It's all about the suds at Hawthornes, a cozy newcomer at 11th and Fitzwater Streets in South Philadelphia (215-627-3012).
Owners Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico are behind the cafe, which features a wood fireplace and seating area designed like a living room. The menu from chef Mike Teevan includes soups/salads/sandwiches (locally sourced ingredients, meats roasted in-house, bread and pastries baked on-premises) and regulation weekend brunch (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). There's a prepared-foods case for grab-and-go.
Hawthornes' niche is beer, and its cases are destined to hold 1,000 varieties. Patrons can buy beer to drink at the table or take home, and there are 16 varieties of "growlers" - half-gallon containers of limited-edition varieties filled from Fetfatzes' proprietary system, which minimizes oxygen that can degrade beer.
Fetfatzes has been around beer for some time. The corner was his family's Bella Vista Beer Distributor until it moved a block away. Before the Fetfatzeses were in the beer biz, they operated hot-dog carts, and this is where they stored their carts.
Jeff Jolles and his son, Michael, of Bain's Deli are behind Burger Maestro, a stand in the downstairs food court at the Bellevue (Broad and Walnut Streets). The Jolleses grind meat and cut their fries in-house. The menu includes charbroiled burgers (turkey, veggie, and buffalo) as well as Chicago hot dogs.
Han Dynasty, the suburban Szechuan twosome (Exton and Royersford), is opening at 108 Chestnut St. in Old City, where Joe Poon recently was. Owner Han Chiang is targeting mid-December and hopes to get a liquor license next year.
Sushi just keeps rolling along in Old City. Within several weeks, Maru will fill 206 Market St., which last was Anjou. (Not to be confused with Haru around the corner.) Maru will serve Japanese cuisine and offer sushi bars on its two levels - a 12-seater on the first floor and a smaller one in the lounge downstairs.
Michael Raethong, who's had a hand in assorted Southeast Asian-themers (Cafe de Laos in South Philly, White Elephant in Huntingdon Valley, Thai L'Elephant in Phoenixville), has opened Kavei in Oregon Market, a mall-like place behind the Oregon Diner at 320 W. Oregon Ave. (215-952-6688). The menu focuses on Cambodian and, for now, it's BYOB. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, later on weekends.
Sushikazu - which won all kinds of praise among Blue Bell's sushi cognoscenti - closed recently. But Yama, a popular Horsham sushi spot, will move into the space at Routes 73 and 202. Yama's Jay Park worked at the late Windows on the World in the World Trade Center in New York. He is selling the Horsham location, but will stay open until he opens Yama next month.
Contact Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or email@example.com. For real-time restaurant news, read his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and while you're at it, follow him on Twitter @phillyinsider.