Townsend “Tod” Wentz, riding high with Townsend, the East Passyunk French gem, and A Mano, the Fairmount-area Italian BYOB, has inked a deal to set up a Spanish-theme bar-restaurant in Washington Square West.
The restaurant, penciled in for fall, will be called Oloroso.
It will take 1121 Walnut St., the former home of Petruce et al. It will share the block with a diverse assortment of dining options, including the Irish Pub, Moriarty’s, Caribou Cafe, Bareburger, Destination Dogs, Snap, and Matt & Marie’s.
Here’s the early word:
Wentz tells me that he’s going for “sun-drenched rusticity” with the menu, which will include tapas as well as larger plates, such as paella, whole grilled turbot, and roasted pig head. He’ll use the existing wood-burning grill and oven.
Though he said he had never cooked Spanish food professionally, “it’s the intersection of fine dining and what I was doing in the early days of my career,” notably at Twenty21, a long-ago restaurant at Commerce Square. Many of his crew have worked with him for years.
The interior will get a face lift to install a look of openness. A mahogany bar is on the way. Banquettes will give way to high-tops and the color scheme will skew to reds and oranges, including a mural by Bill Strobel.
Gordana Kostovski will set up the wine list, and general manager Lauren Harris will set up a selection of sherry and vermouth