As a teen, Marcus Severs worked the counter at his uncle's seafood place, Cap'n Cats Clam Bar & Tavern in West Deptford.
In the last two weeks, since he added a market to his Little Tuna restaurant (141 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, 856-795-0888), Severs feels like a kid again. The seven-day weeks?
"The interaction with customers," said Severs, one of the chattiest guys in the business. "I talk to every customer, whether on their way in or on their way out."
The subway-tiled market, taking over the space that was the gift shop Jamaican Me Crazy (which relocated to Rowan University), sells mainly prepared foods and has a 6-foot raw bar and 25-gallon lobster tank.
Restaurant patrons, who must pass through the market, can use it as a waiting room.
Severs first opened Little Tuna on Haddon Avenue in 2002. Three years later, having outgrown that space, he moved into the current space, which was Cafe M.
Harrah's Casino in Chester got into the pub game with Philly Tap & Tavern (777 Harrah's Blvd., Chester). It offers something for just about everyone, what with 23 brews on tap, plus 12 LED TVs, an additional 82-incher, and an all-American, cardiologist-dream menu that includes beer-batter onion rings, fried green beans, bacon-covered potato skins, twice-fried chicken wings, and eight different burgers, including Kobe and bison.
Lil' Pop Shop, which makes and sells bold-flavored ice pops from a West Philadelphia storefront, is preparing a second location: 538 S. Fourth St., just off Fourth and South Streets. Owner Jeanne Chang, trained in pastry at the Culinary Institute of America, hopes to open this summer.
Krispy Kreme makes its foray into the western burbs at 6:30 a.m. April 9, when it flips on the lights at its new shop in Havertown at Eagle Road and Route 3 (West Chester Pike) in the Manoa Shopping Center.
How about a ye olde restaurant boom in Lafayette Hill?
The big news a few weeks ago was that the General Lafayette Inn will return this summer as Barren Hill Tavern, under the ownership of the Devil's Den crew.
Now comes word that neighboring Brittingham's Irish Pub & Restaurant (640 E. Germantown Pike, 610-828-7351) will close April 1 and reopen in the fall under owners Randy Feinberg, a developer, and David Eckelmeyer, longtime owner of CJ & Ecks in Roxborough.
The plan is to maintain the name and the circa-1743 bar area, but to update everything else.
Chef Jonathan "Jonny Mac" Adams, who left Pub & Kitchen recently, will consult with his old Brasserie Perrier line-mate, executive chef Joseph Frost (ex-Ritz-Carlton, Georges').
They will execute an Irish-inspired neighborhood menu.
The look by Morrissey Design will include light colors and natural woods. The two dining rooms will be redone, and a bar will open to the outside, which will feature wraparound decks, porches and outdoor firepits.
Pub & Kitchen at 20th and Lombard Streets will close after service Sunday for a two-week renovation, which also will yield a new chef. Eli Collins, most recently executive chef of Daniel Boulud's DBGB in New York, was part of the restaurant's opening team in 2008. Designer Ian Chapin, who worked on the owners' new Fitler Dining Room, will goose up the lighting, refinish floors, and sub out furniture and more.
The seating and menu at 10 Arts in the Ritz-Carlton have been tightened up. The swank carpeted area behind the iconic columns on the Chestnut Street side will be used for breakfast and private parties. Lunch, dinner, and late-night dining will be focused on the lounge - the area closer to the bar - and chef Nathan Volz will offer one, smaller menu. Small and medium plates, still made mainly of locally sourced ingredients, will predominate, as opposed to larger entrees. Favorites such as the warm soft pretzels will remain.
Mount Airy's Earth Bread + Brewery (7136 Germantown Ave.) now serves lunch on weekends from noon to 4 p.m.
Former 943 BYOB owner Pascual "Pat" Cancelliere joined Bainbridge Street Barrel House for but a millisecond. He now is at Morgan's Pier with former Stateside executive chef George Sabatino. New chef at Stateside is Elijah Milligan.