Fall Restaurant Preview: Starr Edition

Early word on new restaurants from the restaurateur who never rests

In the August issue of the magazine, which hits news stands August 2, we have the scoop on the major restaurants opening in Philly in the next six months (plus our predictions on how they might turn out). But for the Restaurant Club, we have a sneak peek — and a few extra tidbits we didn’t have room for in the magazine. Last week, we gave you the goods on Garces’s new restaurants and today we have word on upcoming projects from Stephen Starr.

Il Pittore: Starr is partnering with Chris Painter, culinary director for Starr Restaurants on this “neighborhood Italian” spot in Queen Village, in the spot that formerly housed Ansill. Painter is headed on a three-week tasting trip to Italy for inspiration, but as of now, he says it will be a small menu focused on Italian cuisine, “from Rome north.” He’s also planning to offer a more ambitious tasting menu. Starr told us he’s designing the place himself and doesn’t plan to do much with the decor. Expect “understated and un-designed,” with exposed beams, brick and a new fireplace. It should open some time in October. 627 South 3rd Street, no phone yet, starr-restaurant.com

Unnamed Pub: The concept is English pub — don’t call it a gastropub! — but this is a Stephen Starr production, so don’t expect greasy fish and chips. He’s inspired by (and is maybe, possibly negotiating a partnership with the owners of) clubby New York resto-bar the Spotted Pig. Designer Shawn Hausman will combine adjoining spaces at the corner of 18th and Sansom Streets into an 8,500-square-foot bi-level pub that Starr says will “feel like a home.” The best seats will be tucked into a second-floor bay window overlooking 18th Street. It’s on deck for a November opening. 122 South 18th Street, no phone yet, starr-restaurant.com

Unnamed Fishtown Beer Garden: Starr didn’t have too many details on his German-Austrian beer garden, other than to say he was hoping for a late October opening, but difficulties with the infrastructure at the location (installing water lines and other unglamorous details) may delay the project. 1210 Frankford Avenue, no phone yet, starr-restaurant.com

Broad Street Diner: Restaurant Club readers had a lot of opinions about what Starr should do with this South Philly spot; last he told us, he was considering a Vietnamese beer garden. Don’t get too excited; this renovation is a long way off, most likely not until 2011. 1135 South Broad Street, no phone yet, starr-restaurant.com

What do you think? Which of Starr’s restaurants are you most likely to try? Which are you most excited to visit?

*Photo courtesy Starr Restaurants