Update: The deal for 943 S. Ninth St. has fallen through, said Janet Anastasi Stechman on Sept. 11, 2o17.
In what's described as a win-win for two merchants in the Italian Market, Restaurant Neuf (943 S. Ninth St.) will close after brunch Sunday, April 30, after a year and a half.
The space's new occupant, later this year, will be Anastasi Seafood, a 40-year Market veteran that for the last two decades has held down the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Washington Avenue.
Anastasi is on the move, now that plans have proceeded for the demolition of its current low-slung building to make way for a five-story mixed-use building with underground parking.
Janet Anastasi Stechman, who runs the restaurant/retail shop with her brother, Salvatore Anastasi, said the family has purchased a building at 1039 S. Ninth St., just across Washington and next to Giordano Produce, to accommodate the retail and takeout business.
The Neuf space, a block and a half farther up the block, will become an Anastasi seafood restaurant, perhaps later this year, she said.
"We want the transition" between the locations "to be seamless, but we'll see," she said.
After the building is completed, she said, she hopes to open a retail store in her old spot. "In my mind, we're going to come back here," she said.
As for Lachman, he sheds the lease at an underperforming restaurant, which specializes in French/North African cuisine.
"I don't know how to explain this," he told me. "It's not poignant because it's not sad. That said, I've never done this before" - as in, he has never closed a restaurant; the two he founded in Chicago are still open, as are Noord, his nearly four-year old hit in East Passyunk, and The Dutch, the bruncherie he opened last year with Fond's Lee Styer.
Which gets us to the next step for Lachman. He and Styer plan to take Neuf's liquor license to a new location to expand the Dutch to an all-day restaurant. The current location, a snug corner of Fourth and Cross Streets, would remain.