Friday, February 12, 2016


One Shot getting a new shot

Friday, October 1, 2010, 8:00 AM
When One Shot Coffee moves from Liberties Walk to a much larger building nearby in Northern Liberties, owner Melissa Baruno will get help in the kitchen, in the form of Michael Thomas. Thomas just left the chef's post at Kraftwork in Fishtown; he'd previously worked across from One Shot at Bar Ferdinand... Read more

Meatballs from Marabella

Friday, August 20, 2010, 2:42 PM
Tired of burger shops? How about meatballs. Marabella Meatball Company, a mostly quick-serve operation, is planned for 1211 Walnut St., next to the Citibank branch (to the left, as you're looking at the bank). If the Marabella name rings a bell, it's probably because you remember the local Italian... Read more

Restaurant notes: Whelihans expanding; what's up at Doc's

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 9:27 AM
- PJ Whelihans is going into the former Primavera Pizza Kitchen in Downingtown, aiming at a late fall opening. This will be the 13th restaurant under the PJW Restaurant Group and the ninth under the PJ Whelihans label. - From all the attention that's being paid to the renovations at Doc... Read more

What's coming: Biba, Tria's "fun little cousin"

Thursday, August 5, 2010, 12:57 PM
Jon Myerow is saying "the end of August" for the opening of Biba in the Left Bank in University City (3131 Walnut St., 215-222-2422), which he is positioning as Tria's "fun little cousin." That is, a chic wine/beer bar serving light fare, including cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate... Read more

Restaurant notes: July heats up with openings

Monday, July 12, 2010, 12:20 PM
Nothing like a few restaurant openings to make life in July a bit more interesting. Days old, and opening for lunch Monday (7/12), is the rustic Timber Wood-Fired Grill, across from Abington Memorial Hospital in the former Inn Flight/WingWalker (1301 Old York Rd., Abington, 215-884-7932). Here's... Read more

Restaurant notes: Sushi in Fairmount; bistro in Montco; fish 'n' chips in Haddonfield

Friday, July 9, 2010, 1:23 PM
In this post, I'm going to think small, with regard to new restaurants. - Dasiwa is under construction in the old corner store at 26th and Aspen Streets -- a scone's throw from the back of the Art Museum's Perelman Building in Fairmount. It'll be a morning coffeeshop/pastry cafe that will segue... Read more

Raw video: A peek at Adsum

Friday, July 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
Chef Matt Levin and entrepreneur Kar Vivekananthan just took the paper off the windows of their bistro, Adsum (700 S. Fifth St., 267-888-7002), which opens 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 14. Levin calls it a refined neighborhood bistro serving a menu of progressive cuisine. Here's the menu. Decor, as you'll... Read more

Honey's Sit 'N Eat branching out

Thursday, June 24, 2010, 2:54 PM
Honey's Sit 'N Eat, the most popular breakfast/brunch spot in Northern Liberties (and darn good for dinner), just signed for a second location. It's the northwest corner of 21st and South Streets, in a building formerly occupied by Graduate Hospital, according to Veronica Blum, who with her Mallin... Read more

Restaurant notes: 500° to return Tuesday; Jet Wine Bar on the way

Friday, June 18, 2010, 10:16 AM
- 500°, the burger joint at 1504 Sansom St. shuttered by fire on June 4, will return Tuesday (delayed a day), says owner Rob Wasserman, who also owns Rouge on Rittenhouse Square. - Jet Wine Bar, an international snack-and-wine operation I first mentioned here way back last summer, is... Read more

First look: Olive on 3rd

Friday, June 18, 2010, 12:05 AM
Sunday will mark the soft opening of Olive on 3rd, Christine Fischer's cozy BYOB in the former Ava at Third and Gaskill Streets -- between South Street and Lombard Streets (518 S. Third St., 267-519-9498). First day -- Father's Day! -- will feature a prix-fixe menu and comp dessert as Fischer eases... Read more

¡Ole! for Wayne

Friday, June 11, 2010, 11:30 AM
Downtown Wayne is getting two restaurant projects with Latin elements. One, on the books for months and wending its way through approvals, will be a casually upscale Spanish-Mexican hybrid called Matador. Address: 110 N. Wayne Ave., in the space that has seen such joints as The Freehouse and Mims... Read more

Tweed: Twill open Thursday

Monday, June 7, 2010, 4:11 PM
If you recall spots such as Odeon, Bistro Bix, TPDS, and Les Bons Temps, you’re familiar with their building’s two-story storefront, whose twin balconies romantically overlook the bar. Get set for a pleasant surprise when you walk into the new incarnation — Tweed (114 S. 12th St.... Read more

Restaurant notes: NYC chef taking Frederick's in Queen Village

Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 2:36 PM
This one's far off and way under the radar, but I'll throw it out there: South Philly-bred chef Joey Campanaro -- who owns the little owl, Market Table, and Kenmare in New York -- is taking over the former Frederick's on Front Street in Queen Village (Google Mapped below). Among the partners listed... Read more

What's Jose Garces doing at the Cira Centre?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 2:26 PM
That Jose Garces is an All-American guy, for sure. The Ecuador-rooted, Chicago-bred chef-owner of Amada, Tinto, Distrito, and Chifa has been shifting his flavor profile farther Stateside with his newer spots, Village Whiskey and Garces Trading Co. For his next act, he's going into the Cira Centre... Read more

Now (sort of) open: Mac's Tavern

Monday, May 31, 2010, 10:25 PM
Mac's Tavern -- aka the bar at 226 Market St. in Old City owned by a bunch of St. Joseph's Prep alumni including Rob McElhenney and wife Kaitlin Olson from the FX comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia -- did a soft opening over Memorial Day weekend. A drive-by Saturday found it going full blast... Read more

Mike Stollenwerk of fish coming to Fishtown

Thursday, May 27, 2010, 4:47 PM
Leave it to Mike Stollenwerk of fish (and formerly Little Fish) to put the fish back in Fishtown. He has signed a lease at a former art gallery at 200 E. Girard Ave. (at Shackamaxon), next to Murph's, across from Johnny Brenda's, and around the corner from the forthcoming Stephen Starr biergarten... Read more

Gatehouse Cafe coming to East Falls

Monday, May 24, 2010, 2:11 PM
Entrepreneurs Gina Bostic and Adrienne Williams have set Tuesday (6/1) as the grand opening of the Gatehouse Cafe (3300 Henry Ave., 267-297-8234), a breakfast-luncher open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in a historic building on the grounds of the Falls Center, formerly the Women’s Medical College... Read more

Diving Horse opening next week

Monday, May 24, 2010, 11:57 AM
Tuesday, June 1* marks the grand opening of The Diving Horse (2109 Dune Dr., Avalon, N.J., 609-368-5000), the Shore BYO outpost of The Pub & Kitchen that I told you about a couple of months ago. Concept is seafood-oriented farm-to-table taking advantage not only of the local fishermen but Jersey... Read more

Now open: West Side Gravy

Friday, May 21, 2010, 9:50 AM
Alex Capasso has branched out from his Blackbird Dining Establishment to open the ultra-casual West Side Gravy a mile away in Collingswood's old Woolworth's store (714 Haddon Ave., 856-858-7153). It joins such destinations on the block as Nunzio's, Tortilla Press, El Sitio, and the Pop Shop. Environs... Read more

Restaurant notes

Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 1:17 PM
- Want to open a restaurant on the Avenue of the Arts? The now-empty Chew Man Chu space in the Symphony House at Broad and Pine Streets is being offered up, and the price tag -- according to an e-mail making the rounds -- is $595,000, including the liquor license. - Some readers thought it... Read more

Watching your calories

Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 12:42 PM
Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, opening Sunday 5/23 in Glen Eagle Square in Glen Mills, is the latest project down the pike from Dave Magrogan (Kildare's, Doc Magrogan's, Más). Magrogan looked no further than his upper-middle-class, 30-something suburban world for the concept: a seasonally... Read more

New Tria spot has a name

Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 3:56 PM
Here's more on the wine bar coming to 3131 Walnut St. from the Tria team, which I told you about a few months ago. Biba, up for August, will be “Tria’s spunky little cousin,” says owner Jon Myerow, featuring similar artisanal fermented tastes, but with simpler, streamlined menu.... Read more

Now open: Muntin

Monday, May 10, 2010, 2:23 PM
Just goes to show you that when one pan-Asian restaurant closes (e.g. Chew Man Chu), there's another on the way. Doors opened Monday on Muntin, on the ground floor of Center City One (1326 Spruce St., 215-546-0180). Owners Jian Liu and Frankie Lin have ties to Aikou in Flemington, N.J. Pretty much... Read more

Free pork sandwiches

Saturday, May 8, 2010, 3:49 PM
Jake's Sandwich Board opens Monday (5/10) at 122 S. 12th St., near Sansom. (See previous.) They'll give away free pork sandwiches from 11 a.m. till the pig is kicked. In the video below, owners Gary Dorfman and Sean Stein go shopping at the Italian Market, and host a sandwich-tasting attended by... Read more

Opening: Bar Stella

Thursday, May 6, 2010, 1:06 PM
Stephen Starr's Pizzeria Stella (Second and Lombard Streets) is getting a bar next door, in the former pilates studio on the Second Street side. It opens Friday (5/7) and workers are in those furious final hours. Hence, the photo of the floor, a retro-looking marmoleum, because the rest of the joint... Read more

(Finally) opening: City Tap House

Thursday, May 6, 2010, 11:06 AM
After 14 months in the making, what's a few more days? Monday (5/10) is the public opening of City Tap House on the Radian Balcony (3925 Walnut St., 215-662-0105) as owners Brian Harrington, Gary Cardi, Chris Coco, and Frank Falesto want to hit Penn graduation weekend. The partners also own Mission... Read more

Kraftwork in Fishtown: Pub or art gallery?

Saturday, May 1, 2010, 1:01 PM
My vote for the most stunning new restaurant is not the kitschy fun that is El Rey, or the drama that is R2L, or the sexiness that permeates Chifa -- but a humbler endeavor. It's Kraftwork, a corner bar opening Friday 5/7 at Girard and Montgomery Avenues in Fishtown with 24 beer lines (plus a 25th... Read more

Munk & Nunn: The transformation of Manayunk's Zesty

Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 10:55 AM
Tom Konidaris says he was sitting at the bar of his longtime Manayunk spot Zesty's, bemoaning the state of business with a customer/adviser, who told him: "You can’t even get a monk and nun in here." The customer explained that two trick-or-treaters dressed as a monk and nun had just... Read more

Restaurant notes

Monday, April 26, 2010, 2:22 PM
More than 200 area restaurants will donate a cut of their dinner proceeds Thursday 4/29 for Dining Out for Life, a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS run by Action AIDS. Details here. You know there is no Elena Wu at Chez Elena Wu at the Ritz in Voorhees? Wu sold the place two years ago. She is getting back... Read more

To this politically connected lawyer, what's the wurst that can happen?

Saturday, April 24, 2010, 12:16 PM
When last heard from, longtime lawyer Michael Untermeyer was running for Philadelphia district attorney. Now, he's getting into a different kind of frying pan: He's opening a hot dog shop in a small building he owns near 18th and South Streets. Though one might think he'd call it "Untermeyer... Read more

And where is your restaurant?

Friday, April 23, 2010, 10:22 AM
Two Center City restaurants are going for the obvious in the naming department. City Grange, the restaurant inside the Westin in Liberty Place, is preparing to change its name to Center City Bar & Grill as its menu downscales to more bar items. Now comes Pete Antipas, who is reopening his restaurant... Read more

On a roll in Wash West

Thursday, April 22, 2010, 10:26 AM
Gary Dorfman is moving Jake’s Philadelphia Cheesesteaks from the Liberty Place food court into a new storefront at 122 S. 12th St. (next to the parking garage and Edible Arrangements just off the corner of 12th and Sansom Streets). With partner Sean Stein (ex-Red Sky and Pearl), they'll open... Read more

City Tap House sets May 10 opening

Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 11:03 AM
May 10 is the target opening of City Tap House on the Radian's balcony (3925 Walnut St. University City, 215-662-0105), more than 14 months in the making. Salient point: 60 beers on tap, including Tripel Karmeliet, Hitachino Nest White, Ace Pear Cider, and Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. Owners Brian... Read more

Photo and menu time: El Rey

Monday, April 19, 2010, 10:07 AM
Sunday (4/25) is the opening date for El Rey, Stephen Starr's casual Mexican diner at 2013 Chestnut St. Construction is just about finished on the dining room, but the back bar -- the Ranstead Room, with its -- is a work in progress. New York mixologist Sasha Petraske has devised a 1940s-'50s cocktail... Read more

New Asian eatery coming to Center City One

Monday, April 19, 2010, 9:56 AM
Muntin, serving a Chinese, Japanese, and Thai menu, is being readied for a May opening at 1326 Spruce St., the ground floor of Center City One. Owner wants anonymity for now, as he's wrapping up work at a respected Asian restaurant in Chestnut Hill. The space previously was Misso, whose owner Bruce... Read more

Restaurant notes

Friday, April 16, 2010, 10:35 AM
Tiffin's Wynnewood location (50 E. Wynnewood Rd.) will start serving Monday (4/19). Sunday (4/18) will be last call at Sly Fox's location in Phoenixville's Pikeland Village. It is due to reopen across the street in the old Blockbuster video in Maple Lawn Shopping Center on Wednesday (4/21). El Rey's... Read more

Steakhouse for Queen Village

Thursday, April 15, 2010, 11:54 AM
What Philly needs is a homey steakhouse alternative to the big Center City joints. A place with an Art Deco look that appears to have come from the days of Al Capone. Chef-owner Rich Donato says we'll get all that when he opens The Grill Room, at 780-782 S. Second St. in Queen Village. Lisa Kennard... Read more

Shola to the Piazza

Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 11:00 AM
Shola Olunloyo, who's been delighting foodies with ambitious private meals under the name StudioKitchen (after stops at Bleu and Blue Angel) has taken to his blog to spring details for his first restaurant. Name: Speck. Under construction now, it'll open in what I believe will be late spring in the... Read more

Le Viet: Styling in South Philly

Monday, April 5, 2010, 10:18 PM
Le Viet -- one of the city's more polished Vietnamese resto-lounges -- has opened at 1019 S. 11th St. (215-463-1570), just north of the CVS at Washington Avenue. Owner Bruce Cao and family are doing home-style cooking. Selected specials: sauteed baby clams in a house sauce, served with sesame rice... Read more

Restaurant notes

Monday, April 5, 2010, 2:41 PM
Philly fans of genuine Mexican grub used to trek out to the New Garden Shopping Center in Kennett Square to sit among farm workers at Taqueria Moroleon. Well, Taqueria Moroleon has relocated to a larger space in Avondale -- even farther from the city, yes, but there's a liquor license now. See site... Read more

Bobby Flay rolls into town

Monday, April 5, 2010, 12:47 PM
Bobby Flay is in Philly to usher in the fifth location of Bobby's Burger Palace, his casual operation providing a counterpoise to his high-end spots such as Bobby Flay Steak in the Borgata in Atlantic City and assorted Mesa Grills. BBP opens at noon Tuesday (4/6) at 3925 Walnut St.on the ground floor... Read more

Tweed coming to 12th Street

Monday, April 5, 2010, 7:50 AM
Its facade now shrouded in plywood, the long-planned restaurant project at 114 S. 12th St. is due to open in mid to late May. And it has a new name -- Tweed -- and a tweaked concept. When I told you about it last November, its working name was Cafe Maurice and the idea had a French twist. But now... Read more

First peek: El Rey

Friday, April 2, 2010, 2:45 PM
El Rey -- Stephen Starr's Mexican diner on the site of an old Greek diner at 2013 Chestnut St. -- is still on target for its April 25* opening. It's a work in progress. Designer Shawn Hausman maintained much of the "bones" of the former Midtown IV Diner. He's stripped out the middle row... Read more

Matt Levin's restaurant: The details

Monday, March 29, 2010, 4:14 PM
Friends, Romans, and countrymen... Lend me your Latin dictionary. Adsum -- Latin for "I am here" (pronounce it "ad-SOOM") -- is the name of chef Matt Levin's bistro opening in May-June at Fifth and Bainbridge Streets in the space that's housed some ill-starred establishments, most... Read more

Pub & Kitchen adding a Shore spot

Friday, March 26, 2010, 11:40 AM
The team from Center City's Pub & Kitchen -- Jonathan Adams*, Dan Clark, and Ed Hackett -- will branch out to the Shore this summer season with a BYO in the heart of Avalon. (Keep in mind that McDonald and Hackett both cut their teeth in the BYO realm,) The partners are blowing out the former... Read more

Snow White going to sleep

Thursday, March 25, 2010, 5:28 PM
The Snow White, which started at the corner of Second and Market Streets in Old City before World War II, will have its last call after service on Easter Sunday. Restaurateur Luca Sena is working with a partner on a plan to gut the long-running greasy spoon and add a second floor/roof deck. The concept... Read more

Restaurant notes: Food sold at cost?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 11:00 AM
Ninety-nine cent burgers? Peel-and-eat shrimp for 29 cents? Heightened competition from the Garden State Park development has led Bruce Waugh to return the Top Dog name to what is now Taylors Sports Bar in Cherry Hill. Come April 15, he'll try a new concept: No waitresses. Patrons go directly into... Read more

Now open: Sprig & Vine

Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 11:16 AM
Ross Olchvary, former sous chef and chef de cuisine at Horizons, has ventured into New Hope with Sprig & Vine, a stylish, all-vegan BYOB, in Union Square. It's a few doors from Triumph Brewery, off Bridge Street, just south of Main Street. Pier One-ish dining room has dark wood tables, and comfy... Read more

Stumptown Coffee time at Bodhi

Monday, March 22, 2010, 9:32 AM
Bodhi Coffee is looking at an early April opening at 410 S. Second St., next to Xochitl on Head House Square. And here is the story: Bobby Logue -- who restores old houses these days after years of managing such Old City spots as Sugar Mom's, the Khyber, and Five Spot -- is behind this storefront... Read more

N.Y.'s Serafina opening a branch in Philly

Friday, March 19, 2010, 4:39 PM
The luxury high-rise 10 Rittenhouse is getting a bigtime New York restaurant operator. It's Serafina, which as I reported last fall, had been talking seriously to ARC Properties Inc. Serafina owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato have five locations in Manhattan, plus three other New York restaurants:... Read more

Starr's next restaurant: El Rey

Friday, March 19, 2010, 11:15 AM
Stephen Starr's Mexican restaurant at 2013 Chestnut St. (see previous here) now has a name: El Rey. And a concept: Home-style cuisine from Puebla to Veracruz from chef Dionico Jimenez, formerly of Xochitl, in what Starr told me will be a gritty-looking roadside bar setting. (The Midtown IV, the... Read more

New Indian BYO coming to Wash West

Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 12:14 PM
The restaurants go, the restaurants come: Shinju Sushi left 930 Locust St. for larger, liquor-licensed digs at 719 Walnut St., where it's now known as Fat Salmon. The next occupant of 930 Locust will be Mumbai Bistro, a quick-casual Indian operation. Opening will be July 21. Partner Kyle Saini says... Read more

Restaurant notes

Thursday, March 4, 2010, 11:48 AM
The New York wine bar Vintage Irving's plan to open its first Philly location on the second level of the Shops at Liberty Place is "temporarily on hold," says a VI rep. Bright side: No competition for Ruby Tuesday's. Construction has resumed at Timber, a wood-fired American grill replacing... Read more

Restaurant notes

Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 12:42 PM
Good news: Franco's Osteria is targeting a weekend opening at the Presidential, 3900 City Ave., as owner Franco Faggio awaits his liquor license out of safekeeping. Ro-Zu, the Japanese BYOB at Seventh and Bainbridge, opens softly this weekend. Doc Watson's final inspection is due today, and it could... Read more

Liquid nitrogen ice cream?!

Saturday, February 27, 2010, 4:44 PM
You're going to hear much in the coming weeks about Apollinare, the Umbrian restaurant that's in a soft-opening phase in the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties (1001 N. Second St., 215-923-2014). In only his first weeks in town, chef Andrea Scotacci won a prize the other night at the Philly... Read more

Burgers on the grill

Friday, February 26, 2010, 1:06 PM
The Rouge-owned burger shop 500° - on the 1500 block of Sansom Street next to Roy's - is shooting for a March 17 roll-out. As I reported back in October, owners Rob and Maggie Wasserman were inspired by their burger sales during last year's Rittenhouse Row Festival to open this upscale but budget... Read more

Pizzeria Stella to expand

Friday, February 19, 2010, 2:00 PM
Confirming details from last October: Pending city approval, Stephen Starr's Pizzeria Stella at Second and Lombard Streets will indeed expand next door, into the former Equilibrium Pilates studio. Starr says the adjoining space, opening in the summer, will allow 30 additional seats and have a bar... Read more

The lowdown on Ro-Zu

Friday, February 19, 2010, 1:42 PM
If you've passed the corner of Seventh and Bainbridge Streets, you've spotted the tiny Japanese restaurant across from the Bean Exchange. Ro-Zu is the name, it's been all lit up for weeks, seemingly complete but not open for business. The BYOB, licensed for only 18 seats, should be open any day now... Read more

Delicatessen to open Sunday

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 9:39 PM
Michael Spector has lined up an opening this Sunday for his deli restaurant known as Delicatessen, replacing Kibitz in the City at 703 Chestnut St. Spector calls it a Modern Jewish deli, and his menu is studded with old favorites as well as some newfangled twists. (The pressed pastrami sandwich on... Read more

Restaurant notes

Monday, February 15, 2010, 12:09 PM
Catching up on a few restaurant plans. Included here are some projects that are new on the radar screen. And -- for the heck of it -- I took a look at a slew of the eateries that fall into the "will they ever open?" department: How's this for quick-quick-quick: Ekta, the Fishtown Indian... Read more

Fishtown's Ekta to open on Main Line

Sunday, February 14, 2010, 2:14 PM
Ekta, the Indian BYOB storefront on Girard Avenue in Fishtown, will open a second location at 1003 Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr, which until last week was Cafe Fresko. This was a presto-change-o. It will open Thursday (2/18), only 10 days after settlement. Same menu. Lunch and dinner every day. This... Read more

Garces at Garces Trading Company

Sunday, February 14, 2010, 9:00 AM
Tuesday morning marks the opening of Garces Trading Company, Jose Garces' sixth project in four years and four months. Well, it's the seventh if you count his Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago. And eight, if you include his winning a spot on Iron Chef America, for which he has shot five episodes (one... Read more

A bite of Delicatessen

Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 4:58 PM
Matzo balls are due to start rolling again late next week at 703 Chestnut St., which was Kibitz in the City until it closed in November. Newcomer is simply called Delicatessen, and the guy behind the counter is Elkins Park native Michael Spector, 32, who describes the concept as Modern Jewish Deli... Read more

Restaurant opening updates

Friday, February 5, 2010, 2:21 PM
A few updates on restaurant projects hither and yon. Barbuzzo, the Mediterranean bar from Lolita/Bindi's Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney at 110 S. 13th St. (next door to the new Zavino), should be open in late March. Construction is due to wrap by the end of this month, Safran says. Menu will be... Read more

That 'Always Sunny' bar is moving forward

Thursday, February 4, 2010, 9:30 AM
The Fx comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is built around life at a Philly bar, and now a real bar to be part-owned by the show's creator/star is inching closer to opening. Mac's Tavern -- at 226 Market St. in Old City, where Skinner's is now -- may even debut in time for St. Patrick's Day... Read more

Mugshots to brew in Brewerytown

Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 10:39 AM
Mugshots CoffeeHouse, which Jill Fink and Angela Vendetti founded across from Eastern State Penitentiary in 2004 (and opened in Manayunk in 2006), is planning to expand into Brewerytown with a shop at 2831 W. Girard Ave., a slice of town that seems to be ripe for growth. The new spot, which needs... Read more

There's no Tria coming to University City, but...

Friday, January 29, 2010, 2:09 PM
Jon Myerow, who's been scouting more locations for his wine-cheese-beer concept Tria, is about to pull the trigger -- but his third location will not be a Tria. The space, in the former Cafe Intermezzo hard by World Cafe Live at 3131 Walnut St., is too small to execute Tria's concept, he said. It... Read more

Italy comes to the Piazza

Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 7:00 AM
The ink is barely dry on this one: Vino, an American-run Italian bar, didn't work out in the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. Developer Bart Blatstein reached out to Italy for the replacement. Umbrian-bred restaurateurs Fabio Auguadro and Andrea Scotacci are taking over Vino, effective... Read more

Restaurant notes

Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 3:51 PM
Fellini Cafe in Paoli is closed, and records in bankruptcy court show it filed for Chapter 7 protection. Basically, it means that if the court approves, the corporate assets are sold and it's done. On a more intriguing note, I see that Ro-Zu seems to be close to putting out sushi and other Japanese... Read more

Carluccio's opens in South Philly

Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 3:23 PM
Carluccio's opened last Saturday night in the former Shank's & Evelyn's space at 932 S. 10th St. (215-574-5000), a couple of months behind schedule. It's a 26-seat Italian BYOB. In his restaurant solo debut and inspired by his family's hometown of Bagnoli Irpino, Carlo Nigro is popping out homespun... Read more

Grand finale for Doc Watson's

Monday, January 25, 2010, 8:02 PM
Barry Sandrow says the sale of his Doc Watson's across from Jefferson Hospital is due on Thursday, Feb. 4, so it appears that the grand finale at the landmark bar will be Wednesday, Feb. 3. Sandrow opened Doc's in 1971 As I reported in December, buyers plan an English pub called Sherlock's Tavern... Read more

A first peek at the new Chops

Monday, January 25, 2010, 2:29 PM
After a week of tests, Alex Plotkin has opened the Washington Square branch of his Chops steakhouse. Price point is lower than the original Chops in Bala Cynwyd, and he's offering 60 wines under $60 (from a 2,000-bottle collection) as well as comp valet parking. The building, formerly housing Oceanaire... Read more

A few restaurant notes

Friday, January 22, 2010, 2:54 PM
A "brewpub" coming to Liberty Place's food court? Not so. Insiders say that the only alcohol-based tenant negotiating a lease is Vintage Irving, the NYC wine bar I told you about last week. Stephen Starr says he is backing away from the name "Mexico City" for his Mexican concept... Read more

Indian food returning to 1600 block of Sansom

Friday, January 22, 2010, 10:59 AM
Here's first word on an Indian restaurant operator who's planning locations on the Temple University campus and at 1628 Sansom St., which was Remedy Tea Bar. Philadelphia Chutney Co. wants to keep a low profile, for now. Most I can glean from the owner is that it will put a "nouveau American... Read more

Yippee-ai-yo: Black Angus coming to South Street

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 2:32 PM
The east end of South Street is about to get a taste of the Old West. Black Angus, positioning itself as a modest-priced steakhouse-cum-jazz club, is awaiting its liquor license to open at 117-119 South St., the ornately high-ceilinged former home of Tori's Brickhouse and Mallorca. So mid-February... Read more

Think 'El Vez' in West Chester

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 10:35 AM
Cast your eyes to West Chester, where Dave Magrogan of the Kildare's/Doc Magrogan empire and business partner John Caulfield are converting the former Coyote Crossing location at 102 E. Market St. into a California-style Mexican cantina called Más. Opening is set for Feb. 18. Unlike Coyote... Read more

Paesano's in the Italian Market getting close

Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 3:39 PM
Paesano's South Philly branch -- at the corner of Ninth and Christian Streets in the Italian Market, where Butcher's Cafe was -- has set a tentative opening date: Thursday, Jan. 28. Or Friday, Jan. 29. Owner Peter McAndrews needs to get his staff in shape. For now, here's a sneak peek at the menu... Read more

Le Viet coming to South Philly

Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 2:38 PM
Another Vietnamese restaurant at 11th and Washington in South Philly? you ask. There's Nam Phuong, Pho Hoa, Pho 75.... Here's first word on Le Viet, coming in February to 1019 S. 11th St., a storefront on 11th Street behind the CVS on the northeast corner. Owner Bruce Cao and family, who formerly... Read more

Beer fans: Zot to get new life

Monday, January 18, 2010, 3:49 PM
To those who mourned the loss of Zot in Society Hill, there's hope and hops. Bruce Nichols of Museum Catering, a founder of Philly Beer Week, is taking over the place (122 Lombard St.) with a beer-focused restaurant/bar called The Headhouse. (Pun! It's off Head House Square.) He's looking at early... Read more

Gayle restaurant space is rented

Monday, January 18, 2010, 1:27 PM
Argentina-born chef Lucas Manteca, who has a wide culinary resume from Costa Rica to the Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel in Cape May and his own places (Sea Salt and Quahog's Seafood Shack in Stone Harbor), is coming to Philly with a BYOB. He's going into 617 S. Third St., the spot in Queen Village... Read more

Something new, at Maru Global

Monday, January 18, 2010, 9:21 AM
The first week of February* will mark the public opening of Maru Global (255 S. 10th St., 267-273-0567), a casual quick-serve in a storefront between Locust and Spruce, whose menu is focused on takoyaki, the puffy, bite-size, fried crepe balls, topped with sweet sauce. The Japanese street food is... Read more

NYC wine bar eyes Liberty Place

Thursday, January 14, 2010, 12:48 PM
Vintage Irving, a wine bar in Union Square in New York, is Philly-bound, and is close to signing a lease at the Shops at Liberty Place. Reps of both the restaurant and the shops confirmed the talks to me. The space is on the second level, in a spot that was the Dale & Thomas popcorn store. Also... Read more

And still more newcomers

Thursday, January 14, 2010, 11:33 AM
The former Sal's and Frangelica on 12th St. (200 S. 12th St., at Chancellor Street -- see below) will become a sports bar. But, as co-owner Jeff Sotland tells me, with elevated comfort food ("not pub grub") and atmosphere that will be aimed at everyone in the neighborhood. They'll do the... Read more

Starr plans pizzeria next to Parc

Sunday, January 10, 2010, 11:49 AM
Tucked into Inquirer critic Craig LaBan's three-bell review of Pizzeria Stella today was this note: "[Stephen] Starr has ... a New York-style pizza take-out/delivery nook planned soon beside Parc" (at 18th and Locust on Rittenhouse Square). He'll open it on the Locust Street side, where... Read more

Restaurant openings update

Friday, January 8, 2010, 11:42 AM
Here's a selected assortment of restaurant openings. (Wild card here is Stephen Starr, who seems to have some things, plural, up his sleeve besides the Mexican restaurant at 2013 Chestnut and besides the New York-style pizzeria takeout/delivery spot next to Parc.) First off, Du Jour's Commerce Square... Read more

Gee Whiz, Bobby Flay!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 10:46 AM
Chef Bobby Flay took to Twitter this morning to announce the rollout of one of his Bobby's Burger Palace locations: in the Radian at 3925 Walnut St. -- the fifth location in a year and a half and the first outside of the New York metro area. (My post from Monday morning is here.) Flay says it's up... Read more

An old hand opening on Sansom Street

Tuesday, January 5, 2010, 2:23 PM
Agapios "Willy" Bouikidis, a restaurant veteran, will take over 1518 Sansom St. For 25 years, the storefront was Black Cat Cigar Co. before its move to the burbs. It's next door to the Oyster House and beneath a section of Nodding Head. With his brothers, Bouikidis ran Race Street Pizza... Read more

Legal landing at PHL

Tuesday, January 5, 2010, 9:23 AM
Three years after setting up in the Court at King of Prussia, Legal Sea Foods is fixing to open a second area location this spring, at Philadelphia International Airport. Roger Berkowitz, who heads the Boston-based seafood chain, said Legal would take the space between Terminals B and C previously... Read more

Bobby Flay opening Burger Palace here

Monday, January 4, 2010, 11:55 AM
A long-rumored Bobby's Burger Palace location is a go at the Radian, 3925 Walnut St., Flay's publicist confirmed today. "Iron Chef" Bobby Flay is behind the fast-casual venture, which has grown out of his New York City base. A construction timetable is not yet available. The space will... Read more

First look: Marc Vetri's Amìs

Tuesday, December 29, 2009, 3:50 PM
Marc Vetri is rocking-and-rolling at 13th and Waverly Streets as workers put the final touches on his Roman trattoria, Amìs. Vetri says the health inspection is due Wednesday (12/30) and first public service will be Jan. 14*. Unlike many other restaurateurs, Vetri wants to get the kinks out... Read more

Falafel with a green side

Monday, December 28, 2009, 10:39 AM
The Subway chain compares its nutrition facts against those of the fast-food giants. Enter the Falafel Factory, a takeout due to open in mid-January at 32 S. 18th St., in the now-closed Joseph's Shoes shop. Owner Rob Rimeris says his baked falafel has less fat, sugar, cholesterol, and sodium than... Read more

Greece is the word

Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 9:05 AM
Washington Square West is in line for not one but two new Greek-theme restaurants, effectively doubling the Center City neighborhood's Hellenic dining destinations (e.g. the BYOBs Kanella at 10th and Spruce and Effie's at 1127 Pine, though I am splitting hairs by excluding the posher Estia across... Read more

MilkBoy planning Center City venue

Monday, December 21, 2009, 8:31 PM
MilkBoy, the coffeehouse/music venue that started in Ardmore and expanded to Bryn Mawr, will go before a committee of the Washington Square West Civic Association on Tuesday for plans at the southeast corner of 11th and Chestnut Streets. MilkBoy's Jamie Lokoff told me that this Center City venue... Read more

New Shank's: On the waterfront

Saturday, December 19, 2009, 2:00 PM
Shank's, which moved out of its oldtime South Philly luncheonette and opened a sandwichery over the summer on 15th Street near Sansom, is preparing for the roll-out of its second location. It opens Dec. 26 at 901 S. Columbus Blvd., outside of Pier 40 at Christian Street. As further proof that times... Read more

Luxury hotel delayed

Thursday, December 17, 2009, 3:10 PM
Want to bunk or eat at the new Le Meridien hotel at 1421 Arch St., across from the Municipal Services Building and around the corner from the Convention Center expansion? Hang on about four more months. Though it has appeared finished for some time, Starwood's grand opening is now set for April 15... Read more

Zavino's menu

Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 10:13 AM
Zavino, the spiffy pizza-wine bar coming to the corner of 13th and Sansom, has delayed its opening to Dec. 30. Meanwhile, peruse chef-owner Steve Gonzalez's menu -- a brilliantly tight selection of easy-on-the-budget antipasti, a few hot dishes, and pizzas -- all befitting the snug space. (The dominant... Read more

Veggie land!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 11:41 AM
Two restaurants do not a trend make, but here are two vegetarian offerings on the way. Ross Olchvary, who was sous chef and chef de cuisine at Horizons, is hoping for a February opening for a vegan (yes, vegan) BYOB at 450 Union Square Drive in New Hope, near Triumph Brewery's New Hope location. His... Read more

First look at Zama

Monday, December 14, 2009, 11:00 AM
Some restaurant designers play with light to achieve a look. Some use color. Jun Aizaki of Crème Design Collective went with maple -- lots of it -- at Zama, the modern Japanese restaurant opening Saturday (12/19) at 128 S. 19th St. (215-568-1027), just north of Rittenhouse Square. A forest's... Read more

Burgers below Bellevue

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7:36 PM
Burgers, burgers everywhere, and Jeff Jolles and his son Michael, who own Bain’s Deli, are getting into the game with Burger Maestro. Next week, they'll expand their footprint in the Bellevue's subterranean food court. They have an in-house grinding machine, french fry cutter, and char broiler... Read more

Zama time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7:35 PM
Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka is several weeks from opening Zama, his first Japanese restaurant, just north of Rittenhouse Square, where Loie used to be (128 S. 19th St., 215-568-1027). Tanaka came to Philly from Japan about 20 years ago to study at Temple University, and ended up working at... Read more

Yama moving to Blue Bell

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 12:34 PM
Sushikazu -- which won all kinds of praise among Blue Bell's sushi cognescenti -- closed recently. But a popular Horsham sushi-ist is moving into the space at Routes 73 and 202: Jay Park, who owns Yama in Horsham Square Shopping Center, near the Naval Air Station. Park worked from the mid-1980s... Read more
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 Staff Writer
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