Friday night lights: Yello'Bar, Akoya

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.