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News and Rumors About 2014 Restaurant Openings


Photo via COOK

Michael Klein posted his 2014 Philadelphia Restaurant Forecast with all sorts of juicy bits of news and rumor.

Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy are going to be collaborating on another new restaurant. Not many details are revealed but we know Starr has been hiring for a new Italian concept in Philadelphia. Whether this is it or not isn’t so clear. But we have heard whispers of not one but two wood-fired ovens.

UPDATE: Michael Klein is now reporting that Starr and Olexy are going into business together in Fishtown. The next collaboration will be at 1526-30 Frankford Avenue, next to Philadelphia Record Exchange. The project will contain a vegetable garden and will open this spring.

More opening dates and rumors » 

More on Jose Garces and Bookbinders


Last week’s report that Jose Garces had signed a lease to the original Bookbinders space at 2nd and Walnut created more questions than it answered. Today we have an official statement from the restaurant group that at least sets the context.

Official statement » 

Garces To Old Original Bookbinder’s?


Over at the Insider, they’re reporting that Jose Garces has recently signed a lease on the Old Original Bookbinder’s space at 2nd and Walnut.

This is a huge deal for Garces–and I mean that in every sense of the word.

For starters, it's literally HUGE. Better than 10,000 square feet. Which is bigger than any of his local spaces (with the possible exception of his operations at the Kimmel Center, depending on how he utilizes all the space available to him).

Second, it's huge because it's the old Bookbinder's--a name that still swings a lot of weight in this town. The last guys to take over a restaurant with a name saddled with that kind of history? Nicolas Fanucci and his crew at Le Bec Fin. And we all know how that went.

Third, the Iron Chef already has a pretty full plate. He's got Rosa Blanca set to open next month in the old Chifa space. Then Volver at the Kimmel Center. Then his other out-of-town operations to worry about. Taking on a space like this is a bold move no matter what he decides to do with it. And the one thing no one knows right this minute? What, exactly, Garces is planning to do with it.

The Insider has some details on the deal itself. You can check out the full story there.

Garces Leases Old Original Bookbinder's [Insider]

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