Serafina closes near Rittenhouse Square

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Serafina held the southwest corner of 18th and Sansom Streets, on the ground floor of 10 Rittenhouse. It is across from the Dandelion, also owned by Stephen Starr.

Serafina's New York-based corporate masters pulled the plug on the Rittenhouse Square location at 10 Rittenhouse, on the corner of 18th and Sansom Streets.

Stephen Starr, who has one other corner locked up with his pub The Dandelion, will open a restaurant in the same space early next year. The name and concept have not been made final. 

Serafina's impending closing came to light in July after a liquor-license transfer was posted. Serafina co-owner Vittorio Assaf told me: "We are working so much internationally and traveling constantly. As we are concentrating on the licensee-franchise part of the business, our decision was to step out from the restaurants we have outside New York City."

Serafina, which tried to replicate the celeb-scene vibe it has in other cities, opened in 2011 to tepid reviews.

Where one porta closes, another opens. Scarpetta, an upmarket, New York-bred destination Italian restaurant, is due to open Sept. 28 around the corner at the Rittenhouse Hotel.