Explaining that "when one door closes, another door opens," Susanna Foo says June 14 will be the finale of her namesake restaurant in Radnor, which opened in 2006.
Foo and her son Gabriel have decided to focus completely on SuGa, the upmarket Chinese restaurant they are building at 1720 Sansom St., the former longtime home of Genji.
"We know we would not be doing either location justice by attempting to run both at the same time," she said.
Foo will run a $35 fixed-price lobster special on her last day in Radnor.
SuGa's opening in Rittenhouse in September or October will mark Foo's return to Center City, and she's hoping that the suburbanites who've shared memories with her at Radnor Financial Center follow her back down the Schuylkill Expressway.
From late 1987 till June 2009, Foo racked up every culinary award imaginable from her swank corner brownstone at 1512 Walnut St.
The building, which Foo sold, now houses a Chipotle, a fitting indicator of the change that has swept Walnut Street real estate. The 1500 block alone, for example, was studded not too long ago with independent restaurants, including Susanna Foo, Striped Bass (later Butcher & Singer), Circa, Le Bec Fin/Avance, Tiramisu/Il Portico, and San Marzano. Now only well-heeled retailers and deep-pocketed chain restaurants can afford the rents, pushing most independents to Chestnut and Sansom.
Foo said SuGa would be "different from anything I have ever done." The name (say it "SOO-gah") is a portmanteau of her first name and her son's.
The menu will be more strictly Chinese than her previous efforts, which fused Chinese and French. She intends to work in the kitchen - partly by necessity since the resignation of chef Anne Coll, who starts soon at The Whip Tavern near Coatesville.