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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: June, 2013

POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 5:01 PM

Tim Noble, who's been opening eyes in Merion Station with his Town Hall Coffee, just opened his first branch.

It's in ground floor of the Franklin Residences (aka Ben Franklin Hotel) at 822 Chestnut St. Lovely, high-ceilinged decor reflects the grandeur of the Horace Trumbauer-designed landmark..

Right now, Noble is ramping up operations, bringing in pastries and such. After July 4, the shop will add light fare as well as custom sandwiches made by Di Bruno's. (Di Bruno's, coincidentally, will be opening a branch in the Ben's Ninth and Sansom corner later this year).

POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:41 PM
Avalon in West Chester. The bar will replace the table in front of the open kitchen.

After 11 years in West Chester, John Brandt-Lee has applied for a liquor license for Avalon.

It comes down to money, as you might imagine.

"This is a pretty affluent area, but it's very difficult to keep it busy during the week," Brandt-Lee says. Installing a bar will make Avalon more of a weeknight drop-in and will allow him more flexibility with the menu (e.g. better prices).

POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:05 PM
(RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)

Keith Garabedian of Hot Diggity and the South Street Headhouse District want to do for hot dogs what Burger Brawl has done for burgers.

Details are still being hammered out, but 20 restaurants will cook hot dogs in a friendly, charity competition from noon to 4 p.m. July 20 at the Headhouse Shambles on Second Street near Lombard.

Among the names signed on are Hot Diggity, Brauhaus Schmitz, Blue Belly BBQ, Alla Spina, Supper, and Fat Jacks BBQ.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 10:46 AM
Hop Sing Laundromat, 1029 Race St. (Robert Neroni Photography)

Chinatown craft-cocktail bar Hop Sing Laundromat (1029 Race St.) is stepping back its operation, but only for the summer.

Lee, the solo-named operator, says he will close Sundays and Mondays until September, effective immediately.

He says he has some project to attend to in New York.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 10:31 PM

Husband-wife team Gianluca Demontis and Rosemarie Tran, who own the Italian BYOB Melograno at 2012 Sansom St., are venturing to their Main Line back yard for their next project.

It's called Fraschetta, and the 50-seater will join Bryn Mawr's restaurant row at 816 W. Lancaster Ave. (610-525-1007) on Friday, June 28. It initially will be open Tuesday to Sunday for dinner; lunch will follow.

Demontis is going back to his Roman roots for this BYOB. "It's peasant food, done right," he says.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7:23 PM
Roots Cafe replaces Gilmore's in downtown West Chester. (MARY BIGHAM / West Chester Dish)

Dan Cellucci has elevated his Roots Cafe in West Chester with a two-block move.

On Tuesday, June 25, he greeted customers at 133 E. Gay St., the former longtime home of Gilmore's.

Cellucci opened the organic-sustainable breakfast-and-luncher just about two years ago at 8 W. Gay St. in West Chester. It seated 17 at the very most. Roots moved out two weeks ago.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 1:23 PM
Bisou, 4161 Main St. The deck will be to the right of the building.

Bisou, chef Clark Gilbert’s French bistro in Manayunk, is adding a 25-seat second-story deck.

The deck will be constructed in the space between Bisou and the building next door and accessible from Bisou’s second floor. The bistro already has sidewalk dining.

Gilbert hopes to have it completed later this summer.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 12:28 PM

After working for her mother, Peggy Stephens, at the Rittenhouse tea destination Premium Steap for two years, Colleen McHale has branched out to Fishtown with Steap and Grind.

It's a coffee and tea house in that neat triangle-shaped building at Frankford and Columbia, across from the 19125 post office (1619 Frankford Ave., 267-858-4427).

McHale offers a couple dozen different loose teas by the pot and cup (and at retail) as well as Gimme! Coffee in a sleek, pleasant atmosphere. It's open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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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