Over the past decade, Connecticut-based Barteca Group expanded its Barcelona Wine Bar concept to 12 locations in five different states. It’s 13th location will open on East Passyunk Avenue sometime this summer, and that bums me the eff out. Read more »
Han Dynasty’s Han Chiang will be the first to tell you he doesn’t shy away from a verbal scrap, whether it’s with a guest in his restaurant complaining about the heat of his dishes or a group of wedding celebrants allegedly throwing racist remarks his way outside his place.
It was the latter, Chiang says, that landed him in the hospital with a fractured ankle early on Friday morning. Read more »
Cider is a big-freakin’-deal this year. It maybe even bigger than beer (gasp!) if you consider the many cider-driven dinners happening all over the city (like Saté Kampar’s sambal/cheese/cider dinner and Good King’s Cider Suppers), and the new local labels popping up throughout the region (like Plougman Cider and Big Hill Ciderworks), not to mention the cideries opening here by the end of the year. Original 13 Ciderworks is scheduled to open in Kensington this summer, and Kurant is scheduled to open not too long after at 436 East Girard Avenue.
And now there’s Hale & True, opening a cidery and tasting room in Bella Vista at 613 South 7th Street — on the bottom floor of a brand new luxury apartment building, right across from The Good King Tavern — later this year.
The trio behind Philly’s two Pistola’s restaurants, Jose Pistola’s and Sancho Pistola’s — Joe Gunn, Casey Parker, and Adán Trinidad — are heading south for their third concept. The old Palladino’s space, situated at the Passyunk Avenue gateway, will be home to their new restaurant and bar, Pistola’s Del Sur.
Lo Spiedo was always a solid enough concept for the Navy Yard. It was a back-to-the-basics approach by the Vetri Family culinary team, where a casual American menu centered itself around the kitchen’s custom-built spit and wood-fired grill. According to co-owner Jeff Benjamin, lunchtime was great for the restaurant — so was happy hour — which makes sense if you consider the 12,000-or-so employees working at the Navy Yard complex.
But when the Vetri higher-ups sat around the boardroom to brainstorm ways to grow its dinner crowd, Brad Spence (the chef-partner behind Amis) proposed a name/concept-change: Bar Amis.
Today, Bop, Brent Celek (yeah, that one) and Scott Keenan’s humdrum Korean fusion restaurant on Broad Street with a “three-umbrella problem“, is officially no more. And that’s okay. There’s better Korean in Center City to be had, what with Dae Bak now open, SouthGate doing its thing in Rittenhouse, plus a few more opening soon (Serpico/Starr’s new Korean spot on Sansom Street Kyung Ho and Chris Cho’s Center City Seorabol).
In its place, opening this Friday (June 9th), will be the second coming of the Blue Duck — this one called Blue Duck on Broad — Northeast Philly’s New American restaurant by Kris Serviss and Joe Callahan, Jr.
It’s no secret that owning a restaurant is hard — anybody who’s made it in the business inevitably carries an air of deep exhaustion and moments of doubt and regret. And you — the one who sweated your way up the ladder from dishwasher to exec? Despite how much you think you know (assuming you’ve got that kitchen person’s ego), you don’t know everything, and not recognizing that may very well prove your demise. Restaurants fail more often than not, and choosing to take on the challenge alone is borderline madness. The smartest move you can make: buddy up.
I mean, Mike Solomonov did it. While he’s toying with tehina, Steve Cook’s in his corner, inking real estate deals. Marc Vetri has Jeff Benjamin growing the empire so he can stuff his ravioli and build his brigade. Peter Serpico hooked up with Stephen Starr, and Midtown Village’s restaurant scene owes nearly all of its success to Marcie Turney (the chef half) and Val Safran (the everything-else half). It’s everywhere, and it works simply because humans have talents that lie in some things but not all things. Read more »