Shake-up in Philly's pita scene

Maoz, the Dutch-based falafel specialist, recently closed its last Philadelphia shop, at 1115 Walnut St.

This move had broader implications than the simple closing of a Center City quick-service eatery with a healthful, vegan menu.

Maoz baked pitas for a few restaurants, including the nearby Eat-A-Pita and the new Kanella Grill.

Jamie Steenson, who owns Eat-A-Pita, bought the lease and the baking equipment. She is now making her own pitas in the shuttered storefront for her restaurant and for Maoz's commercial customers.  

Meanwhile, that shuttered storefront will get new life.

Fernando Peralta, who owns Vgë Cafe in Bryn Mawr, tells me that he is setting up a vegan, whole-foods eatery in the front as he moves his operation to Center City. He said the new restaurant will have a salad bar and a menu of sandwiches and bowls - nothing fried; it also will not bear the Vgë Cafe name, which he concedes is too confusing (it's pronounced "vee-gee cafe," for example). 

Bryn Mawr's Vgë Cafe is expected to close on or about Oct. 23, and he hopes that the new restaurant at 1115 Walnut St. will open in November.