Over 20 years, James Morrissey's interior-design work has included such restaurants as the new B2 Bluefin, City Tap House, Magerk's, Paris Bistro, and the Plenty near Rittenhouse Square.
Now he's a restaurateur, as well, with last weekend's soft opening of SOMO (4311 Main St., 267-297-6483), a cozy yet vibrant, stylish, wallet-friendly spot in Manayunk occupying the short-lived location of Rubb BBQ. It's named for Morrissey's 7-year-old daughter, Sophia Morrissey.
"I like to create and I love to bring people together," said Morrissey, who is so bullish on Manayunk that he also moved his offices up the street. Fieldstone, wood, and mood lighting figure into the vintage-modern atmosphere, which includes a semiprivate banquette in the rear.
Allen Lattany, a veteran chef whose varied background includes many years with Al Paris, and at Public House, Deux Cheminees, and Peter Shields Inn, oversees a reasonably priced eclectic American menu (top dinner price: $21 for the petite filet). Bar is stocked with $9 and $11 cocktails, 24 craft beers on tap, and wines.
It's open at 4 p.m. for dinner daily, and at 9 a.m. on weekends for brunch. Lunch (Wednesday through Friday) is on the way in two weeks.
There's SOMO, and there will be Sona, as well. Expected to open just up the street in the next two weeks is Sona Pub & Kitchen, replacing Kildare's at 4417 Main St.