Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

First look: Grey Social

Old City's next restaurant-club is a space with a past.

First look: Grey Social

Darin Picorella now says "two weeks" for Grey Social, the nightspot he's been planning for a couple of years at 132 Chestnut St., on the block that also houses such operations as Eulogy, Triumph, Buffalo Billiards, and Ariana.

Like many properties in Old City, 132 has stories: One is that it was owned by a mistress of Benjamin Franklin. More recently, the current building was a teahouse at the turn of the last century and segued as the 1920s roared into a speakeasy.

Which is pretty much the vibe that Picorella is going for: Prohibition-era cocktails (tea-infused, too), a French bistro menu (crepes, fondue, small and large plates), and a sultry look -- high-ceilinged brick walls into which niches have been carved for votives (wax melts down the bricks), a dramatic chandelier, tooled-leather paneling on the back wall, a backlit etched-glass piece, walnut bar, and a second-floor dining room with a private bar overlooking the first floor. Lots of steel and bronze, chinoiserie floral fabric panels, U-shaped leather banquettes, low glass-topped tables.

On your way downstairs to powder your nose, you have to check out the Art Deco-style, opaque-glass doors.

He's aiming at the 25-plus crowd.

Michael Klein
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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at

Michael Klein
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