1805-7 Washington Ave., Philadelphia 19146, 215-546-2233; chicksphilly.com
Everything behind the roll-up garage door walls of this cavernous new restaurant, pizzeria, and bar is so unlikely - from the converted warehouse location on industrial Washington Avenue, to the multi-culti comfort food updates, to the underworld history of its name and ownership relations - that Chick's is a genuinely pleasant surprise. The staff is outgoing and friendly. The prices are reasonable. And with veteran chef Fred Ryan (Devil's Den, Lacroix) presiding over a scratch menu ranging from Italian sandwiches to pho broth mussels, tacos, unusual pizzas, and meatloaf Americana, Chick's has the potential to become a lively and casual all-purpose hub for the two rapidly evolving neighborhoods in the 19146 zip that flank it.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS Duck wontons; crab arancini (special); Buffalo falafel; carnitas tacos; burrata salad (special); watermelon-tomato salad (special); BBQ chicken salad; pho mussels; chicken Parm sandwich; roast pork; salmon with risotto; meatloaf; shrimp scampi; pizzas (Big Rock; Old Forge).
DRINKS Craft beer is a focus with two dozen drafts featuring locals large and small (Victory, Highway Manor, Sterling Pig, 2SP), plus national and international, and some macro options (Bell's, Chimay, Avery). There's a solid list of simple but appealing cocktails, from the barrel-aged Negroni to the gingery bourbon Golden Age. There's also a small but affordable selection of wines, with decent options from producers like Kermit Lynch, Catena, Decibel and Pine Ridge.
WEEKEND NOISE The hard surfaces of the converted industrial space can hit a boisterous 88 decibels when busy (ideal is 75 decibels or less).
IF YOU GO Menu served Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until midnight; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner plates offered after 5 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sandwich éntrees, $11-$24.
All major cards.
Reservations only for parties of six or more.
Street parking only.