On Friday, April 25th, Stephen Starr is opening his New York City version of El Vez. The 190-seat bar and restaurant is opening at 259 Vesey Street, in the Battery Park City neighborhood. The menu has been developed by executive chef David LaForce, who also has worked at the Philadelphia location of El Vez and a Starr task force that includes James Tracey, the culinary director for STARR Restaurants and chef Dionicio Jimenez of Starr’s El Rey.
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Today, Avalon Restaurant is opening at its new location at 116 East Gay Street. John Brandt-Lee’s restaurant used to operate as a BYOB on High Street. In addition to the bar and liquor license, the new location is twice as large as the original which lasted twelve years. Brandt-Lee will also add live music, an antipasti bar and down the line, a wood-burning pizza oven. What will remain the same will be the rustic, Italian cuisine.
The bar will offer eight local craft beers on tap, a selection of wine from boutique vineyards and cocktails made with Pennsylvania-based liquors. A light menu will be served at the bar till 10 p.m.
Avalon Restaurant [Official]
This Friday, Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka will officially open his University City izakaya, coZara. The Japanese pub is a bi-level space in the same Chestnut Square complex that includes Shake Shack, Joe Coffee and Zavino. It’s a big space, with 140 seats including a 10-seat open kitchen bar, nine seat downstairs bar as well as “the geisha room,” an upstairs private room. A 30-seat outdoor terrace will open this summer.
One thing you won’t find in the space though, sushi. The extensive menu at coZara, which means small plates, will include everything from gyoza to soba to ramen but no raw fish. There will also be Marugoto, a whole chicken yakitori that is served with coZara spicy sauce and Zama spicy mayo. Only a limited number will be available daily and the whole bird is $39, by far the priciest item on the menu.
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When I interviewed Tommy Up recently for the back page of Philadelphia magazine’s April edition, he told me that his Fishtown tiki bar The Yachtsman would open around April 15th. Well last week came and went without any sign of The Yachtsman, and now we know why: the project has run out of money. Read more »
Today, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has shared the details for its Spruce Street Harbor Park. The pop-up waterfront park will bring a boardwalk, urban beach, fountains and misting areas to the Penn’s Landing Marina and for two months.
The pop-up park, which will feature floating barges complete with lily pad water gardens, restaurant and bar kicks off on June 27th and run through August 31st.
Groundswell Design Group, Interface Studios and Digsau combined to create the plan for the space. Groundswell’s David Fierabend says “We’re involved because we believe iterative placemaking is the future of urban development and city renewal. By creating these moments along the waterfront we’re reconnecting the city to this long forgotten asset. Not only are these spaces amazing, they’re cost effective and immediately attainable. Their ephemeral quality keeps us intrigued and our attention focused on what’s next.”
More details on the Spruce Street Harbor Park »
Wahlburgers, a burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg is looking to expand in Boston, Toronto and Philadelphia. The Wahlbergs and Wahlburgers were featured in a recent A&E series about the restaurant. Th Wahlburgers concept offers both fast casual and table service dining, made-to-order ground beef burgers, all-beef hot dogs, crispy fries, onion rings, tater tots and specialty frappes.
Wahlburgers is looking to open five locations in the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. Though no site has been selected, the group is looking to open the first area location in late 2014. Two planned restaurants in the Boston area are 4,200 square feet with outdoor patios and a full bar.
In Boston and in Toronto, the planned locations are near the city’s baseball stadiums. Feel free to speculate where the Philadelphia metro locations will be.
Alex Capasso quietly opened his Rittenhouse Square restaurant, Crow & The Pitcher on tax day. The revamp of C19 makes the space more rustic with pub tables in the front and a more formal dining area beyond the bar. Capasso’s old boss Georges Perrier was hanging out when we swung by to grab a copy of the opening menu. The menu ranges from $6 for a salad with Boston lettuce to $28 for a rib-eye steak.
The restaurant and bar will be open Tuesday to Sunday, from 4:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Check out the full menu »
After months of waiting and delays Cooper River Distillers have finally received permission to legally operate their distillery. Production on their first product, Petty’s Island Rum will begin this week. It won’t be long before the made-in-Camden spirit will be available to drink and this Thursday will be the last chance for awhile to tour the about-to-rock distillery. Tours are being offered at 6:30, 7, and 7:30 p.m. The distillery is located at 34 N. 4th St.
Camden, New Jersey.
More on Petty’s Island Rum »
Photo by Evan Sung for The New York Times
The New York Times checks in on the just-about-to-open Tavern on the Green and declares it sparkles again. The New York landmark is reopening on April 24th with Philadelphia’s Jim Caiola and David Salama (Beau Monde) at the helm.
Tavern on Green Sparkles Again [New York Times]
From the Garden, including live lettuce from Garces’s Luna Farm.
Tonight is the night that Jose Garces’s Volver debuts its ticketed dining at the Kimmel Center. The restaurant will immediately leap to number one in the city in at least one respect, Volver will be the most expensive dining experience in town.
What remains to be seen is whether Garces, chef de cuisine Natalie Maronski and their team at Volver can deliver. There are two menus available, the pre-theater tasting of eight-or-so courses for $75-$100 and the performance tasting, which rings in at 12+ courses for $175 per person. These prices do not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. The grand wine pairing, which is available with the pre-theater dinner is $50 and includes tax and gratuity. That means early evening diners can get out for $146 per person with wine pairings. Or if you want to go all out with the performance tasting, it will be north of $300 per person with the drink pairings.
Check out the menus »