Collingswood's Blackbird yielding to a burger eatery

Alex Capasso (inset) will convert his Blackbird Dining Establishment and West Side Gravy into Benny's Burger Joint.

Generations ate burgers at the lunch counter of the Woolworth's in Collingswood.

The five-and-dime is long, long gone, but burgers again will be on the menu there in several weeks.

Chef Alex Capasso spread word to his followers that he plans to close Blackbird Dining Establishment and West Side Gravy, his side-by-side BYOBs at the old F.W. Woolworth store, pending a relocation of Blackbird to Center City.

"I think Blackbird would do better in the city," he told me.

Last day at 714 Haddon Ave. will be July 14. Capasso is offering a $35 prix-fixe menu through that date as he winds things down.

A few weeks later, Capasso said in an interview, he will open Benny's Burger Joint at the same location. "Simple but interesting" is how Capasso described Benny's, named after his 9-year-old son. Benny's will have waiter service.

The menu will have some flourishes, such as burgers on doughnuts and a burger-on-grilled cheese sandwich.

Capasso emphasized that he is still high on Collingswood, his hometown. He opened Blackbird six-plus years ago in the Collings Avenue storefront now occuped by IndeBlue. He opened West Side Gravy in the Haddon Avenue space in 2010 and a year later carved it out to accommodate a relocated Blackbird.

Capasso is negotiating for a restaurant with liquor license in Center City and hopes to have Blackbird running there in the fall.

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