Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, August 7, 2014, 3:02 PM

Time can move slowly in the hotel industry.

The Sonesta opened two years ago at 18th and Market Streets, in the former Crowne Plaza Hotel.

In January 2014, the property began a top-to-bottom renovation, morphing into something urban chic.

POSTED: Thursday, August 7, 2014, 1:33 PM
The future Tredici at 13th and Sansom Streets. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Greg Dodge, who popped the wine/beer/pizza specialist Zavino onto the northwest corner of 13th and Sansom Streets nearly five years ago, is going across the street with a new spot, Tredici.

Tredici (say it "tray-DEE-chay" and translate it as "thirteen"), a Mediterranean enoteca with a broad small-plate menu, will take the former Doggie Style shop on the southwest corner. El Vez and Capogiro also have the other corners; this is one of the densest blocks and a half of dining in the city (Sampan, Vintage, Charlie was a sinner., Barbuzzo, Lolita, Jamonera, Zio's, Mamou, plus more around each corner, like Opa).

Tredici - a 50-seater with an S-shaped dining room, 12-seat bar and open kitchen - is billed as a "more feminine" version of Zavino, with a bright, airy cafe feel. Menu from chef Carlos Aparicio will draw from Spain, France, Greece and Italy.

POSTED: Thursday, August 7, 2014, 1:07 AM
Diner en Noir will be an alternative to Diner en Blanc. (via Diner en Noir)

The morning of July 17, Dîner en Blanc opened the final web registration for those wishing to attend its annual pop-up picnic on Aug. 21 in Philadelphia.

About 10,000 people on a waiting list attempted to log in - and swiftly crashed Dîner en Blanc's registration system, based at DEB's international headquarters in Montreal.

This was not the first time that the volunteer-run DEB has encountered online registration glitches over its now-third year in Philadelphia. The event itself - whose location is disclosed only moments before its start - has run smoothly. In 2012, 1,300 people dressed in white and carrying their tables, chairs and food took over Logan Circle. Last year, 2,500 people partied on the JFK Boulevard Bridge over the Schuylkill. 

POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014, 11:35 PM
Varnana "V" Beuria in the window of her new Chhaya Cafe.

Varnana "V" Beuria has closed Chhaya Cafe - her coffee/bruncherie on East Passyunk - in anticipation of a move two doors west, to larger quarters at 1819 E. Passyunk Ave. (It's a double-wide, encompassing 1817 and 1819.)

Official opening will be Thursday, Aug. 21.

The move into the former Sweet Alyssa children's clothing store will double Chhaya's capacity to 60 (50 inside and 10 outside). In a game of musical storefronts, Sweet Alyssa moved across the street, to 1822 EPA.

POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014, 10:35 AM

You can go to Zahav in Society Hill for what many contend is the best hummus in Philadelphia.

Starting Monday, Aug. 11, you have a more casual option from restaurateurs Steven Cook and chef Michael Solomonov.

They're opening Dizengoff, an Israeli hummus shop (or hummusiya), at 1625 Sansom St., across from their mega-hit Federal Donuts. It's a casual spot - a counter and 25 seats.

POSTED: Saturday, August 9, 2014, 12:43 PM
Jake's Sandwich Board, post renovation.

Gary Dorfman and Sean Stein's renovation of their Jake's Sandwich Board (122 S. 12th St., 215-922-0102) went even more smoothly than anticipated.

The four-year-old joint closed after business Sunday, Aug. 3, and work wrapped in the wee smalls of Saturday, Aug. 9. They're reopened

The new look - from Eimer Design, which just did the new Good Stuff Eatery and The Fat Ham - will include vintage Philly photos on the walls and requisite old-fashioned lighting.

POSTED: Friday, August 1, 2014, 12:27 PM
Chabaa Thai, 4371 Main St. (via Facebook)

The lease of Chabaa Thai - which has occupied 4371 Main St. since 2004 - ends in September.

But owner Moon Krapugthong - who prefers not to call the inevitable shutdown an actual "closing" - has her eye on another location.

Meanwhile, it is business as usual at Chabaa Thai.

POSTED: Friday, August 1, 2014, 2:26 AM
Jack Roe behind the bar at Tangier on July 30, 2014. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Out with the old, in with the new.

It's called progress.

Jack Roe knows all that.

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. Reach Michael at

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