Equal parts art gallery and pub, Kraftwork opens Friday at Girard and Montgomery Avenues in Fishtown (541 E. Girard Ave., 215-739-1700). Adam Ritter, who owns Sidecar at 22d and Christian Streets, is operating the beer-focused operation for the Fazzio family, which also owns a steel-supply business in Glassboro.
That's where sculptor Andrew Jevremovic comes in. A Fazzio customer and Ritter buddy, he got the commission to create the interior.
Jevremovic handwrought everything - a tiger maple-and-steel bar, carved maple tables atop mining augers and oversize gears, a mammoth saw hanging on an I-beam over the bar, the oversize wrenches that control the toilets - using stuff from Fazzio's yard.
Jevremovic and Ritter stripped the walls of the former shot-and-beer to expose brick, fleur-de-lis wallpaper, horsehair plaster, and pipes. The look harks back to Fishtown's blue-collar past. (More photos: http://go.philly.com/kraftwork). The bar has 24 beer lines, plus a 25th from a hand-pump.
Chef Michael Thomas (ex-Bar Ferdinand) has conjured a food-forward menu including vegetarian items and decidedly nonvegetarian items: crispy pork terrine, a "beer-can" chicken sandwich, trout BLT, and for dessert, a sweet-and-savory item he calls a pork Krispy treat (pork rinds, marshmallow, bacon fat, and bacon).
For the first week, it opens at 5 p.m. Hours then expand to noon to 1 a.m. Weekend brunch starts May 15.
New in town
Daniel Stern (R2L, MidAtlantic) has a new culinary director: Bryan Sikora, cofounder (with his former wife, Aimee Olexy) of Django and Talula's Table. Sikora, whose recent stop was in Delaware, will focus first on MidAtlantic, 3711 Market St.
Thursday night is the expected opening of Amuse, the brasserie in the lobby of the city's new Le Meridien (1421 Arch St., 215-422-8222). Details: http://go.philly.com/amuse.
Rybread, a breakfast-slash-sandwich cafe from architect Ryan Pollock, girlfriend Stephanie Mertz, and his father, Dennis, is aiming for the breakfast/lunch crowd at 2319 Fairmount Ave. (215-769-0603). Details at http://go.philly.com/rybread.
The University City District will expand its summer Dining Days promotion to two weeks (July 15 to 29) with a record 29 restaurants; details at www.ucityphila.org.
Wrap Shack Kitchen & Bar (120 S. 18th St.) will mark its third anniversary Friday by giving away buffalo chicken and Thai chicken wraps to the first 300 customers starting at 11:30 a.m.
Contact columnist Michael Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.