A big deal in Chestnut Hill, and a shocker on the side:
Al Paris, Benjamin Bynum and Robert Bynum have signed a deal to install Paris Bistro, a '30s-style French bistro with a bar upstairs and a jazz cafe downstairs, in the former spot occupied by the Melting Pot in the Chestnut Hill Hotel on Germantown Avenue.
Paris - who will be chef, as he is at Heirloom, a BYO up the street at the Top of the Hill - said he expected it to open in the late spring. (Last fall, I told you about an Italian-leaning bistro called Bardea that would take over that space; that deal fell through, said the owner, Scott Stein, who said he was looking elsewhere in Chestnut Hill for a spot.)
Now for the shocker: Jonathan's Best, a gourmet shop that's been at the side of the hotel since the 1980s, is closing at the end of March. The Bynums are installing Green Soul - their health-food cafe now in Ogontz - in that spot; Paris said they were unsure what they would do with the original location.