Restaurants come and restaurants go. And in Fairmount, the old Lucky 7 is out at 25th and Aspen Street and, by this December, the long-awaited, long-speculated sequel to the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. will be in. And its name?
Biddle. Something other than Biddle. Brought to you by Mike Welsh–one of the minds behind the Franklin, where they serve up cocktails like Drawing Down the Moon and Childhood’s End–and chef Mitch Prensky of Supper and Global Dish Catering (who has had a long relationship with Welsh and the Franklin, providing catering services for the underground bar at 18th and Chestnut), at Biddle this as-yet-unnamed restaurant they will serve comfort food on a higher level.
“It seemed cold and uncomfortable [in there] before,” said Welsh about the former Lucky 7 space. “We want to do everything we can do bring that warmth back.”
That includes an interior facelift to the exposed-brick location, new bathrooms and all new kitchen equipment for Prensky and his future crew to play with.
While Welsh said it was still too early to reveal the menu (since he and Prensky are still refining its dishes), we got a glance at an early copy today. And though Welsh laughed when we asked him about it and said he could neither confirm nor deny what we saw, our early look at the board revealed snacks like saffron risotto arancini with salsa verde and a California roll, among others. Entrees (might) include brick oven roasted market fish of the day. Or braised honey ham and hearth-baked cavatappi with aged goat cheese, braised kale, tomato, olives and chilies.
And as for the all-important booze?
“Our focus at this place is to do classics and do them very well,” Welsh said.
With Garces (Tinto, Village Whiskey) alum Keith Raimondi running the place and the Franklin’s beverage manager already on board, that seems like a goal that’s within reach. Add in Prensky and his talent for melding local/organic/farm-to-table dedication with a modernist’s eye for what the neighbors like to eat (see: the Supper Dog–a homemade hot dog, wrapped in bacon, deep-fried and served with barbecued onions and buttermilk fried pickles) and Biddle Welsh & Prensky’s Chicken ‘n Whiskey appears poised to make a run at combining a great kitchen with a killer bar in a way that few other restaurants in the city can.
The only trouble? It looks like we’re going to have to wait until around mid-December to see how it all comes together. The opening date being kicked around right now? December 12.
UPDATE: The partners, it appears, were not yet in complete agreement over what the name of the new place was going to be. Which makes sense, as “Biddle” (which was at some point considered for the name) did strike us as an odd choice. In any event, the place has no name yet, but will soon. And when it does, we’ll let you know what it is.
In the meantime, we’re just going to stick with calling it “Welsh & Prensky’s Chicken ‘n Whiskey” which, not for nothing, is a pretty awesome name.