Zahav alums Tyler Akin and Nicole Reigle have opened their long-in-the-works, high-end pho restaurant Stock (308 E. Girard Ave.), a dramatic reconfiguration of a Fishtown ice cream parlor.
Akin, a Wilmington native, got turned on to Vietnamese and Southeast Asian cuisine while traveling. Three years ago, the two were living in Washington, D.C., visiting their favorite pho shop, "nursing a hangover, when we started throwing around some what-ifs," Akin said.
"What if we could make some pho with really awesome ingredients? What if we move to Philly and tried to make this happen?"
Akin uses high-end ingredients in a modern design by Ambit Architecture. The whole experience - all of 18 seats, and BYOB at that - is not intended to duplicate Philly's crop of Viet noodle shops. Menu is basically two salads, two appetizers, a regular pho, a vegetarian pho, and a dessert. It's open for dinner Thursday to Monday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., and for lunch Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Public House giving way
After nine years in Two Logan Square on 18th Street, Brian Harrington and Gary Cardi are saying goodbye to Public House, and July 5 will be the meet market's finale. The partners will renovate heavily and reopen in September as a City Tap House, a version of their beer-centric bar/restaurant in the Radian at 40th and Walnut Streets. They opened another CTH in Washington, D.C., in December.
Rash of closings
Summertime typically is a slow season. Perhaps anticipating this, several restaurants on shaky ground have given up. Spamps in Conshohocken has chosen Sunday as its finale after nearly eight years. The Mildred in Bella Vista is down after a year and a half. Lemon Hill in Fairmount lasted just shy of two years. It's also dark at the McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant and its adjacent William Douglas Steak House at the Market Place in Cherry Hill after six years.
Christopher's, A Neighborhood Place, the family-friendly gathering spot in Wayne, has branched out to 335 E. King St. in Malvern (484-568-4127), in the Apartments at Eastside Flats. Same vibe and little-bit-of-everything menu.
June 13 marks the reopening of the AMC Painter's Crossing outside of West Chester after three months. It's no longer a popcorn palace; it will be a "dine-in" theater, offering food and drinks in the seating area.
Organizers of Philadelphia's Diner en Blanc released the date of the 2014 edition of the pop-up picnic. It will be the evening of Aug. 21 at a location that will be disclosed only moments before the event. The organizers also said there will be at least 3,400 seats this time. Last year, 2,550 DEB attendees - all dressed in white, per tradition - toted tables, chairs, and food to the JFK Boulevard Bridge over the Schuylkill.
More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike.