Restaurant notes: A Royal izakaya for South Philly

Todd Dae Kulper came to Philly in early 2010 to open Ro-Zu, what turned out to be an amazingly short-lived sushi specialty shop at Seventh and Bainbridge Streets. (It's now Big Eyes Sushi, run by Morimoto alums Sam and Sugi Wijaya.)

Kulper then took up with the guys from the Khyber Pass/Royal Tavern/Cantina Los Caballitos/Cantina Dos Segundos universe, and plans unfolded for an izakaya, a Japanese bar operation.

In February, Kulper hosted a one-off izakaya night at the Khyber Pass.

Now, I can tell you that plans are very much on the go for Royal Sushi & Izakaya, and the location will be 782 S. Second St. in Queen Village, the old La Grolla and Il Villagio. (You may remember that earlier last year, a steak house was planned for the space, but that project collapsed.)

Co-owner Stephen Simons says he and Kulper are aiming for September. The Royal will be an izakaya in the front bar, and might have a more traditional Japanese look in the dining room/sushi bar -- all with a neighborhood feel.

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