Tweed: Still Closed, But Now It’s Permanent

Remember a few days ago when we told you all about Tweed closing temporarily because of a problem with the roof? Yeah, well someone else was apparently paying attention to Foobooz that day, too–namely Howard Taylor, who owns the building at 114 South 12th Street where Tweed had lived for just a year. And he was concerned because, as far as he knew, there were absolutely no problems with the roof, the HVAC system, or anything else that the folks from Tweed were saying were causing them to go suddenly dark.

But just to make sure, Taylor decided it would be smart to hire someone to go and check it out. Which he did just a few days ago. And this investigation yielded two things:

First, there were no issues with the HVAC system and the roof wasn’t collapsing, as Tweed had claimed.

Second, the space had been completely stripped bare.

“They’d apparently abandoned it,” Taylor told me when I got him on the blower two days ago. I asked him how it’d looked–whether it looked like Tweed’s owner Edward Bianchini had moved out for good or was looking at re-opening, as had been claimed by the staff at Tweed when I called last week.

“More than you could believe,” Taylor said, referring to what had been removed. “Everything is gone. The bar is gone. The walls are gone.”I asked if he’d been given any notice by Bianchini or anyone at Tweed, and he said no. “I found out about it from reading your article.”

And as to what Bianchini had told him about any plans for a rebirth in a couple weeks (which was the time frame I was given when I first called Tweed), Taylor just said, “We aren’t talking much.”

Which doesn’t surprise me at all, because I’ve left messages with Tweed which have gone unreturned (the voice mail box is now full, leading me to believe that I’m not the only one trying to get some answers). I’ve repeatedly called Bianchini’s lawyer, and gotten no response. I did manage to raise the (former) GM from Tweed, Jessica Vitagliano (she called herself a hostess last time I talked with her), who confirmed that Tweed is done for good (“We did move out,” she said) and that Bianchini and Taylor “are going through some battles.” She also insisted that there were some issues with the roof, but that the final closure did come “as kind of a surprise” to the staff–most of whom apparently knew that something was going sideways, but not exactly what.

And as for Bianchini himself? I just got him on the phone this morning, and as soon as I identified myself he told me he couldn’t talk–saying that he was in a business meeting but would be free in a half-hour. I waited 30 minutes, called, got no answer. Then I called again. Still no answer. It’s now been almost an hour now, and my calls are going straight to voice mail, but as soon as we know more, you’ll know more.

Stay tuned for updates…

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For even more breaking restaurant news (plus musings about tacos, zombies, whiskey and pie), follow me, @Jason_Sheehan

  • J

    Not surprised

  • jerseygirl

    I had a certificate for a tasting menu for two to here (from a third party site) and just called to get it refunded. They said they called the owner (while I was on hold) and Tweed is still claiming it has room problems and will reopen before the certificate would expire (the end of August). They weren’t sure if it would be at this or another location. I got my money back anyway…

  • http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/author/jsheehan Jason Sheehan

    @Jerseygirl I also had someone tell me that Tweed was looking for a new location in the city. Probably better that you got your money back, though.

  • ja

    damn! i knew something was fishy!

  • Pete

    Drama! I love it. Thanks Foobooz! Also not surprised after having frequented the place a few months back.

  • Scott

    I’ve grilled you for other stuff so a kudos in order to j. Sheehan. Good work with the reporting.

  • Michael G

    While I hate to see any business fail, this isn’t a surprise given my only visit here. Slow clueless service and an odd menu. I’m beginning to think this location is doomed.

  • http://midtownlunch.com/philadelphia Jamie

    Also very unsurprised, I had a feeling this was coming. They didn’t bring enough to the table. The happy hour was lackluster.

  • DDP

    Miserable experience there. Not surprised.

  • http://philaphilia.blogspot.com GroJLart

    Wow… so they lied about the roof collapse to have an excuse to be closed and move out? There’s some dirty dealing afoot here. Pretty amazing news. If they open up somewhere else I’ll be amazed… what landlord would want to deal with these people?

  • Gorgonzola

    Check out Phillymag.com October 2010 review “Tweed.” It sounds like they walked into a dilapidated space and had to spend money to get it up to code. Always get leased space inspected BEFORE signing on the dotted line!