Clearly planning for life after Life After Top Chef, chef Spike Mendelsohn has put his Philly restaurant-space search out to the public. He tweeted: "I'm looking for ~3,000 sq ft in downtown Philly. Know of any spaces available? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Mendelsohn, who owns the D.C. restaurants Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza, has made no secret that he wants to syndicate Good Stuff - a high-volume burger joint, in the spirit of Shake Shack, that focuses on local ingredients.
His rep Jordyn Lazar told me that with the Crystal City, Va., location open and the Georgetown location poised for spring, he is ready to pull the trigger elsewhere. (There have been rumors of a Philly outpost for a year and a half.)
Philly is a logical market, she said, because of its proximity to D.C. Any timeline for a Philly location would depend on the real estate acquisition. The project will serve beer.
Just thinking out loud here: Most out-of-towners are selecting Rittenhouse Square, or at least west of Broad Street, for their projects. One decent, vacant spot I can think of is 1716 Chestnut St., which briefly was a Miami-themed branch of Copabanana; that space is about 5,000 square feet on two floors. If Mendelsohn is willing to cross Broad, there are good values and plenty of open spaces on Chestnut Street.