2008 Restaurant Openings

January 2008

  • 2204 Liberty Bar – The facade was completed for years and finally the insides are done too.
  • Bottom of the Sea – This mini seafood chain has opened at the former Kama Sutra on South Street.
  • Kujaku – The former Peacock on the Parkway has been taken over by the Uzu Sushi people and re-branded Kujaku.
  • Maoz Vegetarian – Philadelphia’s second Maoz has opened at 11th and Walnut.
  • Vietnam Cafe – Chinatown’s Vietnam has a swank West Philadelphia offspring at 47th and Baltimore.
  • Yakitori Boy – A two story Sushi and karaoke bar in Chinatown has had its soft opening.

February 2008

  • Blue In Green – The mainly breakfast spot the formerly had locations in Old City and Restaurant Row is coming to 12th and Chestnut.
  • Bocelli – A new Italian BYOB has opened at the top of the hill in Chestnut Hill.
  • California Pizza Kitchen – The area’s second CPK has opened at the City Ave complex next to Target.
  • Pearl – The peeps behind Red Sky have opened a midtown spot on Chestnut. Ari Weiswasser formerly a sous chef at Striped Bass and at New York’s Gilt and Daniel has been named executive chef.
  • Penang – Jerseyites can save a toll now when they get a craving for Malaysian food.
  • Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop – Open at 713 N 4th Street the Random Tea Room features over 40 teas, homemade scones and other baked goods

March 2008

  • Jin House – Jin House which went up in smoke with the building at 11th and Spruce back in 2003 is back at 1117 Locust Street by the March.
  • Prime – The fancy upstairs neighbor of the new Finn McCool’s has opened at 12th and Sansom.
  • O.N.E. at Rittenhouse – The Mansion is no more. A new father and son team is in its place.
  • Philadelphia Brewing Co. – The Philadelphia Brewing Co. is brewing and should have its first beers out by the end of the month.
  • Swallow – A European inspired bistro has opened on Liberties Walk.
  • Tinto – Tinto has expanded its tight quarters taking over next door.
  • Zot – The Belgian restaurant is shuffling some things around. Upstairs now houses Zotikot, a sports bar as well as a wine bar.

April 2008

  • Devil’s Den -The couple who brought you Manayunk’s Old Eagle Tavern has brought a 28-tap beer bar to 11th and Ellsworth.
  • Chink’s Steaks – The famous Northeast cheesesteakerie will be opening a takeout only location on Columbus Blvd.
  • ¡Cuba! – Chestnut Hill is on the look out for some Latin flair this April.
  • Food & Friends Neighborhood Market – New food market at 20th and Spruce that will dedicate half of its shelf space to beer!
  • Kanella – The former owner of Mezze is going to be trying his hand at a mainly Mediterranean spot in Washington Square West.
  • Les Bons Temps – Good Cajun-Creole is on its way downtown as John Mims is opening a restaurant on South 12th Street.
  • Memphis Taproom – Brendan Hartranft from Nodding Head has opened his own place deep in the heart of Port Fishington at Memphis and Cumberland.
  • Mélange Café – Haddonfield location of the popular Cherry Hill Louisiana spot is set to open April 30th.
  • Rick’s Cabaret – Rick’s will be taking over the Home Depot sized strip bar Crazy Horse Too on Delaware Avenue.
  • Time – The former Ludwig’s has been reborn under the tutelage of Vintage’s Jason and Delphine Evenchik as a beer and spirits spot with ” updated country club fare.”
  • The Waverly – Bistro 7′s Michael O’Halloran is looking to open his second spot by April but lease problems might have it delayed.

May 2008

  • 10 Arts by Eric Ripert – Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert’s spot at the Ritz Carlton is aiming to open this spring.
  • Apothecary Bar & Lounge – The Original Caribou Cafe owner is coming back to the city, 13th Street to be exact with a high-end cocktail list that is quite intriguing.
  • Ashoka Palace – Northern Indian comes to 38 S 19th Street where Bootsie’s tried to make a go at it.
  • Azul – Casual Mexican from George Markakis of Old City’s GiGi is headed to 10th and Spruce.
  • California Pizza Kitchen – Another branch opens, this time in Plymouth Meeting.
  • Chima – Brazilian at 20th and JFK has the dry wall in and big graphics on the windows.
  • Chipotle – The Chipotle borg continues to expand, this time in Ardmore.
  • Goodburger – The New York based mini-chain has put down stakes on the 1700 block of Chestnut Street.
  • JL Sullivan’s Speakeasy – The people who brought us McFadden’s bring us a high-end sports bar at the former Zanzibar Blue location in the Bellevue.
  • Mama Palma’s – The Fitler Square pizzeria is set to reopen May 27th after a costly fire.
  • Maia – Brother chefs come together to create this two floor restaurant and food market in Villanova. It’s official, May 6 is opening night.
  • Nicholas – Weekly changing menu of local ingredients is the M.O. of this Moyamensing Avenue spot.
  • Sassafras – The refurbished Sassafras has reopened with lots of the old standards.
  • Table 31 – A behemoth restaurant by Georges Perrier and Chris Scarduzio is under construction at the Comcast Center. The 3 floor spot is aiming to open in May, 18.
  • Union Gourmet Market & Cafe – Chef Felix Maietta is opening a cafe in the Washington Square West featuring indoor/outdoor dining, Sunday brunch and selection of artisanal cheeses, cured fish and charcuterie.
  • Victory Brewing Co. – The new Victory Brew Pub has opened and it is swell.
  • Vino Volo - There’s a brand new wine bar at PHL.
  • Zahav – The people behind Marigold Kitchen and Xochitl are opening a Israeli-Mediterranean restaurant at the base of the Society Hill Towers on May 5th.

June 2008

  • Blackfish Avalon – The Conshohocken favorite is opening a shore location this June.
  • Cavo Crepe Café – Manayunk creperie is open.
  • Chickpeas Falafel & Grill – Mama’s Grill has become Chickpeas. It seems the rest has remained the same.
  • Da Vinci Ristorante – The former Tre Scallini is set to be reborn as East Passyunk’s latest Italian restaurant.
  • Houlihan’s – The largest Houlihan’s has opened in Cherry Hill.
  • The Institute – It’s a strange location at 12th and Green but they promise a good beer selection.
  • J.C. Dobbs – The live music has returned to this South Street institution.
  • King of Tandoor – Indian barbecue at 1824 Callowhill Street.
  • Market at Comcast Center – It’s a promising food court and market underneath the Comcast Center.
  • Plaza Cafe – Georges Perrier’s Table 31 isn’t his only restaurant at the Comcast Center, Plaza Cafe offers an al fresco taste of Perrier.
  • South Philly Bar & Grille – Sports bar comes to cheesesteak nexus of 9th and Passyunk.

July 2008

  • – New Asian fast food comes to 10th Street near Market.
  • Cactus Bar & Grill – The folk behind the Bayou in Manayunk are looking to a Southwestern restaurant and Bar just down the block.
  • Chelsea Prime & Teplitzky’s – When the Chelsea in Atlantic City opens it won’t have one but two Stephen Starr restaurants. Chelsea Prime will be a 1940s style steakhouse and Teplitzky’s will be a “groovey coffee shop.”
  • Distrito – Jose Garces has opened his Mexican playground at 40th and Chestnut.
  • Dos Segundos Cantina – The second Cantina from the Los Caballitos people has opened in Northern Liberties.
  • – More Indian for Girard Avenue as Ekta opens.
  • Kite & Key Gastropub – The former Savannah’s on Callowhill has opened as a gastropub owned by a former Bishop’s Collar bartender.
  • Otolith – Girard Avenue seafood store and restaurant has cleared a zoning hurdle and can now worry about the rest of the details of opening a restaurant.
  • Parc Bistro – Starr is going French again, this time on Rittenhouse Square.
  • Paxia – Molcajet Mixto is under new ownership and has been renamed Paxia.
  • Phoebe’s BBQ – The South Street takeout barbecue spot is looking to open a second location in Manayunk on Umbria Street.
  • – Salsa dancing and Cuban food at 3rd and Girard.
  • – Quality hamburgers are on the menu at this Girard Avenue casual.
  • Tiffin – A Mt. Airy branch of the popular Girard Ave Indian restaurant is set to open in mid-July. Additional locations are being talked about for South Philly and Center City.

August 2008

  • Cooper’s Brick Oven Wine Bar – Jake’s in Manayunk is looking to add a more casual wine bar next door.
  • – Philly-centric sweets in UCity.
  • – Outpost of this Haverford Cafe opens at the Symphony House.
  • – It’s a new pizza place on Liberties Walk.
  • – Self-serve falafel and pita sandwiches at 40th and Walnut.
  • La Minette – The building with the dalmatian mural is going to be another French restaurant in the area.
  • Phileo – Pinkberry yogurt finally strikes the City of Brotherly Love.
  • Prive – The former Bluezette is next going to be a contemporary Greek restaurant.
  • Pumpkin Market – South Street gets a new produce market across from Pumpkin Cafe.
  • Root – Slow food and sustainable agriculture are the buzzwords for this eatery coming to the 1000 block of Spring Garden.
  • – Belgian beers and pool at this former South Philly nuisance bar.

September 2008

  • Adobe Cafe – East Passyunk is getting an off shoot from the Roxborough Southwestern spot.
  • Bar 210 – Lacroix gets a bar right in the restaurant.
  • Brown Betty Dessert Boutique – The NoLibs dessert spot is looking to open near Rittenhouse Square at 269 S 20th Street.
  • Cafe L’Aube – Crepes and waffles are among the menu items at this South Street Cafe.
  • – Stylish pizza in Port Richmond.
  • Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse – Barristers is being taken over by the Cavanaugh’s crew this September.
  • – The Parkway cafe and tourism spot is has opened at the base of the Parkway.
  • El Fuego – A second branch of El Fuego is headed to 2104 Chestnut St. Frozen drinks, and DJ nights will differentiate this spot from the original Walnut Street location.
  • H.I. Rib & Co. – A taste of New Orleans is opening to open by August at the former Lone Star in Conshohocken.
  • – Joe Poon is back in the restaurant game with an Old City address.
  • – The former Penalty Box in Fishtown has a new identity.
  • Melograno - The 22nd and Spruce BYOB is headed to Sansom Street.
  • Mémé – David Katz is taking over the current Melograno this September.
  • Minar Palace – The cheap Indian favorite is returning! According to the Manager of Operations the new Minar at 1304 Walnut Street will “open no later than March of 2008.” OK, maybe September….
  • Mix – Old City’s Soho Pizza is looking to open a pizzeria with a bar at 21st and Chestnut.
  • – The former Molcajete Mixto is officially open now.
  • Pub & Kitchen – The late Chaucer’s is looking to be reborn early this fall as a causual bar with good food.
  • – 19th and Ritner gets a spot that features a Django chef and an interesting menu.
  • Yards Brewing – The new Delaware Ave brewery has a floor and they’re brewing. And maybe a brew pub too.
  • Zocalito – The owners of Las Tarascas en Zocalo opened a cafe next to their Lancaster Avenue restaurant.

October 2008

  • Alison two – Alison Barshak is branching out with a second Montco restaurant. Follow the progress on her blog.
  • – The 11th Street beer distributor is moving across the street to giant new warehouse. The current facility will become a 1,200 bottle beer shop. Those are tears of joy.
  • Blue20 – High end seafood will be headed to Route 70 in Cherry Hill.
  • Buckhead Saloon – Well at least it isn’t Tiki Bob’s.
  • Butcher & Singer Steak & Seafood – Stephen Starr is reconceptualizing Striped Bass into a steak and seafood restaurant.
  • Earth Bread + Brewery – Tom Baker who was the one man crew behind Heavyweight Brewing is setting up a brew pub in Mt. Airy.
  • – The latest Blue In Green is going to make way for a hot dog spot.
  • Izumi – East Passyunk gets sushi.
  • – New pub on East Passyunk by bartender turned owner, Clark Newman.
  • Mi Lah Vegetarian – White tablecloth vegetarian dining arrives at 16th and Chancellor.
  • – The Left Bank’s Ecco Qui is getting transformed into a sports bar.
  • – About 40 seats in this Mediterranean BYOB set for the 1600 block of South Street.
  • – The Academy House is being graced with another restaurant, this time a Japanese pub concept.
  • Soul – Creole influenced restaurant has opened in Chestnut Hill.
  • Sticks & Stones – E. P’unk to get a non-Italian, non-Mexican place to eat.
  • Tiedhouse – The General Lafayette Inn is opening a tiedhouse (brewery related bar) this fall at 2001 Hamilton Street.
  • Witch Bistro – American bistro on Moyamensing.

November 2008

December 2008

  • Craft Ale House – Honesty in naming, Craft Ale House has come to Limerick.
  • El Camino Real – Owen Kamihira is turning Deuce into a “Mexican border bar.”
  • The Institute – The 2nd floor opens mid-December, the kitchen about a month after that.
  • Irish Pol – Jagers in Old City is now Irish Pol and is portraying itself as a beer bar.
  • MangoMoon – The team from Chabaa Thai is planning a Thai lounge for Main Street in Manayunk.
  • Mexican Post Express – The popular Mexican chain is opening a taco stand in the Comcast Center.
  • Pagano Market – The quick service market and restaurant is serving sandwiches and pizzas at Commerce Square.
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