So we’ve been wondering for a while now what, exactly, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran were going to do with the space-formerly-known-as-Fish at 1234 Locust Street. We knew they’d taken the address to add to their already significant 13th Street holdings. We knew that work there had already begun, and that a lot of it was focusing around the kitchen area. But what we didn’t know was what, exactly, the to of them had planned for the space.
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Over on the Insider, they’re reporting that it’s a done deal–that the owners of Barbuzo, Jamonera and Lolita (which just picked up a liquor license) have now officially decided to expand off of 13th Street (which they essentially own) and try to take on a new neighborhood by snapping up Fish.
No news on what, exactly, the pair plan to do with the double space (remember: this is also where Rhino Bar lived and died), but Klein does have a nice, succinct look back at the history of the embattled space under Mike Stollenwerk and others.
Owners of Lolita, Barbuzo and Jamonera Taking Over Fish [Insider]
The last couple of nights, the above sign has been in the window at Rhino Bar (last week there was a closed for private party sign), the successor to Fish at 1234 Locust Street. We called over to the Independent Hotel which sits atop Rhino and the latest, smaller Fish. The hotel informed us that Rhino Bar is closed because of flooding. The same reason given for Fish’s closure back in May of 2012, that turned out not to be the truth at all. All this comes just a month after Mike Stollenwerk parted ways with Fish and Rhino.
The hotel also told us that Fish is still open and Rhino should return next week. But Fish’s web site is gone and OpenTable doesn’t have anything open for tonight (but the rest of the weekend and beyond is wide open). A call to the restaurant went unanswered.
So here we are again, wondering what is going on a 1234 Locust Street.
UPDATE: Michael Klein has tweeted that this time, the flood is real.
The rocky existence of Fish took another turn last night as Michael Klein reported that Mike Stollenwerk has left Fish. No details are yet available but with the summer’s short shutdown, the moving of Fish around the corner and all the other drama that seemed to follow Stollenwerk and business partner Evan Prochniak, it isn’t exactly shocking.
Stollenwerk burst on the scene with his postage stamp-sized Little Fish on 6th and Catharine. National praise from Bon Appetit put Stollenwerk on the map in 2008. In 2009, Little Fish begot Fish at 1708 Lombard Street. Fish also won plenty of accolades before departing its Graduate Hospital location for bumping 13th Street in early 2012. Since then Fish closed temporarily over the summer and just this fall, moved around the corner to a smaller location, as big Fish made way for Rhino Bar.
What this means for Stollenwerk, Fish and Rhino Bar is still unclear. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Michael Klein names Stollenwerk’s successor at Fish. It will be Adán Trinidad, the current chef de cuisine.
Stollenwerk leaves Fish [The Insider]
Having your restaurant named in a top-ten list by a national magazine isn’t typically a cause for regret. But sometimes I’ve wondered if it might be for Mike Stollenwerk.
After Bon Appetit trumpeted his cooking at Little Fish in a December 2008 roundup of “new-style” fish houses, it seemed like the chef with the Popeye forearms was on his way to becoming the Poseidon of Philly’s pescetarian scene. The BA squib begat enthusiastic reviews from the local press (usually it works in the other direction). In 2009 he opened Fish on Lombard Street, adding about 40 seats and a liquor license to his portfolio. A year and a half later he debuted Fathom, a down-home seafood bar in (where else?) Fishtown. Soon there was chatter about two more places in the works in Brewerytown—and then the announcement that Fish was moving to a marquee address on 13th street, where it would double its capacity.
Flash forward to May of 2012. Stollenwerk had sold Little Fish, unloaded the underachieving Fathom to his partner, and there was nothing happening in Brewerytown. Then Fish itself went dark on 13th Street amidst a wave of rumors and conflicting reports.
“It wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be,” Stollenwerk told me when I called to ask him about the dwindling of his restaurant empire. “It was more like babysitting. An ice machine’s broken here. The fridge is out there … I spent all day just driving around.”
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It looks like Mike Stollenwerk has now got both of his new operations up and running inside the Independent Hotel at 13th and Locust. Recently, he moved his flagship Fish to smaller digs inside the hotel after it (and its odd seafood small-plates menu) failed to catch fire in the bigger space. And now, the Insider is reporting that he’s pulled the trigger on his Rhino Bar concept in the now-former home of Fish.
Rhino Bar is sporting 8 taps and a raw bar, plus a kitchen that’ll serve late (1am on weeknights and 2am on the weekends)–which will make a nice addition to the neighborhood. The Insider has a menu, too, so check it out.
Rhino Opens at 13th and Locust [The Insider]
Fish did indeed open in its new location in the same building last night. And it also rolled out a new menu. Gone is the short-lived seafood tapas concept and back is a menu that reads first course and second course.
The latest Fish menu »
Michael Klein is reporting that Mike Stollenwerk’s Fish is moving again. This time the seafood oriented restaurant will stay in the Independent Hotel but move into a smaller space on the Locust Street side. As for the current Fish space, that will become Rhino Bar, a pub serving food till 1 a.m.
This is the third location for Fish, which started out on Lombard Street in 2009 before moving to 13th and Lombard in January. Stollenwerk and his primary investor, Evan Prochniak had a disagreement, which led to the restaurant closing for several weeks in late May and early June.
The newest Fish will open on Tuesday, October 23rd and Rhino Bar will open after that.
Stollenwerk’s Fish to Move Again [The Insider]
Fish [Official Site]
Fish recently has begun a new brunch menu. On Sundays, from 11-3pm, Fish will be serving up a la carte dishes like carrot pancakes or build-your-own omelets and Fish specialties like soft shell crab sandwiches and lobster grilled cheese.
Additionally there will be a family-style brunch option. For $35 per person you get sharing-size platters, endless drinks, and more. The best part of their new meal may be Fish’s basement bakery. They’ll be baking their own breads, scones, English muffins, cinnamon buns, and bagels for brunch. Yum!
Fish [Official Site]
Mike Stollenwerk’s Fish is back after a several week hiatus with a new menu that focuses on small plates and some big dishes to share. Also new is the interior courtyard with room for 24 diners to dine outside and away from street.