Is Taste in Phoenixville Going to Be a Game-Changer for Philly’s Vegans?

Yesterday, I got a fairly run-of-the-mill press release announcing the impending opening of a new restaurant. Taste, which is going into the former home of the Sand Castle Winery wine shop at 236 Bridge Street, is scheduled to open on Thursday, May 18, and will be a vegan restaurant, seating about 50, with another 20 seats at the bar.

And sure, a high-end vegan restaurant in the ‘burbs? That’s news. Especially one that has a bar. But that wasn’t what intrigued me. This was the line in the press release that caught my eye:

“Situated in the heart of historic downtown Phoenixville, TASTE, the former wine and small plates retail store, has been transformed into a chic vegan restaurant, featuring savory and elegant comfort food, with the emphasis on proteins.”

Now, wait. Read it again. A vegan restaurant, with an emphasis on proteins. That’s weird right from the start, isn’t it? Because that’s not the way any vegan operation normally talks about their food. But what makes that line even more important is where those (plant) proteins are coming from. Namely, the Herbivorous Butcher, one of the most talked about food start-ups of the past couple years.

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Marigold Kitchen’s New Restaurant Has a Name

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Last week, we had the news that Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza from West Philly’s Marigold Kitchen were going to be opening a new restaurant together. Kochan is the owner. Lanza is going to be his executive chef. And this is big news because, together, the two of them have already been running one of the best, most creative restaurants in the city. And now they’re going to be moving in on one of the most booming mini-neighborhoods in the entire city–that odd little stretch of Walnut Street on the edge of Rittenhouse that is already home to Vernick (which took the top spot on our newest 50 Best Restaurants list a few months back), Jose Garces’s 24 (reviewed a couple weeks ago) and Res Ipsa (which I just reviewed this morning).

Now we have a few more details. The first thing we know? The name. It’s going to be called TALK (yeah, all caps)–as an acronym for Tim Andrew Lanza Kochan.

But that’s not all we know

Marigold Kitchen’s Andrew Kochan Is Opening A Restaurant On Walnut Street

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2121 Walnut Street (the former L’Image Studio) has been an address we’ve been keeping an eye on for a while now–one of those that none of us here at Foobooz World HQ could believe has been vacant for as long as it has been. As a matter of fact, I was just in for lunch at Res Ipsa–which lives just down the street at 2218 Walnut–and as soon as I got back to the office, the first thing I wanted to talk about wasn’t the egg sandwich with herbed long hot spread (which was awesome, by the way), but the fact that 2121 Walnut was still dark.

Well, that was two weeks ago. And as of this weekend, we no longer have to wonder who’s going to open there. Because Andrew Kochan, chef-partner at Marigold Kitchen in West Philly, just signed a lease and is bringing a new restaurant to the neighborhood.

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Jezabel’s Studio Bringing Mate, Cookies and Crafts to West Philly

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Jezabel Careaga, owner of the Argentine restaurant Jezabel’s Cafe at 26th and Pine, has just picked up a second space in West Philly. Specifically, a tiny, 400 square foot space at 208 South 45th Street.

And this new place? It’s not going to be like the original Jezabel’s. While there is a kitchen, the space is too small to be run like a traditional restaurant. So instead, Careaga is going to turn it into something…else. Into a place for tea and cookies, crafts and demonstrations. She’s calling it Jezabel’s Studio and has plans to open it sometime in the next couple months.

Here’s what we know…

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Tredici Bryn Mawr is Getting Close to an Opening Date

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Gred Dodge/Facebook

That above picture is what the dining room at the new Enoteca Tredici in Bryn Mawr looks like right now — not finished, obviously, but a lot closer to finished than it has been. And no, we don’t have the name written backwards. According to a recent Facebook post by owner Greg Dodge, they had to switch up the name a little in order to keep it from getting confused with a different local business — Wayne’s Tredici Italian Market.

In that same post, he also gave us the news we’ve been waiting to hear: That the 5,000 square foot Tredici at Bryn Mawr Village (915 West Lancaster Avenue, in the same complex where the Main Line’s first La Colombe opened last year) is nearing completion and that they’re planning on an April opening.

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Evil Genius Is Opening Their Fishtown Brewpub Next Week

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See that? That’s what 1727 North Front Street looked like when the crew from Evil Genius Beer Company first got their hands on it in October of 2015. It was an old carriage factory, falling to pieces in an overgrown lot. But over the past 18 months, they’ve torn everything down, cleaned everything up, and on Wednesday, March 8, they’re going to officially open it up to the public as the brand new Evil Genius Brewpub–which is nothing but good news for their new Fishtown neighbors and everyone else in Philly.

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Jose Garces is Opening Three Restaurants at the Tropicana in Atlantic City

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Atlantic City is apparently collecting Iron Chefs. With Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Geoffrey Zakarian already there and Michael Symon opening Angeline at the Borgata sometime in the next few months, the city is well on its way to a full house (see what I did there?).

But now, with opening dates set for the three completely new operations from the Garces Group that we told you about last year, they’re flush with ’em. And Jose Garces is even going to sneak in ahead of Symon because he’s got opening dates set for all three locations (all of which are going into re-done spaces at the Tropicana) in the first week of March.

So, yeah. Really soon. Here’s what we know.

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Here’s Everything We Know About the New Philadelphia Distilling Complex

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Philadelphia Distilling, home of Bluecoat Gin, Penn1681 Vodka, Vieux Carre Absinthe and a different vodka that tastes like Old Bay, is getting some new, fancy digs at 25 East Allen Street in Fishtown, in the former home of the Ajax Metal Company.

This is a big expansion — a serious investment by one of our largest local distillers that will be both a fully-functioning production facility and a showcase for its product. So here’s everything we know.

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Otis & Pickle’s Speakeasy Has A Menu

Otis & Pickles Speakeasy

Otis & Pickle’s Speakeasy

You guys remember Otis & Pickle’s Speakeasy, right? It’s the new bar project being put together by Charlie Collazo of the Institute, located deep in South Philly in the former home of Cooley’s Bar at the corner of 3rd and Porter. Back when we first reported on the place, we knew three things about it.

One, it was going to be a “speakeasy” focused on cocktails and, of course, pickles.

Two, this:

Collazo got the name from a couple of characters he met who over the summer while working at the Creamery Beer Garden in Kennett Square this summer. Otis and Pickles are brothers who owned an automotive garage near the Creamery. Both are over 70, Otis just lost his last tooth and Pickles, well he’s often pickled.

And three, it was going to be a place that did not tolerate “douchebaggery,” which we appreciate.

But now we’ve got a few more details. Like a menu. And a tentative opening date.

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