Growlers Closes to Reconceptualize

la casa de tu madreGrowlers Bar at 8th and Fitzwater has closed. The bar by Jason Evenchik opened in mid-2012 as the successor to Vesuvio and Little Bar.

Evenchik confirms to us that the space will undergo a short overhaul and be turned into La Casa de tu Madre (The House of Your Mother), a Mexican bar and restaurant.

Michael Thomas will remain as chef, he has been running specials over the past month testing out different dishes that will be on the menu. There will also be a tequila and mezcal list behind the bar. Evenchik tells us he’s been doing some research and development for the concept on the Yucatan Peninsula and would like to get some Mexican craft beers into the bar but it has been difficult to secure an importer. So at the get go, it will be a list of local draft beer.

The overhaul, which comes on the heels of Coeur’s opening down the block, is scheduled to take two-to-three weeks.

La Casa de tu Madre [Foobooz]

Meritage Closing After Nine Years

meritage-400Meritage is closing after nine years at 20th and Lombard. Owners Michele DiPietro and Irene Landy are saying goodbye on Saturday, September 19th. The restaurant opened as a dark space with a strong focus on wine. In more recent years Meritage reinvented itself with a lighter room, butcher block tables and Asian-influenced food under chef Anne Coll.

In an email to customers, the owners reminisced about the good times and the bad, from weddings, late night dance parties, to Mummers, fires and wall collapses.

The closing note to Meritage customers »

Tashan Is Closing


The tandoor ovens will cool after September 7th.

Tashan, the high-end Indian restaurant from Tiffin founder Munish Narula will close after dinner service on Monday, September 7th.

The attractive restaurant opened almost exactly four years ago to excellent reviews but never became the hard-to-get a reservation, must-be-seen-at restaurant that Narula envisioned it would become, and many, including this site practically demanded it be.

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Twi-Lite Lounge Under Contract

Photo via Yelp

Twi-Lite Lounge | Photo via Yelp

Loco Pez owner Joe Beckham confirmed with us today that he and his partners are under contract to take over Robert’s Twi-Lite Lounge at the corner of 20th and Bainbridge.

Beckham says that the concept is still up in the air but that it will be a restaurant. The scope will come as they get inside the building and can understand what the building can support. Beckham is also keen on neighborhood feedback, a wise move as just a half-block away, neighbors fought to prevent the Pub & Kitchen team from opening an all-day cafe back in 2011. That battle ended with the neighbors quietly buying the building for themselves.

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Want to Buy a Giant Squid?


Varalli Restaurant closed in early July. According to Michael Klein, the corner building at Broad and Locust will be torn down next year. The contents of the restaurant, including a 34 foot long giant squid sculpture are listed online for sale.

The squid was created by Geronimo and Co. and Philadelphia artist, Greg Emore. Geronimo and Co. has also done works for projects like Captain Emo as Euro Disney, the Tower of Terror at Disney World in Orlando, Toon Town in Los Angeles and Red Square in Las Vegas.

Online bidding for the squid, Baby Grand Piano and the rest of the contents begin at 3 p.m.

Varalli Auction [Comly Auctioneers]
Varalli: Going once, going twice… []

Friday Saturday Sunday Throwing One Last Wine Dinner

Weaver and Jamie Lilley  at Great Chefs Event | Photo by HughE Dillon

Weaver and Jamie Lilley at Great Chefs Event | Photo by HughE Dillon

Restaurant institution Friday Saturday Sunday has been around since 1973, the lone survivor of Philadelphia’s first restaurant renaissance. Weaver and Jamie Lilly have guided the Rittenhouse Square restaurant through the decades and are selling the restaurant to Chad Williams, a Garces veteran and current chef at Tela’s Market. Williams and his wife Hanna are going to keep the name but make some cosmetic changes after a brief closure.

That closure is set for Saturday, August 15th, but before that happens, the Lilley’s are throwing one last wine dinner.

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Matyson To Become Second Milkhouse

Milkhouse's Coming Soon sign from Suburban Station.

Milkhouse’s Coming Soon sign from Suburban Station.

Tommy Guest, the owner and proprietor of Milkhouse, the grilled cheese and ice cream spot in Suburban Station confirms with us that he is taking over the just closed Matyson BYOB at 37 South 19th Street.

This will be the second location for Milkhouse, and will offer Guest some flexibility when compared with the original. There will be more room for seating, and gas grills, instead of the electric grills he’s limited to in the train station.

If all goes well, the second Milkhouse will open by the end of August.

More on Matyson »

Matyson Closes


Matyson’s final tasting menu. The BYOB closes after 12 years.

Center City BYOB, Matyson has closed after a 12-year run. Several staff members appeared in a photo on Instagram saying, “The end of a good run. Thanks for everything!” That post has since been deleted.

A quick stop in to the 19th Street restaurant today confirmed the closing. The chairs were up on the tables when they would usually be ready for lunchtime diners. A woman was cleaning out the hostess stand and confirmed that Matyson was closed. Towards the back of the restaurant, business casual types huddled and a couple others held large folders of documents.

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Volver Is Shutting Down For A Very Long Summer Vacation


Volver is done for the summer. Not for a week (as is becoming almost standard among many of the more notable Philly restaurants), or for two weeks (which is the point at which we grow nervous about them ever opening back up again), but for a full two months.

The final night of service was June 30, at which point the whole place (Bar Volver included) went quietly dark. This is the message left on their Open Table page:

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Good News for People Who Like Bad News: Manayunk & South Street Closings


Manayunk bar is closed for renovations.

Sunday night saw Manayunk’s Beast & Ale close. We’re told it is for renovations and that all employees have been absorbed into the three Feliz restaurants (Cantina Feliz, Taqueria Feliz and La Calaca Feliz) owned by Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal. We enjoyed the concept but that side of Main Street seems to struggle to get foot traffic. The location has previously been Bisou, Gemelli and MangoMoon.

On South Street, Alex Boonphaya is pulling the plug on Tuk Tuk Real. The Mexican/Thai mashup lasted about nine months (just about the same amount of time as Beast & Ale). Boonphaya will convert Tuk Tuk into the third location of his Circles family of restaurants, joining the original at 1516 Tasker Street and the more upscale location at 812 N 2nd Street in Northern Liberties.

If all goes well, the Circles location will open before July ends.

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