Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Table 31 to close

Table 31's nearly six-year run on the ground floor of the Comcast Center at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard will come to an end Sept. 13.

Table 31 to close

Table 31 at the Comcast Center.
Table 31 at the Comcast Center. MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com

The 5½-year run of Table 31 on the ground floor of the Comcast Center at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard will end after service on Friday, Sept. 13.

Chef-partner Chris Scarduzio just told his staff. Landlord Liberty Property Trust will allow the partnership - nearly a dozen parties, some at odds - to walk away.

Brian Cohen, a Liberty vice president, and Scarduzio both call the separation amicable.

Scarduzio said he wanted to move on with other, "more intimate" projects, including the forthcoming Avance at 1523 Walnut St. and a bistro near Passyunk Square at 12th and Morris Streets. In Atlantic City, he also operates Scarduzio's, a steakhouse, at the Showboat and Mia's, an Italian restaurant, at Caesars.

Scarduzio downplayed suggestions that a lawsuit filed in spring against him and other investors by another investor, mayoral candidate Tom Knox, precipitated the closing. Knox, a multimillionaire, complained that the restaurant was not extending to him a 50-percent discount, per what Knox had described as an early agreement. The restaurant - which was losing money in its early going - stopped giving him a discount in 2010.

Scarduzio said the restaurant - whose outdoor dining draws hundreds of people on warm evenings - had turned the corner financially.

"God bless them," said Knox attorney George Bochetto, when told of the impending closure. He said it would have no effect on the lawsuit.

Among T31's partners are retail magnate Bernie Spain, builder Jeffrey Orleans, chef Georges Perrier, entrepreneurs Stephen and Tamar Olitsky and fashion czar Rena Rowan Damone.

"The opportunity presented itself," said Tamar Olitsky about the agreement to close. "It's a win-win."

In a statement, Cohen said: "We thank Table 31 for providing a high quality and unique dining experience at the Comcast Center over the last five years. We have worked closely with Table 31 on an amicable separation and wish them success in these future endeavors. Liberty looks forward to announcing a high quality restaurant operator in the near future which will provide an exceptional dining experience both in the restaurant at Comcast Center and outside on Plaza." 

Gift cards can be redeemed at Peppercorn in Wayne.

Restaurateur Alex Plotkin - who recently closed his two Chops steakhouses - is rumored to be close to signing a lease for the space. HughE Dillon at Phillychitchat.com had rumored the impending shutdown Thursday.

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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