restaurant business, but it lured him back. (If the name is familiar: His uncle was Paul Bouikidis, the late founder of Pine Street Pizza at 13th and Pine and the namesake of Paul Restaurant on Pine.)

Bouikidis is planning an American bar/restaurant, with the tentative name 15/18 Bar & Grill.

Lots of work to be done as the interior still has vestiges of its cigar past.

He hopes to open in the spring.

Speaking of that block: "Mid-March" is the target for 500°, the burger shop from Rouge's Rob and Maggie Wasserman, on Sansom near 15th.

Philly.com
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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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