When built from scratch, many restaurants take a year or more to open.
"Or more" will cover the long flight of The Pickled Heron in Fishtown, opening this week.
I first spoke with Todd Braley and Daniela D’Ambrosio in August 2008, as they charted plans for the French-inspired BYOB with the punny name at 2218 Frankford Ave.
"Life intervened," says Todd. That is, family situations and innumerable delays/snags/sticking points/bugaboos with various agencies (including a sad tale about the several sidewalk digs required to fix a gas main).
The two met nearly seven years ago on the line at the pre-10 Arts Ritz-Carlton, a kitchen that boasted such names as Terence Feury and Kevin Sbraga. (Daniela trained Todd, for the record.)
They'll collab on their menu and in the open kitchen; menu prices will be $7 to $12 for apps (foie gras higher) and high teens to mid-$20s for most entrees. It will be dinner only, Tuesdays to Saturdays, plus an all-day menu served Sundays from brunch through dinner.
They'll do their own charcuterie and baking.
They did most of the interior themselves (helps that Todd was in construction in his previous life): concrete counter; cherry floors; high black ceilings; a stunning mosaic in the entryway by Daniela's sister; hundred-year-old pew seating made from white chestnut. Note that the door is a few steps up, so the restaurant is not wheelchair-accessible, though restrooms are ADA-compliant.
Update: Opening is Dec. 20, with a soft opening this coming weekend. Here is the menu.