Saturday, July 4, 2015

Restaurant news du jour

Marty Grims of Du Jour Market & Cafe has two restaurants up for Commerce Square.

Restaurant news du jour

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Du Jour Market & Cafe, which started in Haverford a few years ago and became a hit among budget-seeking Main Liners, opened a spot in the Symphony House at Broad and Pine a few weeks ago. Founder Marty Grims tells me he's going into Commerce Square (the office complex between 20th and 21st Streets on the north side of Market) with two projects. One will fill the space last occupied by Saladworks. It will be another Du Jour -- 100 seats inside, 80 outside -- and will open late this year. The other will be a yet-to-be named Asian-inspired sit-downer designed by Jeffrey Beers International and will occupy the space that last was Twenty21. Grims said that won't open till well into next year. Pagano's Market, meanwhile, is expecting a mid-November opening in the Commerce Square corner space that was Marathon.

If you're keeping an eye on such things, you surely have noticed a recent dearth of big-budget-restaurant announcements. By this time of year, I'd see a dozen big 'uns on the docket for six to nine months out. Aside from this Grims spot in Commerce Square, Jose Garces' Chifa, a Michael Schulson place, the Mad River-run pub at 1528 Sansom, and a Stephen Starr rumbling or two, there seems to be nothing with a million-dollar-plus price tag on the horizon here. Remember all the excited rumor a couple months ago about Shola Olunloyo's opening a spot at Washington Square with Jeffrey Lurie's money, taking the lease off of Starr's hands? Then you surely saw the e-mail making the rounds last week that Washington Square is being offered out for private parties.

Perhaps cooler heads are prevailing. Investors may be waiting to see how the apparent surplus of steakhouse seats will be filled. Union Trust (mid-October) ... Del Frisco's Double Eagle (mid-November) ... Butcher & Singer (third week in November) ... Three high-ceilinged, high-priced steakhouses with something like 700 seats.

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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.

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