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 » 

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]

Quick Bites

Honest Tom’s Taco Shop is getting good early buzz at 33rd and Arch. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Meal Ticket has Pete Miller’s new menu for the P.O.P.E., plenty of vegan and vegetarian fare as well as beer inspired dishes. [Meal Ticket]

Wandering Billy Wong has made it to Warminster where he’s opened a BYOB, Billy Wong’s. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Also in today’s Table Talk, the latest projected opening dates for a bunch of spring projects. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Burn! Old Orignal Bookbinder’s owner John Taxin has spent $16,000 for four Phillies tickets this year despite money troubles at his landmark restaurant. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Wegman’s Downingtown begins serving beer today. There’ll be 500 brands available. [The Brew Lounge]

We’re not sure if this is the first time we’ve seen Modo Mio chef Peter McAndrews in a national magazine but we’re sure it won’t be the last. McAndrews’ red bliss potato salad gets Esquire’s attention in its May ’09 issue. [Meal Ticket]

Bookbinders Looking For Bailout


The Philadelphia Inquirer has more on Old Original Bookbinders which closed last week for “mechanical problems.” Yesterday attorneys were in court for a bankruptcy hearing. 

An agreement out of that meeting has given owner John E. Taxin until 5pm Monday to come up with a total of $45,000 for the trustee, PA Department of Revenue and the landlord. 

In the meantime the restaurant will remain closed for at least 30 days and lawyer James Binns Jr. is attempting to assemble a group of investors to save the dining institution. 

Old Original Bookbinder’s teeters on rescue [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Bookbinders Happy Hour

Sami Davis Jr. At Bookbinders

Yes, Sami Davis Jr. at Bookbinders

A reader dropped us this Bookbinders happy hour tip. We’ll take it as just a strange coincidence that she shares the first name with the Bookbinders contact for scheduling happy hours. But anyway, it’s a pretty legit deal even if the tip is not.

$1 Oysters, $1 Nigiri Sushi, $1 California Rolls, $2 Drafts daily from 4 to 7 PM.

Bookbinders [Official Site]

Quick Bites

Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran of 13th Street fame plan to add to their portfolio of Open House, Grocery and Lolita. This time with an Indian spot, Bindi taking over the Grocery cafe side this fall. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Bookbinder’s of Linwood, NJ is now open and cheaper than the Center City location, plus more meat dishes and even a brick pizza oven. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

“Euro-inspired bistro fare, with recognizable American and Asian touches” will be on the table when Swallow opens on Liberties Walk in late August of early September. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Looks like Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant will also be opening in late August or early September. Half the old firehouse floor accommodates the brewing equipment with the rest holding the dining area. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Nick Meglino, the owner of the now closed Felicia’s Café is working on a couple of new endeavors. He’s reportedly shopping for a new spot for a seafood Italian restaurant near Rittenhouse Square and is also planning an “an open-air Italian gastropub” on East Passyunk. [Blogalicious]

Georges Perrier has evidently had it with animal-rights activists who protest outside Le-Bec Fin over his serving of foie gras. Over the weekend he came outside to heckle the protesters back. [Dan Gross, Philadelphia Daily News]

Quick Bites

Paddy’s Well is open in Fishtown, serving Pabst and BBQ with Bushmill Irish Whiskey sauce. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Sabrina’s Café and Spencer’s Too is about a week away from bringing the loitering masses hungering for French toast a place to eat in Fairmount. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Pearl is the name of the Red Sky backed spot set to open at the old Little Pete’s on Chestnut Street. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

City Grange will be the sustainable food restaurant slated to open this Summer at the Westin in Liberty Place. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Bring on the dancing women. The word in Icepack is that the Penthouse Lounge isn’t doing well and is now doing after-hours. [Icepack, City Paper]

Bookbinders is opening at the shore. 1201 New Road in Linwood, NJ is the address, July is the opening. [Inqlings, Philadelphia Inquirer]


$52 Per Pound???

Chris Scott of Philadelphia Metroblogging was at Bookbinders the other night and noticed the price of lobsters was $52 a pound with a 2 pound minimum. That means a $104 minimum to eat lobster at Bookbinders. Needless to say he looked elsewhere on the menu for sustenance.

$52 lb. [Philadelphia Metroblogging]

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