Opening Menu for Butcher Bar

Butcher Bar opens Friday, September 2nd.

Butcher Bar opens Friday, September 2nd.

Butcher Bar is the latest from the Anni Family, the team behind Varga Bar, Mercato and Valanni. Co-executive chefs Evan Turney and John Strain are turning out a meat-centric affair with sections of its menus titled Butcher Board, Meatballs, Sausages and From the Fire (a selection of dishes that come from the wood-fired grill).

And if you’ve got a crew of carnivores, $250 and 24-hours notice can get you “The Trough” – a feast of rotisserie chicken, house-made sausages, grilled skirt steak, rack of ribs, kabobs, house-smoked bacon, bone-in short ribs, fries and grilled pita.

Full menu »

Jawdropper of the Week: Gilded Age Opulence on Rittenhouse Square

1830 Rittenhouse Sq. #6AB, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1830 Rittenhouse Sq. #6AB, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

If you’ve been to Newport, R.I., you’ve probably done the famous Cliff Walk and toured some of the “cottages” the Robber Barons built as summer getaways at the height of the Gilded Age. These were homes built for show and entertaining as much as they were for living: huge ballrooms that could accomodate hundreds, dozens of bedrooms, grand lawns, opulent decor.

This extra-large condominium overlooking Rittenhouse Square looks like the pied-a-terre version of one of those places. Occupying the entire sixth floor of the first and (in many ways still) finest of the Rittenhouse Square high-rises, this home offers lots of room for entertaining, loads of windows offering gorgeous views of the square, and opulence almost beyond belief, though in a restrained Philadelphia fashion.

All that, and all the latest in kitchen and bathroom furnishings to boot. And it’s comfortable enough that you’ll enjoy living in it every day. Read more »

Buena Onda Coming to Chestnut Street

Buena Onda Tacos is coming to Rittenhouse

Buena Onda Tacos is coming to Rittenhouse

In June, Jose Garces teased that his fast-casual fish taqueria would be coming to a location close to Philadelphia magazine’s offices. And today we can confirm that the second Buena Onda is indeed opening around the corner from the magazine’s offices, to the former Charlie’s Jeans at 1735 Chestnut Street.

The lease has been signed but no timeframe has been announced. We’re not holding our breath as the former clothing store will require an extensive buildout to become a restaurant, fast-casual or otherwise.

In June, Garces told us that he had plans for three Buena Onda locations in total in Philadelphia. No word on where that third one might land.

Buena Onda – Rittenhouse [Foobooz]

Cocktails to Cool Off with at

a-bar-angostura-float-400Earlier today we stopped by to check in on the summer cocktails that the Rittenhouse cocktail bar has added to their menu. Bartender Paul MacDonald joined us on Facebook Live to make us an Angostura Float, a rum-based cocktail made with Angostura bitters ice cream that is just perfect for this unbearable hot days and nights.

The cocktail is definitely rum forward in the best way and as the ice cream melts, becomes a creamy cooling and refreshing way to relax. The angostura ice cream worked remarkably well, definitely better than just about any beer-flavored ice cream I’ve come across.

More summer cocktails at »

Tria Taproom Adds Happy Hour

Tria Taproom's Happy Hour Starts Tonight

Tria Taproom’s Happy Hour Starts Tonight

Tria Taproom is now hosting happy hour. The all draft Taproom is featuring breweries, cideries and even wineries within 100 miles of 20th and Walnut. The 100 Mile Happy Hour runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,  Monday through Thursday. And to kick off the start of happy hour, Tria will be unveiling a collaborative beer made with Yards Brewing that is called Tri-S-A, a special version of Yards ESA. Yards founder Tom Kehoe will be on hand from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26th for the tapping.

Tria founder Jon Myerow has been a fan of Yards ESA from Yards earliest days in Manayunk. The Tr-S-A adds bready Thomas Fawcett’s Halcyon malt and citrusy-earthy Boadicea hops and a few other special touches to round out the beer. During the tapping, 3 Yards beers will be on special.

More happy hour details »

Rich Landau Opening a Fast-Casual concept

V Street will take over the EYEsite building on 18th Street.

V Street will take over the EYEsite building on 18th Street | Photo by Arthur Etchells

A liquor license application in the window of V Street shows that Rich Landau’s vegan empire is expanding next door. The building is the current home of EYESite, which is moving around the corner to 17th Street.

Read more »

Butcher Bar Is Coming To Chestnut Street


If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan living around Rittenhouse Square, times are pretty good. You’ve got V Street and HipCityVeg, Bar BomBon, Govinda’s and Agno Grill. Options abound, and just about every restaurant that isn’t a straight-up temple to vegetables and the creative use of soy offers brilliant, well-considered vegetarian dishes all over their menus.

So you know what this neighborhood needs? A butcher shop.

Read more »

Stephen Starr To Take Over Serafina Spot

Serafina location at 18th and Sansom will become a Stephen Starr restaurant.

Serafina location at 18th and Sansom will become a Stephen Starr restaurant.

Serafina is going to be taken over by Stephen Starr. The Italian restaurant from New York landed with significant fanfare in 2011. It was immediately the place to see and be seen but its bloom faded quickly with lackluster and comically bad reviews. Then there was the Cliff Lee incident. And since then, the restaurant has gotten by on tourists, Rittenhouse Square lifers and its location on bustling 18th Street. According to Michael Klein, Serafina will remain open through November before Starr moves in.

Starr has not settled on a concept for the 160-seat restaurant and the Bunker LLC on the liquor license doesn’t give too much away. We’re guessing it isn’t a golf or World War I themed restaurant.

Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: A Pure Example of the Form in Rittenhouse Square

1922 Naudain St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1922 Naudain St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

If we wanted to be really obnoxious about it, we should leave those kitchen-in-the-basement trinities out of the running for consideration for our Trinity Tuesday feature. After all, that makes the classic three-stacked-rooms home a four-stacked-rooms one, and somehow, “quadranity” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But the kitchen in the basement is one of the traditional ways trinity owners have fixed the house type’s chief flaw, namely, the lack of a decent place to cook. This relatively spacious trinity near Rittenhouse Square offers the purest example we’ve seen in a while of the other main approach. Read more »

A Great Start for a Rookie Developer

1705 Pine St., before and after reconstruction. | Photos: Francesco DiCianni

1705 Pine St., before and after reconstruction. | Photos: Francesco DiCianni

It hasn’t been all that long since Frank DiCianni graduated from Drexel University in 2012. But the 26-year-old has his sights set on becoming a serious player in the local development game. His first construction project has gotten him off to a good start down that path.

DiCianni, who lives in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, had been noting with some concern the condition of the former Rittenhouse Cleaners building at 1705 Pine Street.

“A dark cloud hung over that building for eight years,” he said. After the cleaners shut down in 2007, the owner of the building and the business sold the building to a buyer from New York City.

From that point on, the building slowly deteriorated. And that worried DiCianni. One decaying building with boarded-up windows, he said, can set off “a chain reaction of not caring” among other property owners, and if the reaction goes on long enough, pretty soon an entire block becomes blighted.

So DiCianni decided he would launch his career as a developer by breaking the chain before another link could be added to it. Read more »

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