Provence Casino Would Bring Nationally Acclaimed Chefs

Tom Colicchio and Andrew Camellini with Bart Blatstein | Amanda Laura

Tom Colicchio and Andrew Camellini with Bart Blatstein | Amanda Laura

If Bart Blatstein lands Philadelphia’s remaining casino license he will bring two nationally known chefs to town. Bart Blatstein told the assembled media at the North Broad Street site of what he hopes will be his Provence Casino that  Tom Colicchio and Andrew Carmellini will open restaurants in the complex.

Tom Colicchio, who is known for hosting Top Chef and his Craft restaurants hints that he will be doing a steakhouse that will utilize local farmers for produce and beef as well. He added, “I have a few steakhouses already but I want to do something different, something unique for Philadelphia.”

As for Andrew Camellini, who has six restaurants in New York and Miami, the James Beard winning chef is leaning towards an Italian restaurant. Despite the French name of Provence, the chef is thinking Italian Riviera. “It’s not far from where my family is from, so I think that’s where I’m headed to draw inspiration from.”

Each chef has time to nail down their concept as the gaming board isn’t expected to announce a winner of the second Philadelphia casino license till later in 2014.

For more on Blatstein and the Provence Casino, check out Property.


Bart Blatstein Issues Shocking “No Comment” In Response to Rumor

blatstein at thinkfest

Bart Blatstein talks with Philly Mag Editor in Chief Tom McGrath at the ThinkFest Salon Series. Thankfully, he had a few comments that evening.

Yesterday Passyunk Post reported that there was a rumor that Bart Blatstein was going to buy the large vacant lot at Broad and Washington, aka, the Cirque du Soleil lot. Actually, this rumor has been on the wind for quite a while, but real estate deals take forever to go through, and it’ll probably be on the wind for a little longer before we get any confirmation yes or no.

However, a gal has to try, and try I did, so here is a transcript of our on-the-record conversation. If you’d just like to apply this transcript to other rumors surrounding Bart’s real estate deals, feel free.

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Blatstein’s McIlhenny Mansion Renovations Get Thumbs Up From Historical Commission

mcilhenny mansion

Photo by Bradley Maule for Hidden City.

Last week the Philadelphia Historical Commission considered building changes requested by developer Bart Blatstein, who bought Rittenhouse Square’s long vacant McIlhenny Mansion in April as a personal residence. According to PlanPhilly, “the Blatstein case was considered from two vantages:”

whether the changes he was requesting were merely “alterations” or if they constituted “demolition” of historic fabric; and whether the design of the new building is compatible with the overall historic district.

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Gallery: The Demolition of Ortlieb’s Brewery

ortliebs demolition

Photo by Laura Kicey

Property photographer Laura Kicey went over to the Henry F. Ortlieb Brewery site in Northern Liberties this weekend to chronicle its end. She came away with good news about the Bart Blatstein-owned four-building complex: “They seem to be handling the demolition responsibly–even stopping work every time a pedestrian or car passed by on the street nearest where they were working!” No one’s taking any chances these days.

Gallery below.

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In Bid to Become Just Another Seedy Casino, Revel Changes its Name

Part of Revel’s plan for emerging from bankruptcy is to make itself more appealing to chronic and degenerate gamblers who aren’t impressed by bizarre outbursts by Amanda Bynes. So, in addition to an earlier plan to allow smoking indoors, Revel is refunding 100% of all slot-machine losses for the month of July and changing its name from “Revel” to “Revel Hotel-Casino.” It’s new marketing pitch is actually called “Gamblers Wanted.” Which raises the question: Is there anyone who didn’t actually know what Revel was? Was that really the problem?

Sidenote: Developer Bart Blatstein is currently pushing for a Center City casino that, like the old Revel, is focused more on nightlife than on the ritual pissing away of hard-earned paychecks. Perhaps there’s a cautionary tale here about maintaining a Vegas-style operation outside of Vegas.


Mr. Quotable: Top 20 Things Bart Blatstein Said Last Night at the Salon

bart blatsteinHe was something between an inspiring commencement speaker and a Catskills comedian. Developer Bart Blatstein sat down with Philly Mag Editor-in-Chief Tom McGrath yesterday at the Barnes Museum to talk about development, casinos and other issues pertaining to the future of the city. It was a ThinkFest Salon, an event meant to keep the conversation going until the next ThinkFest in the fall.

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Bart Blatstein Opts for “Invisible Man” Over Brand Name

Somewhere between turning South Columbus Boulevard into an extension of South Jersey and turning Northern Liberties into a newer Old City, developer Bart Blatstein figured out that he wasn’t the brand name.

In doing so, he has managed to pull off a trick few high-profile megadevelopers have successfully managed to do: Raise his personal profile without sabotaging his own business.

Most large successful developers are faceless. Can you name any of the members of the Brandywine Realty Trust? (They might include you, if you own shares either directly or through a mutual fund.) The few whose names have become household words eventually succumb to their own publicity machines and, like Donald Trump, become caricatures of themselves. Read more »

Tonight! The ThinkFest Salon With Bart Blatstein at the Barnes!

bart blatsteinThe ThinkFest Salon is a series of conversations with the boldest thinkers in Philadelphia. This evening at 6 p.m., the Salon features Bart Blatstein, one of the city’s most prominent and innovative real estate developers. Blatstein will talk with Philadelphia Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Tom McGrath about casinos, building neighborhoods, and the way developers are changing the face of Philadelphia.

People interested in real estate–like all youse Property readers–won’t want to miss this one. For ticketing and event info, read on.

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