Pizzeria Vetri Makes Some Changes

New pizzas, new logos.

New pizzas, new logos.

Things are changing at Pizzeria Vetri.

Most importantly, their new seasonal specials have appeared for the summer. At the Rittenhouse location you can score the new Mais e Funghi pizza a Neapolitan pie with a corn crema base topped with charred corn and maitake mushrooms tossed in sherry vinegar, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, then finished with fresh herbs.. And at the Fairmount location you will find the Pomodoro with baby heirloom tomatoes, burrata, and basil. Get them while they’re hot, both locations will release new specials when fall rolls around.

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New Restaurant Lets “Everyone At the Table” Build Community

EAT Cafe storefront

The future home of the EAT Cafe on Lancaster Avenue where Powelton Village and Mantua meet. Photos | Sandy Smith

Can a restaurant fight hunger and build community at the same time?

The answer to this question would seem obvious. A restaurant serves food, so of course it fights hunger. And it brings people in from outside to dine, often frequently, so it can become a community hub as well.

But throw in food insecurity, and broaden that community to include poor people struggling with that issue, and the answer becomes much less obvious. A typical restaurant isn’t set up to accommodate the truly hungry, nor can it handle those who may not be able to afford the cost of a meal.

The EAT Cafe on Lancaster Avenue, set to open this spring, isn’t a typical restaurant. Instead, it’s the first example in Philly of a model that tackles that other form of hunger-fighting and community-building, one that has popped up in more than 100 cities across the country.
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Marc Vetri Channels His Inner Real Housewife

Marc Vetri, whose eponymous restaurant is habitually nominated for best service by the James Beard Foundation, took to Twitter this morning to rip a customer who dined at his restaurant last night.

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Marc Vetri Up Next in Pat’s Steaks Guest Chef Series

Marc Vetri with Frank Olivieri at Pat's Steaks

Marc Vetri with Frank Olivieri at Pat’s Steaks

Marc Vetri is next up for Pat’s Steaks Guest Chef Series. Vetri is preparing a ribeye steak with Di Bruno Bros’ mortadella, taleggio, cherry peppers, onions and Cheez Whiz on roll.

The steak will be available on Thursday, January 21st from 3 to 5 p.m. The steaks will cost $10 each and all sales will benefit the Vetri Community Partnership.

Frank Olivieri says, “I’m so honored to have Marc Vetri design a cheesesteak and cook with me to benefit his charity.” For Vetri, it is a pleasure to work with Olivieri. “Frank is always there for us. The sandwich I created is like an Italian Cubano sandwich. You have the mortadella and the steak and Tallegio, and the peppers and onions cut it beautifully. The combination of ingredients is really delicious.”

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Was Urban Outfitters-Vetri Deal in Part About Loneliness?

Urban Vetri

There was a lot of head-scratching this week when Urban Outfitters, struggling in sales, purchased the Vetri Family restaurant group. I understand the concern over a beloved local figure and craftsman “selling out” to a corporation famous for flannel and failed attempts at irony. But Urban and the Vetri people have worked together for years, and two big Philly power players are a match made in business heaven. (For those still bummed: The crown jewel Vetri-name restaurant wasn’t sold. Marc Vetri and co. also pledge to oversee all their Philly restaurants as usual — we’ll certainly notice if they don’t.)

The most interesting thing about this deal isn’t the people involved. It’s one of the reasons Urban’s chief development officer, Dave Ziel, gave for the purchase: filling a social void. As Ziel told Philly.com, “We think retailing needs to become more experiential … I think there’s a craving for real socializing beyond social media.” Read more »

Your Guide to Pizzeria Vetri

The Melanzana at Pizzeria Vetri | Photo by Courtney Apple

The Melanzana at Pizzeria Vetri | Photo by Courtney Apple

Pizzeria Vetri has made national news over the past couple of days because of Urban Outfitters announcement that it was purchasing Marc Vetri’s pizza chain and the rest of his restaurants (minus the eponymous Vetri). Headlines have blared “Why Urban Outfitters Made Its Controversial Pizza Purchase,” “Urban Drops After Saying It Will Buy Pizza Chain” and “It Will Take More Than a Pizza Party to Sure Up Urban Outfitters.” The business end of the deal has been covered excellently by our business reporter Jared Shelly, but we’re the food guys, and we want to talk pizza.

So for all the Wall Street analysts, URBN stockholders, University of Texas Seniors and everyone else who has been meaning to try Marc Vetri’s jump into casual dining, here is your guide to getting the most out of Pizzeria Vetri.

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Urban Outfitters Bought Vetri for Under $20 Million

Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri

One of the biggest questions looming about the Urban OutfittersVetri Family of restaurants deal was a simple one: How much did Urban pay to acquire the company?

Urban’s chief financial officer told Bloomberg Business that it paid less than $20 million for the restaurant group. (Both sides announced the deal Monday without disclosing financial terms. I asked Marc Vetri in a wide-ranging interview yesterday, but he declined to answer.) Read more »

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