The Making of Charlie Was a Sinner: Chef hired

Nicole Marquis in what will be the bar area of Charlie Was a Sinner, 131 S. 13th St., on March 10, 2014.

Second in a series that follows the creation of Charlie Was a Sinner, the curiously named vegan bar from entrepreneur Nicole Marquis, owner of the HipCityVeg quick-serve shops. Part 1 is here.

It's about five weeks till opening of Charlie Was a Sinner, and workers have turned the old Full Moon Saloon at 131 S. 13th St. into a "vanilla box" of drywall and brick. Electricians were wiring today. Next week will see the installation of French windows to allow the storefront, between Sansom and Walnut Streets, to reach for the sun. This will be a radical departure for the building, which operated in old-time barroom darkness.

Charlie Was a Sinner will be low-lit at night, said owner Nicole Marquis, but by day it will be a cafe "to take advantage of all the energy in this neighborhood."

Now that the drywall is installed, you can get an idea of the layout. Walk in, through a velvet curtain, and a Louis XIV-style armoire and old hotel front desk will greet guests. Next will be the bar and just beyond, a small dining room. The vibe? "HipCityVeg is 'yoga' feel-good," Marquis explained. "This is 'movie' feel-good."

There's a chef on board: Michael Santoro, exec chef and partner at The Mildred in South Philadelphia. Santoro, a Johnson & Wales culinary grad who came to Philadelphia as the first executive chef at Talula's Garden, is developing the menu out of The Mildred's kitchen.