Zoë’s Kitchen — the Mediterranean-inspired chain restaurant where most of the food is grilled — already had three local spots (Collegeville, Marlton and Newtown) when it opened yet another outpost in the Greater Philadelphia market in May of this year in Bryn Mawr. That must have worked out because there are now four more to come: Malvern, Willow Grove, Cherry Hill and Wayne. It seems people like grilled food — especially when someone else is manning the grill.
Category: Food and Drink
Last week, the Inquirer’s Michael Klein wrote, “MOM’s Organic Market, a greener-than-thou grocery chain whose locations ring D.C., has signed to open its first Philly-area location. Its Facebook locates it only in ‘Rosemont,’ but insiders pinpoint it further: It will take the former Borders in Rosemont Square.”
We called the ultimate insider, Steve Bajus, founder and president of S.W. Bajus, the real estate development and management company that owns Rosemont Square. He confirmed that Mom’s will be taking 16,000 square feet (just about the same size as the current location of Whole Foods in Wynnewood) in the former Borders store at Rosemont Square.
It was always a strange mix: exotic dance venue + steakhouse. But Christine’s Cabaret had more going against it than an odd business model. In fact, when the Zoning Board of Adjustments has a hearing to determine its fate a few hours from now, it will almost certainly be the most salacious ZBA hearing in recent memory.
The club was owned by the late Rob Laflar, who owned a number of like venues. He was charged with murder after a fight broke out in front of one of his clubs, but he overdosed before he could be tried. He was also being investigated by the FBI at the time. Now it appears to be owned by another upstanding citizen, as PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports:
Our healthy colleagues over at BeWell report that the design firm behind Morgan’s Pier and Talula’s Garden will next take on 1706 Locust, formerly home to upscale clothing boutique Adresse. The space will be converted into Pure Sweets, a cafe/bakery/juice bar/take-out lunch spot courtesy of Andrea Kyan, whose gluten-free deliciousness biz will be going bricks-and-mortar for the first time.
Kyan just signed the lease today, so she has a while to think about design. As for food, Kyan is thinking healthy, raw and Southeast Asian.
Jason Evanchik certainly knows what he’s doing when it comes to opening bars. He’s been quietly building an unpretentious bar/restaurant empire (Garage, Time, Bar, Vintage, Growlers) without self-aggrandizing fanfare. Next up? Perhaps, our friends at Foobooz say, this property on Second Street near Liberty Lands Park in NoLibs, for which he has a liquor license but no lease yet.
Adorable little Cafette is closing and being transformed:
Owner Jan Wilson is career-changing to acupuncturist, so Cafette will become her temporary clinic in the restaurant’s back room until she can find a new restaurant operator.
The Ben Franklin Hotel (you might know it from such roles as “Where the Dance Competition Took Place” in Silver Linings Playbook) has been revamped and refreshed. A Korman community, the Horace Trumbauer-designed building at 834 Chestnut now goes by the name The Franklin Residences (we know it’s more frequently heard without the “residences” appended, but given the history of institutions called “The Franklin,” we don’t recommend that).
In mid-September the building adds another famous name to its marquee with the opening of a new Di Bruno Brothers outpost on its first floor. The store will be open to the public–Wash West, get ready–but is a pretty terrific amenity for residents of the Residences’ luxury rentals. More →
The Northern Liberties bar Finnigan’s Wake–the subject of so much real estate drama last year–is up for sale for $5 million. Philebrity.com, ever tactful, has some advice for a prospective buyer: “All year long, you’ll be inundated with douchebags of all stripes, and for that, they should really pay you.”
Well, douchebags or no, the inundating visitors will carry wallets. And the listings photos reveal that Finnigan’s Wake, without the presence of all those visitors, has a very attractive interior with a lot of potential for the owner who’s in it for the long haul.
Here’s an excerpt from the real estate listings copy:
The neighborhood wine bar appropriately named WineO has been sold, from bricks to mortar to liquor license, for $650,000. The first floor of the three-story building is zoned for commercial use (obviously) and has dining space, two full bars, a kitchen and an outdoor cafe space. And that bar made out of wine casks, which is just cool.
The two upper floors are zoned residential and therefore perfect for apartments to be rented to regulars at the new spot. As the listing said, “The only thing this property doesn”t have is an Ocean View!!” Well. It sure doesn’t.
It was such heartbreak for the Cedar Park neighborhood of University City when Elena’s Soul, a restaurant, bar and community gathering spot at 49th and Baltimore, burned down on Christmas Eve last year.
Compounding the tragedy, the Cedar Park Cafe and Gary’s Nails, two adjoining businesses, suffered damage as well and had to close indefinitely.