The renovation hammers have swung, and two restaurants are to reopen tonight under different concepts.
Yello'Bar, which opened in April 2007 at 2425 Grays Ferry Ave. (corner of Catharine) in G-Ho, is coming back after a quickie renovation that pulled out the booths in the front in favor of more of a bar feel, says co-owner Ken Hyland. Prices have come down, and Mike Mallough, a new chef from the burbs, is doing more specials plus a late-night menu (hours are extended till 1a.m.).
Akoya represents a new approach (Japanese gastropub or izakaya) in the first-floor of Pearl at 1904 Chestnut St. (Akoya means Pearl.) The Steins, who own it, paneled the white walls behind the bar over with zebra wood, added a wall of candles by the entranceway, popped in two fireplaces around eye level in the dining room, and built a lounge-area with low sofas and tables in the front window. Local painter/artist Lisa James, sister of actress Maria Bello, has created a mural featuring swimming and dancing koi underwater. Chef Greg Garbacz's menu will incorporate Japanese, Thai and Chinese cooking.