Looking ahead: Spring crop of new restaurants

Greg Dodge, owner of the new Zavino, in University City.

After a brief lull, the region's restaurant scene has come roaring back to life with new openings.

Start with last weekend's rollout of the second location of the pizza/wine bar Zavino, in Chestnut Square in University City (3200 Chestnut St., 215-893-3195). This Zavino is three times the size of the original at 13th and Sansom Streets, with two ovens, a spacious charcuterie counter, an expanded menu from chef Carlos Aparicio and all sorts of seating - not a bad seat in the house. It's along Chestnut Street, just east of 33d Street and a concrete's throw from Shake Shack. 

Estia Taverna - the semicasual offshoot of Estia, Center City's luxest Greek restaurant - is now in soft-opening mode at 140 W. Route 70 in Marlton (856-596-5500), replacing the partners' Pietro's Coal-Oven Pizzeria. Another location is up for summer at 200 S. Radnor-Chester Rd. in Radnor Township.

Petruce et al. - rustic, wood-fired cooking from chef-brothers Justin and Jonathan Petruce and friend Tim Kweeder - is due to launch Friday, March 21 at 1121 Walnut St.

Cafe Ynez - a Mexico City-inspired BYOB diner from Jill Weber and Evan Malone - is grand-opening on March 31 at 2025 Washington Ave., inside Malone's NextFab workshop. It will serve Mexican coffee and pastries daily and has a to-go counter plus an eat-in option. Weekday breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner daily. Mixers will be available for margaritas, mojitos, and sangria. Specialty will be rotisserie chicken, roasted on-site. Sides options will include arroz, frijoles refritos, elote, guacamole, and escabache.

The landmark Blue Bell Inn - 601 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell - is due to come back from a multimillion-dollar, top-to-bottom renovation on April 7.

Bank & Bourbon - the Loews' renovation of SoleFood into a smart American restaurant with dual bars and custom barrels for whiskey aging - April 9.

Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin of Fork and High Street on Market are now running a.kitchen and a.bar, too.

The others' openings are more tentative:

CoZara - Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka of Rittenhouse Square's Zama - is saying April for his second restaurant, an izakaya, also at Chestnut Square.

Conshohocken Brewing Co. - brewery plus tasting room Schuylkill River Bike Trail in Conshohocken, behind Bar Lucca at Elm and Hector Streets - is saying April.

Charlie Was a Sinner - the vegan bar from HipCityVeg's Nicole Marquis - is up for April.

Avalon - John Brandt-Lee is moving his West Chester BYOB into new digs in downtown West Chester - in April.

The Treemont - Chip Roman's Center City seafood-centric bar, in the Aria (231 S. 15th St.) - is targeting April

Stock - a pho shop at 308 E. Girard Ave. in Fishtown from Zahav alum Tyler Akin and his wife, Nicole - are saying April.

The Hattery Stove & Still - inside the revived Doylestown Inn - is due to open in April.

Volver - Jose Garces' ticketed splurge at the Kimmel Center - is up for April.

Junto - Garces alum Macgregor Mann's old-world-style Pennsylvania-theme BYOB in Chadds Ford - is up for the end of April.

Townsend - chef Townsend "Tod" Wentz's solo debut at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave. - is looking to open at the end of April

Good Stuff Eatery - the burger-centric spot at 108 S. 18th St. by Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn - is looking at May.

Aldine - chef George Sabatino's solo debut at 19th and Chestnut Streets - is saying May.

Lolita - Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran's renovation and liquor-licensing of its Mexican hot spot - is up for "spring."

2nd Story Brewing Co. - the changeover from Triumph Brewing to new owners at 117 Chestnut St. in Old City - should be wrapped in April or May. For now, Triumph remains open.

Abe Fisher and Dizengoff - the Jewish cuisine themer and its hummus shop at 1605 Sansom St. - are up for spring.

Federal Donuts' next shop, at Seventh Street and Fairmount Avenue, is targeting April or May.

The Yachtsman - PYT's Tommy Up and partners' tiki bar at 1444 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown - is looking at May.

Mercato - a rustic/chic Italian spot at 33 W. Market St. in West Chester from Alfred and Barbara Giannaccari (Alfredo’s Italian BYO in Berwyn) - is targeting May.

Hai Street Kitchen - Genji's return to retail at 32 S. 18th St. with a new Japanese concept - is up for May. 

Kensington Quarters - Michael Pasquarello's butcher shop-cum-restaurant at 1310 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown - is saying late spring/early summer.