Restaurant odds & ends

Restaurateurs are grumbling about business, but there seems to be no great slowdown in projects.

Here are a few:

  • The Center City location of Cherry Hill's The Kibitz Room is under construction at 1521 Locust St. There's a long story behind the pedigree, but the short version is that it's unrelated to Kibitz in the City at Seventh and Chestnut Streets.
  • Aoi, that done-up-in-black Japanese place at 1210 Walnut St., has gone away. Next week, a new owner will open it as Aki -- also Japanese but without Aoi's all-you-can-eat feature. (They would charge dearly for uneaten pieces.) The new interior is dazzling. And whilst on the topic of Japanese dining in Center City: Genji, at 1720 Sansom seemingly since Tojo was in power (OK, August 1994), has been sold and is now known as in Kin Gyo. Same setup.
  • Derek Davis of Manayunk fame is opening a Roman-style pizzeria at Temple Hospital in North Philly. Pizza Rosso (3240 N. Broad St.) could be online as early as next week.
  • The 1623 E. Passyunk Ave. storefront that was Roselena's is on its way to new life as Michael's Cafe. Owner is keeping much of the wonderful kitsch and adding his Fiestaware collection.