Quick Bites: Stollenwerk Replaces Stollenwerk, Swanky’s Bubble Bursts

When Mike Stollenwerk’s Fish moves to its bigger digs at 13th and Locust the Lombard Street restaurant space will be replaced by Mike Stollenwerk’s Brick American Eatery. This more casual neighborhood spot will not be seafood only but will rather serve up venison jerky and Wagyu short ribs. [Meal Ticket]

Speaking of Stollenwerk, his Fathom Seafood House will now be known as East Girard Gastropub (EGG). Egads. [The Insider]

The Broad Street Diner is getting closer. As Naked Philly notes, the spot has a nice shiny exterior and new sign. [Naked Philly]

Rebel Rock Bar & Bites is planning to open in the same strip mall as Delilah’s Den and Zee Bar. They’re advertising locally but not saying much yet. [Rebel]

Swanky Bubbles has closed on Front Street. Its appearance on Bar Rescue and subsequent rebranding as Sheer didn’t turn around the Old City lounge. [The Insider]

Quick Bites: New Life on Broad from Ellsworth to Master

The Broad Street Diner at Broad and Ellsworth, which Stephen Starr has walked away from twice is now scheduled to become…. a diner. Diner magnate Michael Petrogiannis (Country Club, Melrose, Mayfair, Tiffany’s and Warminster West) is at the helm. [The Insider]

The Legendary Blue Horizon on North Broad will receive new life as a hotel and with a bar and restaurant. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Benny Lai’s Grill Fish Cafe next to his Vietnam Cafe is aiming for an October/November opening. The final date will be  contingent upon the approval of Lai’s astrology guy, his uncle. And we presume the City of Philadelphia will have a say in all of this as well. [Meal Ticket]

More Openings »

Starr Again Shines on Broad Street Diner

Broad Street Diner

Philly Mag has the scoop this afternoon that Stephen Starr has signed an agreement of sale for the Broad Street Diner. Starr was first interested in the property a year ago when Greek Diner was the rumored concept but “environmental concerns” kept him from following through. Now the price has come down and the environmental issues are being downplayed. The concept is up in the air and Restaurant Club is taking suggestions.

Stephen Starr Heading To South Philly With His Next Project [Restaurant Club]

Quick Bites Part 1

We’ve got so many Quick Bites today we’re breaking them in half. Here’s part 1. 

Stephen Starr will not be purchasing the Broad Street Diner. This makes us sad. [The Insider]

Shank’s & Evelyn’s is closing at the end of April. This also makes us sad. Their new location might be 15th Street in Center City. This makes us happy. [The Insider]

How many unique kegs did Memphis Taproom go through during its No Repeat Beer Week? 128! That’s a lot of different beer. 

The Washington Post’s Beer Madness has Troegs Hopback facing off against Ommegang Hennepin (Official Foobooz house beer of Summer ’07) in the finals. Harrisburg’s finest is trailing  but it looks like votes are still being accepted. [Washington Post]

It certainly isn’t Morimoto at the ballpark but it’s worth noting that Campo’s is the new cheesesteak vendor on Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park. [The Insider]

We had that Craig LaBan was nominated for a James Beard Award Monday but not  for what he was nominated. It was this story about John’s Roast Pork owner John Bucci Jr. that got him the nomination. [James Beard Foundation]

Tony Luke Jr. has a starring role in The Nail: The Story of Joey Nardone whic is premiering tomorrow as part of Cinefest ’09. [Inqlings, Philadelphia Inquirer]


Starr Happenings

Letto Diner

The Kleinsider has a couple of tidbits on Stephen Starr happenings. Starr’s purchase of the Broad Street Diner is still uncertain (environmental issues) and the Letto Deli concept is dead as the space was just too small for Starr. Have a concept for the  still operating deli? Check its listing on Craigslist.

Starr bails on the Letto [The Insider]
$6000 Amazing Mid-town Village location for Rent w/Parking [Craigslist]

And Now the Not-So-Happy News

A well-connected Starrling tells us that neither of the potential Starr restaurants – the Broad Street Diner and the Letto Deli – we’ve been following here at Foobooz are likely to come to fruition. Personally, we don’t care so much about the Letto Deli; after all, there’s another Starr location right down the block and the Midtown Gayborhood is already awash in restaurants. 

But, the Broad Street Diner? Well, that makes us want to cry a little bit. Actually, a lot. Our source tells us that there are ‘environmental problems’ with the location and it’s a dealbreaker. Gulp. Sniffle. Hysterical sob. 

Read more »

A Greek Broad Street Diner?

It’s been awhile since I last visited the inside of Stephen Starr’s head. I mean, we’ve both been really, really busy and venturing inside of someone’s cranium and poking around is not as easy as it sounds.

But for you, dear readers, I got up to my elbows in StarrThink and probed. And what I came up with is this: a possible answer to the burning question of just what exactly our sly, secretive impresario has planned for the Broad Street Diner.

We hear it may go Greek. File that under rumor-floating and read on.

Could it really be Greek? Low-key, fun-for-the-masses-Greek? Is it a play on the classic Greek diner? Is he inspired by Dmitri’s? I’m still searching for the answers within, but a Starrling says it may be called Ya-Ya’s – the Greek term for grandmother – which is sweet, but… eh. But the Greek concept, that’s clever. No one else is doing it, especially in South Philly, and that’s what we expect from Starr – that he’s one step ahead of us. He knows what we want before we’ve even realized it ourselves. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe HE’S INSIDE OF ALL OF OUR HEADS?

Of course, A.D. Amorosi swears it’s going to be ‘designer Mexican‘ and the voices in the KleInsider’s head are whispering to him that the location has ‘environmental issues’ and may not even happen at all, so who knows? Starr has been known to float a bunch of concepts before deciding on one. Everyone could be right. And then again, none of us could be right either.

LaBan-Starr Chat Crib Notes

Stephen Starr with Morimoto

There was lots of juicy details spilled in Craig LaBan’s chat with Stephen Starr.

Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Starr Restaurant Organization employs 1,600 people making it one of the top 100 employers in the reason.
  • Ed Rendell came to Starr about taking over Striped Bass.
  • Butcher and Singer will be a steakhouse featuring chops with mass appeal.
  • Broad Street Diner is under agreement for sale and several concepts are under consideration.
  • A serious complaint can get your entire meal comped at a Starr restaurant.
  • Sounds like Starr will be opening an Indian restaurant in town next year. He says he has “a tremendous chef and some really exciting ideas on design.”
  • In addition to the hint he drops about the Indian restaurant he also laments the lack of a gastropub in Center City. Stephen must have a limited idea of what Center City is and a gastropub for that matter. But more importantly, we wonder if this means his gastropub idea is going to be coming back.
  • Starr says he’ll probably never do a suburban restaurant although a Jones in King of Prussia makes some sense to him.
  • Molecular gastronomy doesn’t excite Starr, he finds it “to be a bit souless and self indulgent.”
  • Starr really regrets Washington Square’s demise. He was designing four restaurants at the same time then.
  • Starr says he’s “been looking to do a small BYO.” We highly doubt that.
  • He still wants to do a hotel in Philadelphia.
  • The Aimee Alexy mentioned is really Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table fame.

Chat with Craig LaBan and Stephen Starr [Philly.com]

Quick Bites

AD Amorosi lobs out this rumor, “is Stephen Starr doing designer Mexican for his Broad Street diner?” [Ice Pack, City Paper]

Paxia, the former Molcajete Mixto is having their official grand opening Monday. They’ll be offering a $25 three-course dinner. [Food and Drinq]

Phoodie.info has what John McCain ordered at Devon Seafood the other day. And yes, we think this does make Devon the new Bookbinders. [Phoodie.info]

Bar 210 at Lacroix is aiming for the second week of September for an opening. The Clog has the rundown of the design. We’re intrigued by the leather floor. [The Clog]

Bridge hoppers will be glad to hear that Old City’s Swanky Bubbles was unscathed from a fire yesterday morning and was open for business last night. [Dan Gross, Philadelphia Daily News]

In the still not open category, Earth Bread + Brewery and Minar Palace have yet to open their doors. Your guesses are as good as ours and maybe theirs.

In the still closed department, Blue Comet in Glenside hopes to be back in 30 to 90 days. [Ice Pack, City Paper]

And in the gutted and we didn’t notice dept., the Elephant and Castle at 18th and Market is no more.