Ex-Italian Bistro owners to resurface in Center City

Brothers Greg and John Whiting, who lost their longtime Italian Bistro lease in May 2011 when the University of the Arts reclaimed its Broad Street space for student dining, are coming back to the Avenue of the Arts scene.

Monday, they signed a lease for 1339 Chestnut St., which was the Marathon Grill in the Widener Building before it was evicted in December.

Greg Whiting says they expect to open Fratelli's Italian Bistro in October after minor modifications to the space. It will have a full liquor license and many also offer breakfast.

Given that Fratelli's Italian Bistro will be casual Italian, how does that square with an Olive Garden directly across the street? Greg Whiting laughed sand replied: "No comparison. They're a cookie-cutter chain. We stress quality and menus that change daily."

The Whitings previously attempted to secure a home in the Atlantic Building at Broad and Spruce Streets after the closing of Ted's Montana Grill, but the sale of the building took the retail space off the market. New owners there are trying to find a new tenant, preferably one who can take the first two floors for a larger restaurant.