Helm in Olde Kensington | Photo by Emily Teel
Despite what the weather might be doing, we’re calling it: Spring is here. And as always, the change in seasons gives us an excuse to look forward at all the upcoming restaurant openings that we’re excited about.
So here’s what we’ve got coming up on the calendar. One word of caution though: Before you all go getting too excited about one place or another, let’s keep in mind that restaurant opening dates are HIGHLY speculative. As history has taught us time and time again, just because some place says it’s going to be open in April doesn’t mean that we won’t still be waiting for it to open its door come November. Of next year. Read more »
Joe’s Steaks at Frankford and Girard.
The second location of Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop is set to open at the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenue on Wednesday, April 1st. The legendary cheesesteak spot’s sequel will at once feel familiar to fans of the original and will also blow them away with just how nice the new spot is.
However, most importantly the quality of Joe’s Steaks was on display in Fishtown. In a cheesesteak, hand-cut fries and milkshake sampled prior to the opening, there was no mistaking how good Joe’s can be.
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Helm, the Old Kensington BYOB from chef-duo Kevin D’Egidio (recently at Stateside), and Michael Griffiths (former sous chef at Fork), is set to officially open tonight. For the past few evenings the pair have been cooking dishes from their first menu for friends and family, and based on our first tastes, these dishes are going to be an easy sell even to folks who aren’t related to them.
We’ve got the menu, a look at the interior and plenty of pictures, all after the jump.
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Wawa #103 at 912 Walnut Street won’t be the only Walnut Street Wawa in Center City.
What started as a Twitter rumor was confirmed by Michael Klein. Wawa is coming back to Center City Philadelphia, and in a big way. The local convenience store is under contract with the former Robinson’s Luggage at Broad and Walnut.
The new store will have 5,300 square feet of space and a source told Klein there will be seating inside.
What isn’t clear is whether this opening will be followed by other Center City stores or if this new location will differ from the traditional Wawa.
Property has more from Mike Gorman of Metro Commercial Real Estate.
Wawa Coming to Former Robinson Luggage Spot on Broad Street [Property]
It seems like we’ve been waiting around forever for Tria to open up in Fitler Square. But now, it seems like everything is finally coming together.
The new location is set to open in early April at the old Dmitri’s location at 2227 Pine Street.
Executive chef Karen Nicolas now leads the kitchen with a larger, more dinner-focused menu, featuring seafood and pasta dishes. But don’t fret. Management promises you’ll still be able to find some of their most popular small plates and sandwiches.
Along with a larger menu, Tria Fitler Square will also have 30 outdoor seats (open as soon as things warm up a little outside). Meanwhile, the inside of the restaurant will be a bit different than you might remember from Dmitri’s, with additional windows for views of the park.
The build-out on Mitch Prensky’s Scratch Biscuits storefront at 1306 Chestnut Street is on schedule, maybe even ahead of schedule. This, Prensky told me as he frantically looked for some wood to knock on, means the Midtown Village biscuit spot will be ready for inspections in about three weeks.
Yesterday, I sat down with Prensky to try a sampling of his breakfast and lunch biscuit sandwiches. Also on the agenda, identifying which sandwich was served on a gluten-free biscuit. I failed.
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David Gilberg has had the job. So have George Sabatino and David Katz. And now, in what’s becoming a rite of spring, Morgan’s Pier has announced its 2015 chef in residence, and it’s none other than our own Top Chef champion, Nick Elmi.
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Word is, he’s partnered up with Dean Carlson from Wyebrook Farm out in Honey Brook and the two of them are opening a real, full-service restaurant at Carlson’s farm. Also, they’ve already got an opening date: March 25.
More details, right this way
The one-story building at 20th and Ludlow has been a series of bars that have come and gone with questionable business models. Remember Xchange, where the prices were going to fluctuate based on demand?
But now the space is being transformed into Farmer’s Keep, a fast casual restaurant that will serve up healthy, natural foods that will avoid common allergens.
Owner Josh Bullock tells us that Farmer’s Keep will offer 25 or more composed salads that can be enhanced with a rotating selection of 5 to 6 proteins. There will be no nuts, shellfish, gluten, dairy or eggs in the restaurant. That should be good to eliminate 91% or so of the food allergies out there. The salads are sold by weight and then can be taken to go or eaten in the sixty-seat basement dining room. Farmer’s Keep will also have 30-seats outdoors when it opens in mid-April. And down the line, Bullock is looking to add a roof deck.
Recipes are being designed by chef Ian Natowsky, a Starr Events alum who is looking forward to highlighting the fresh and when possible, local ingredients at Farmer’s Keep.
Farmer’s Keep [Foobooz]
Buena Onda – Fresh Fish Tacos opens on Monday, March 16th.
The Garces Group’s Buena Onda is opening on Monday, March 16th on the 1900 block of Callowhill Street. This afternoon, team Foobooz dropped by to get a taste and take a look around.
The brightly appointed taqueria is inspired by the vibe and food of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. That means lots of fish tacos, a surfer vibe and the sound of Los Yaki playing on Buena Onda’s record player.
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