Veganism for Dummies: Bar Bombon Reviewed

bar-bombon-940You’ve got to be pretty confident to think about opening a vegan restaurant in a town that already has Vedge in it. That’s kind of like going to Williamsburg to open a trendy cocktail bar with a lot of pickles on the menu. Like heading for Yountville with the intention of showing those poor saps what real modernist cuisine looks like.

Locally, it’s like opening a high-end Italian restaurant right across the street from Vetri. That doesn’t happen by mistake. You don’t go through all the effort of opening and then just look up one morning and say, “Huh. I wonder when that Vetri character opened there.”

No, vagaries of real estate aside, when you do something like that, it’s a very deliberate move. You’ve got to believe you have something Marc Vetri doesn’t. And doing vegan—a vegan bar, really, offering lunch and dinner, Latin flavors, margaritas and caipirinhas—right down the street from the vegan bar opened by the people behind Vedge is the same kind of crazy.

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Nicole Marquis’s New Rittenhouse Spot Will Have You Dreaming of Vegan Tacos

bar bonbon
About an hour ago, a coworker and I were about to duck into HipCityVeg for a quick grab-and-go lunch (clearly I’ve lapsed back into my old, embarrassing ways) when we saw that Nicole Marquis’s new sit-down Rittenhouse eatery, Bar Bombón, located just a few feet away from HipCityVeg, was officially open. And of course, in the name of work, I had to try it. Spoiler alert: This new place might just cure me of my HipCityVeg addiction once and for all.  Read more »

Bar Bombon Has An Opening Date And Menu

BarBombonspaceOnce upon a time, the space pictured at left was going to be a Latin-themed vegan joint from Nicole Marquis (HipCityVeg, Charlie Was A Sinner) called JoseJose. We’d already been tracking the opening for a long time when word came down that the name was going to be Bar Bombon and that the inspiration was going to be a bit wider–a little Spanish, a little Puerto Rican, a bit of straight-up Mexican. Because this was Nicole Marquis, it was obviously still going to be vegan, but it wasn’t until this afternoon that we got much in the way of specific details.

Now we can tell you that Bar Bombon (which will still be opening in the former Crumbs space at 133 S. 18th Street) has a date. It’s switching on the lights officially on Monday, August 24. And what’s more, we have a full menu.

Check it out after the jump.

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HipCityVeg Owner Nicole Marquis to Open New Bar on 18th Street

Photo by Art Etchells

Photo by Art Etchells

If you find yourself at HipCityVeg just about every day (feel no shame—I am probably waiting in line behind you Every. Single. Day), then this news should make you jump with joy: Our friends over at Foobooz say it looks like owner Nicole Marquis (who also owns Charlie was a sinner.) is set to open another spot just a few steps away from HipCityVeg, where Crumbs bakeshop used to be—and this spot will have a liquor license.

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New Bar from Nicole Marquis

marquis-latin-philly-940
Nicole Marquis
, founder of HipCityVeg and Charlie was a sinner. appears to be opening another spot with a liquor license. A license application in the window of the former Crumbs bakeshop at 133 S 18th Street has the name”Marquis Latin Philly LLC” and can be traced back to the address of HipCityVeg at 127 S 18th Street. A neighboring business told us they heard the business would be serve tacos.

The building is owned by Allan Domb, who is also Marquis’s landlord at the original HipCityVeg and Charlie was a sinner. We’ve reached out to Marquis for comment and will update this story when we have more information.

UPDATE: Marquis thanked us for reaching out but offered us no comment.

Though the location makes sense, it is interesting that Marquis is once again positioning her vegan spots near those of her former bosses, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby. Charlie was a sinner. is just a bit more than a block from Vedge and this location will just be a block from the just opened V Street.

Restaurant Review: Charlie Was a Sinner

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Just how much sinning do you like to do over dinner?

That’s a good question to chew on at Nicole Marquis’s mysterious new bar on 13th Street, where you can drink bourbon and absinthe beneath a looming hardback edition of In Cold Blood, watch sultry projections of Marilyn Monroe flicker upon the ruffles of a diaphanous wall curtain, and soak up your alcohol with food completely untainted by animal products.

In an era abounding with culinary hobgoblins—gluten for him, fructose for her, GMOs for the guy down the street—veganism still reigns unrivaled as the diet of the ethically upright. But the plant-only jawn feels a little racier at Charlie Was a Sinner, and not just because it’s next door to the last surviving porn shop on this once-seedy strip. Marquis, the woman behind HipCityVeg, named her lounge the way Elmore Leonard started crime novels. Who’s Charlie? Has he—or she—repented? Exactly what sort of sin are we talking about here?

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Pssst! HipCityVeg Has a Secret Menu Item You’ve Never Tried

Hip City Veg | Photo by Christoper Gabello

Hip City Veg | Photo by Christoper Gabello

Just a quick redirect here: The folks over at Zagat Philly have a post this week about secret menu items (i.e. off-menu dishes you have to know to ask for) at 20 Philly restaurants. Color me surprised to find a delicious-sounding item from one of my favorite lunch spots, HipCityVeg: a vegan grilled chick’n club sandwich that apparently only people in the know have been enjoying for who knows how long. I feel robbed.

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