Blackfish's Chip Roman opening The Treemont in Center City

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Chip Roman in front of what will be the bar at The Treemont in the Aria on 15th Street.

Chef Chip Roman worked for years in Center City for Marc Vetri and Georges Perrier.

When he took the plunge as a solo act, he headed to Conshohocken and opened Blackfish (plus a catering division and later Tradestone Cafe/Confections). Blackfish was followed by Mica in Chestnut Hill and later still by Ela - home of chef Jason Cichonski - in Queen Village.

Now, Roman is coming downtown.

Deep into construction is The Treemont, a revamping of Tietra, inside the Aria building on 15th Street near Locust.

Roman describes the food as reminiscent of the seafood-centric, modern American style of Blackfish and Mica but "price-conscious." He hopes to appeal to the neighborhood.

The bilevel space is being reconfigured, as the staircase has been moved to the opposite wall to allow for a dramatic, two-story look in the dining room. The balcony will have seating overlooking the bar.

Opening is pegged to mid-April.

As for the name: He is paying tribute to his grandmother. When he was a kid and wanted something out of the ordinary, she would reply: "Where do you think you are? The Hotel Tremont?" - a reference to a once-posh hotel in Lansdale that met the wrecking ball in 1997.

"Treemont" is spelled more or less phonetically as she said it, he says.

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