Chef Michael Schulson is just about two weeks from opening Sampan, his high-style pan-Asian in the former Gene's kiddie boutique at 122 S. 13th St., across from Vintage and El Vez. Place looks gorgeous and will include two mod-lit graphic walls (see one here), wooden bar, and open kitchen. His chef will be Leo Forneas, who worked with him at Buddakan New York and Atlantic City 's Izakaya.
The graphic walls' colors will change every week or two, Schulson told me. He is now tweeting details of his preopening activities; follow him @michaelschulson.
Sampan, whose target is Dec. 15, will be the first of several openings in the vicinity of 13th and Sansom:
Zavino, the pizza bar on the northwest corner, is in deep construction, and the brick-walled interior is nearing completion. Gas line goes in today, and oven is due to be firing by the weekend. Then comes the permitting fun from the city departments.
Bar -- yes, that's the simple name of this simple concept from owners of Time and Vintage -- seems really close at 1309 Sansom St. It awaits Peco's hook-up. (There's an unrelated Mediterranean restaurant planned for next door, at 1311 Sansom St. More on that later.)
Barbuzzo, at 110 S. 13th St. (next to Zavino), will be a Mediterranean restau-bar from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran (Bindi, Lolita, Verde), and it's due in February.
If you venture a few blocks south, to 13th and Waverly, you'll find Marc Vetri's next project, a Roman trattoria called Amís, aiming for mid-January.