News for People Who Like Bad News: Closing Edition

The 21st and Chestnut location of El Fuego has gone dark. The minimalist Mexican joint with the massive HDTV is survived by its original location, on the 700 block of Walnut Street.

Leila Cafe, which was well received on Pine Street fell into obscurity on the 1300 block of South Street. It closed its doors a couple of weeks back.

Aperto in Narberth has closed after a single year. [The Insider]

For more closings, check out the recently updated restaurant closings section.

Around the Web: Lunching Edition

Where can you find one of the most legitimate Korean restaurants around? Would you believe in the parking lot behind Chili’s and Atlantis Gentleman’s Club? Well that’s what Midtown Lunch says about Koreana. [Midtown Lunch]

Craig LaBan discovers a Red Snapper lunch special at Valley Green Inn on Forbidden Drive. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Philadining is always ready to check out a restaurant that serves soup dumplings. Red Kings in Chinatown is the latest place he checks out and enjoys. [Philadining]

El Fuego is always a good call for lunch and as Two Eat Philly discovers, it works at happy hour too. [Two Eat Philly]

An Empty Fridge explores Haddon Township and finds three fine choices for lunch. [An Empty Fridge]

Yelp is Out to Lunch

What do you want for lunch? Judging by the top returns searching “lunch” on, an unsurprising priority of “cheap, fast and tasty” rules our quest for midday meals.

The breakdown: Only three sit-down restaurants with table service make the list, and they all serve Asian cuisine (Su Xing House, Mi Lah Vegetarian and newcomer Old City Asian Bistro).  Whatever we’re eating, we want it between buns: Jean’s Cafe, Di Bruno Bros., Old Nelson Food Company and Café Lutecia are all called out for stellar sandwiches. Two classic (non-Twittering!) street carts, Magic Carpet and King of Falafel, have falafeled their way into our hearts.  Slept-on Little Thai Market lights up the Reading Terminal Market, with salmon curry and shrimp coconut soup called out as go-tos.

Yelp’s Top Ten Results for Lunch in Philadelphia

  1. Jean’s Cafe
  2. Su Xing House
  3. Di Bruno Bros. (Rittenhouse location)
  4. Café Lutecia
  5. Mi Lah Vegetarian
  6. Magic Carpet (34th & Walnut cart)
  7. King of Falafel
  8. Little Thai Market
  9. Old Nelson Food Company (7th & Chestnut location)
  10. Old City Asian Bistro

Deal Dump

Supper has added a $35 prix-fixe menu Monday to Friday. And that price tag includes wine or beer. Meal Ticket has the menu. [Meal Ticket]

SoleFood at the Loews Hotel is offering a deal that you might not be able to refuse. $40 for three courses for two. And you get a $10 gift card for a return visit! [uwishunu]

Alfa has a happy hour that runs 7-days a week. Respect! [The Restaurant Club]

Say hello, it won’t kill you. And if you do it at Friday Saturday Sunday it will get you a free drink. [Latest Dish]

El Fuego for happy hour? Well there is cheap Mexican beer and discounted chips, salsa and guac. []

Sundays are special at the Grey Lodge. Get surf or turf plus beer for just $19.95. [Grey Lodge]

Quick Bites, Goodbye Django

The former restaurant of Bryan Sikora and Aimee Olexy, Django has closed for good just three years after the couple sold it to Ross Essner. [The Insider]

The Clog has pics inside the new El Fuego at 21st and Chestnut Streets (Oh no, those uncomfortable stools are going to be at this location too). [The Clog]

Philly Chit Chat was at 13, the new restaurant in the Marriott last night for a Concierge Party and has the pics to prove it. [Philly Chit Chat]

Quick Bites Including Joe’s Peking Duck

Joseph Poon’s Joe’s Peking Duck will be opening Sunday, September 28th at 108 Chestnut Street.

The El Fuego location at 21st and Chestnut is looking to open Monday, September 22nd. [The Clog]

Jonathan Best Cheese & Dairy is a mainstay at the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market and is going to be opening a branch at the Reading Terminal Market.

Liquid Diet has a cool photo of the Yards men posing in their now functioning new brewery. Also of note is that by early 2009 there should be a tap room in which to sample beers. [Liquid Diet]

Zinc has a new chef, internally promoted Justin Bennett will add small-plates to the menu. [The Clog]

Quick Bites

Owen Kamihira is an ambitious man. He’s turning Deuce into El Camino Real, a “Mexican border bar.” He’s also looking to bring an izakaya to Northern Liberties, a gastropub to 44th and Spruce and A.D. Amorosi reports he is also looking into the bar black hole at 20 S 20th Street that was the Blue Horseshoe and 20 S 20 for a split second each. [Icepack, City Paper]

Michael Klein says Minar Palace is returning the week of May 19th but the facade of the former Time Video at 1304 Walnut Street looks the same as it does in this Google Street View image from last summer. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

South Philly Bar & Grill has their liquor license in hand and is now aiming to open the 9th Street sports bar around June 1st. The interior definitely reminds us of Jose Pistola’s, lots of exposed brick, cherry wood and green walls. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Noble is the name of the “seasonal-American” restaurant slated to take over the Gioia Mia space at 2025 Sansom Street. The Apothecary’s Bruno Pouget and Steve Cameron are among the partners. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

El Fuego is looking to expand from it’s Washington Square storefront with a second location at 21st and Chestnut. Look for the doors to swing open around June 1st. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Turns out there are some one word names left for restaurants. Root is set to open later this month or early June at 1033 Spring Garden in the former home of Palate. Chris Hora whose local resume includes Coyote Crossing is talking “slow food and sustainable agriculture. [Food & Drinq]

Another tidbit in Icepack this week has the Happy Rooster getting a new owner and decor redo. [Icepack, City Paper]

Orange Alert!: 2101 Chestnut Street



Ah, that brilliant orange gleam, beckoning us from a Center City window. There’s just nothing like a public notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages to get our hearts racing.

We happened upon this one hanging in the window of 2101 Chestnut Street, in the ground floor of the River West condo building, across the street from the pending El Fuego. For the love of liquor, what’s going in there? Not sure yet, but we’ve traced the license transfer application back to one of the owners of Soho Pizza in Old City. More to come…

Quick Bites

Bad news for those who worry about the “Manayunkization” of Northern Liberties. Girard Avenue isn’t safe from the likes of Four Corners Management (Drinkers, Noche, Loie, etc.) who are looking to open a 1,500- to 2,000 seat music venue. The old Global Thrift at Front and Girard was targeted but the deal fell through as the landlord decided to go with a Hispanic grocery store instead. [Impresario,]

Chestnut Hill is getting a new Italian BYOB, Bocelli across from the Borders at the top of the hill. Bocelli owners Raphael Habib and Roberto Lakhaoua have another location in the Gwynedd Valley train station. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Frozen margaritas, DJs and outdoor seating are all on the menu for the new El Fuego set to open in May at 2104 Chestnut Street. [Food Frenzy, City Paper]

The Mansion at 19th is now O.N.E. at Rittenhouse and owned by the father and son combination of Chris and Fran Twardy. [Icepack, City Paper]

A taste of New Orleans is coming to Ridge Pike in Conshohocken. H.I. Rib & Co. is hoping for a June opening. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Crepes are coming to Manayunk as Cavo Crepe Café is looking to start turning out the French street fare favorite by mid-March. [Food Frenzy, City Paper]

Quick Bites


The two new Starr restaurants, Chelsea Prime and Teplitzky’s (see above) set for Atlantic City this summer can now be gawked at in rendering form at the Chelsea’s new web site. Book your weekend now. [The Chelsea]

Looks like a second El Fuego is on tap. At least that’s what reading between the lines on the orange placard at 2104 Chestnut Street leads us to believe. The liquor license transfer is for Square Burrito II Inc. from Square Burrito Inc. at 723 Walnut St, the address of El Fuego. Seems like a great place for an El Fuego offshoot but does it mean that the original El Fuego is going liquor free? Update: Looks like Drew Lazor beat us to the Publish button and had this last night.

Jerseyites hankering for Malaysian food will be able to save bridge fare come Saturday as a branch of Penang opens in Maple Shade. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

A little more light is shown on Ludwig’s successor, Time in today’s Feeding Frenzy. The food is described as “‘updated country club fare,’ giving steaks and shrimp cocktail as dish examples.” [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

The area’s second California Pizza Kitchen opened this week in the City Avenue complex that includes Target and Pei Wei. Head there Monday as all dine-in sales will go to the Please Touch Museum. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Looks like there’ll be no giant chile on the 2000 block of Walnut Street as word on the street has the Johnny Manana’s project dead and the whole building up for sale.