Monday, December 22, 2014

Restaurant notes: Gemelli shakeup

Hold onto your hats. This deal means a lot to Manayunk and the Main Line.

Restaurant notes: Gemelli shakeup

Longtime chefs/pals Clark Gilbert and John Wolferth are up to something special in Manayunk and Narberth.

Gilbert is selling Gemelli, his BYO in Narberth, to Wolferth. Gilbert's last night in the kitchen was Saturday, April 16. Wolferth is keeping it going, as it is, for now, but will change the name and the concept in a few weeks. A spring menu will be on next week.

Gilbert's next move: He has signed a lease for the former Mango Moon in Manayunk, which recently closed as owner Moon Krapugthong decided to refocus on her Chabaa Thai and a forthcoming Japanese spot up the street. Gilbert will take the Gemelli name with him when he opens at 4161 Main St. in June. He will have a liquor license there, and he says he will modify the decor to make it more rustic.

Wolferth's resume includes the Neil Stein/Joe Wolf Striped Bass, Siggie's L'Auberge in West Conshy, Savona, Wooden Iron, and most recently Sola in Bryn Mawr. After selling that in 2006, he says he took a break and got into quick serve. But when Gilbert opened Gemelli on Woodbine Avenue in October 2009, Wolferth says he showed up at the back door with his chef's coat and knives. That inspired him to go back into the full-service restaurant game. Last winter, Wolferth worked with John Brandt-Lee at Avalon in West Chester. When Gilbert got the itch to open in Manayunk, Wolferth decided to make the leap. 

Wolferth plans to keep Gemelli's staff in Narberth through the transition. 

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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