City Tap House, whose 60 full-time beer taps may be the most of any one spot in the region, is less than a week old on the Radian Balcony (3925 Walnut St., 215-662-0105) in University City.
Partridge Architects' look is mountain lodge and uses reclaimed wood, slate tile, a hammered-copper bar top, and five outdoor fire pits.
Centerpiece of the 120-seat dining room is a large "island" bar. Besides two semiprivate dining grottoes, there's a semiprivate lounge with up to 12 additional taps. The upscale pub-food menu from culinary director Brian Cooke and executive chef Al Paris is at http://go.philly.com/citytap.
Owners Brian Harrington, Gary Cardi, Chris Coco, and Frank Falesto also operate Mission Grill, Field House, and Public House.
More elbow room
Pizzeria Stella (Second and Lombard Streets) has expanded with a bar next door, in the former Pilates studio on the Second Street side. You can get in through the front door or head through a passage from Stella. The 12-seat wooden bar, recovered from a VFW post in Upstate New York, and the painted bricks give the bar an oldtime-tap vibe. Four booths sit 16, and three tables accommodate 12 more. It has the same menu as Stella, plus a full bar.
In and out
Owner Marty Grims has closed Chew Man Chu, the lively pan-Asian in the Symphony House at Broad and Pine Streets, after six months. Grims said he hopes to sell it or find a new partner.
Doors opened Monday at Muntin, a more subdued pan-Asian on the ground floor of Center City One (1326 Spruce St., 215-546-0180), replacing Misso. Owners Jian Liu and Frankie Lin have ties to Aikou in Flemington, N.J. See the menu at http://go.philly.com/muntin. It's open from lunch through late night daily.
Swanky Bubbles' Cherry Hill location, in Short Hills Shopping Center since early 2007, ran out of effervescence last weekend. The Old City original will remain. Ira Zipper, who had been helping to run Cherry Hill, can be found at Ladder 15 in Center City. Talk is that Dublin Square, an Irish pub out of Bordentown, is in line to assume the Cherry Hill space.
Bad timing plus bad luck: That's the story behind the recent closing of Jasper in Downingtown. In May 2008, one day before the web-posting of a positive review from The Inquirer's Craig LaBan, chef-owner Nick DiFonzo was stricken with a brain aneurysm and was out for two months. By then, "business never came back," he said. "Then the economy went south." Recovered physically, he has stepped out of the kitchen and is watching his sons grow up. "Someday, I'll be back," he said.
The Drafting Room in Spring House closed early this month after 10 years, the day before the state attorney general charged owner Andrew Weintraub with sales-tax evasion. Weintraub also operates a Drafting Room and Brickside Grille in Exton. Attorney Tom Schindler said he was working with the state and did not believe that Weintraub's actions were criminal. Weintraub will enter a not-guilty plea at his formal arraignment next Thursday, Schindler said.