Joe Scarpone to Queen Village

The location. (Via Google)

Three years ago, Joe Scarpone reluctantly closed Sovalo, arguably the swankiest restaurant in Northern Liberties. Sovalo may have been a three-beller, but the neighborhood just wasn't filling the seats.

Scarpone next headed to Manayunk to set up Agiato; he left shortly after its opening after a falling out with the developers.

Now Scarpone is back downtown. He signed a lease for the triangle-shape spot at Passyunk Avenue and Catharine Street, across from Cochon, that last housed Trattoria Alla Costiera.

Ulivo, a form of the Italian word for olive, will be neighborhood-friendly, a collection of mainly pasta, pizza, salads and panini with top entree prices in the low $20s. "It will be Sovaloesque. I'm not shooting to be a destination restaurant," he told me, "but I hope it happens."

Target is Nov. 1.

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