Cast your eyes to Passyunk Avenue near Broad, where the casual Mondial Cafe is taking shape at 1941 E. Passyunk Ave. The roomy storefront, nestled between the two Juniper Streets, initially was to be the Bottle Shop, which settled a block away. Owner Ervis Elezaj says his menu will include dishes from his native Albania as well as nearby Mediterranean countries. His menu is not ready, and he hopes to open in two weeks.
At 1710 E. Passyunk, right off the intersection of 12th and Morris, reformed lawyer Jesse Spalletta is readying Plenty, a prepared-foods shop. Spalletta, whose dining background includes bartending at such spots as Twenty Manning and Valanni, plans to stock her cases with salads, cheeses, charcuterie, and comfort food. She says she was driven to open because she lives in the neighborhood and "wished we had some place between a restaurant and takeout." It's three weeks away, she says, assuming that PGW gets a crew out to repair her gas line.