Restaurant notes: Groundbreaking on North Broad for Vetri, Starr, Volpe

Rendering of Birreria 600, Vetri's restaurant on the Mount Vernon Street side, behind Starr's Route 6.

Four months ago, developer Eric Blumenfeld gathered Marc Vetri, Stephen Starr, and Joe Volpe for a photo op at the former Wilkie car dealership at 600 N. Broad St. Vetri and Starr would open restaurants as part of his mixed-use development, and Volpe was on board for a catering operation.

Today (2/8), the project, including about 100 rental apartments at 16th and Mount Vernon Streets, moved a notch closer to reality.

With the financing in place, Blumenfeld had another news conference, this time with Mayor Nutter and local officials. The $43 million project will be publicly funded to the tune of $18 million.

The lineup:

  • Route 6, a Starr seafood restaurant, on the Broad Street side at Mount Vernon. "Like a cross between a seaside Maine lobster shack and an upscale urban oyster bar" is what the press release says.
  • Birerria 600, a beer bar from Vetri, separated by a courtyard from Route 6.
  • An unnamed catering venue on the Green Street side from Volpe, who owns Cescaphe and Tendenza in Northern Liberties and runs weddings out of the Curtis Center on Washington Square. It will accommodate 700 people, Volpe told me, and will be tricked out with live cooking stations so guests can watch their food being prepared.

All are on target for October 2011. (Volpe said he has two events booked in October.)

Oh, and about the rumor that one of the eateries is being "fast-tracked." Someone clearly misheard Blumenfeld thanking Fast Track Construction, the company that will be doing the work.

(The Inquirer's Joe DiStefano has more here.)