Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Making of The Fat Ham, Part 6: Hiring time

Thursday, Oct. 31, GM Ben Fileccia will be holed up at Sbraga (440 S. Broad St.) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to screen applicants for assorted dining room and kitchen jobs.

The Making of The Fat Ham, Part 6: Hiring time

The Fat Ham space, Oct. 28, 2013.
The Fat Ham space, Oct. 28, 2013.

Kevin Sbraga of Sbraga restaurant on South Broad Street is planning his second restaurant, The Fat Ham, at 3131 Walnut St. in The Left Bank in University City.

In Part 1, he let us in on a design meeting for the space, which he hopes to open in November.

In Part 2, the rubber hits the road as he and his associates went on a road trip to explore Southern cusine.

In Part 3, Sbraga and company meet the press.

In Part 4, construction starts on the space.

In Part 5, Sbraga and crew test recipes.


Part 6:

The Sbraga universe needs to grow. The chef and his general manager, Ben Fileccia, must hire about 25 people for The Fat Ham, as it is now about a month from opening.

They are running into a difficult time of the year for hiring. Many restaurants have already boosted their staffs for this, the busiest quarter of the year.

The Philadelphia area also is experiencing an almost illogical surge in restaurant openings.

But hire they must. Thursday, Oct. 31, Fileccia will be holed up at Sbraga (440 S. Broad St.) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to screen applicants for assorted dining room and kitchen jobs.

Meanwhile, The Fat Ham's space is still undergoing construction.

The week of Nov. 4, Sbraga says, the kitchen equipment, including the hood, will be installed.

The week of Nov. 11, the dining room will begin to take shape, and chairs will be brought out of storage.

Incidentally, Sbraga says the project is pretty much on budget ($500,000) - but the construction is about 15 percent more expensive.

Initially, the plan was to simply paint over wood. But then, workers decided to sand everything down. This created a mound of sawdust and pushed work back by about a week. 

Some furniture - including dining room chairs that cost $120 to $200 each and $400 custom table tops - also were pricier than budgeted. "We want to spend more on things the guests can touch," Sbraga said.

Training is due to begin the week of Nov. 18, about a week before the soft opening.

More coverage
How clean is your favorite restaurant? Inspection reports
Food Finds: Inside what might be Philly's 'fattiest pastry'
Cheesesteak shop coming to former Good Stuff Eatery
The Little Bird takes wing in Queen Village
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter