Michael Schulson is expanding his holdings on 13th Street south of Sansom Street.
In December 2009, he opened Sampan, a modern Asian small-plater, at 124 S. 13th St.; he followed that up the following spring with Graffiti Bar in the back alley.
Now he is going next door with an ambitious, two-level project called Double Knot, due to open this summer.
At street level, Double Knot will occupy what was Sansom Cinema (120 S. 13th St.) and will be a coffee shop and bar set up like an old-fashioned curio shop, with as Schulson said, "cool things to sell."
So retail and coffee.
Tufted banquettes and a corrugated bar are part of the look by Groundswell Design.
Double Knot will have a much larger footprint underground - actually the size of Sampan. To get to the basement, you'll take a hidden staircase down from the coffee shop. The theme downstairs will be Japanese - a sushi bar and a full sitdown restaurant specializing in grilled dishes, aka robatayaki. Industrial look.
Schulson has the chef services of Kevin Yanaga, now working in Atlantic City at his Izakaya in Borgata. Schulson also recently rehired his righthand man, Leo Forneas (last at The Twisted Tail), as his corporate chef, overseeing Sampan, Double Knot, Izakaya, the seasonal Independence Beer Garden, and Schulson's food truck.
That is not all that is happening on that block. Springboard Media will remain open next to what will become Double Knot. The former pet boutique on the corner of 13th and Sansom is several months from opening as Tredici, a Mediterranean wine bar from the crew that owns Zavino across the street.