Winter Restaurant Openings That Have Us Excited

From triumphant returns to creative expansions.

We’ve already seen several impressive rebirths this year. Hawthorne’s has reopened after a blaze forced the beer cafe and bruncherie to close for almost a year, and they’re now offering beer delivery. Jose Garces has opened the Olde Bar at Bookbinders. The most impressive thing about this Olde Bar might be how little has actually changed. Even the plaques dedicated to faithful customers of Old Orignal Bookbinders remain. Earlier this week, the old Frankie Bradley’s, a well-known restaurant that fed the stars for 50+ years at 13th and Chancellor reopened as Franky Bradley’s. It’s now a nostalgic and sexy bar and restaurant from Silk City’s Mark Bee.

Not bad for the slowest time of year for restaurants.

We’re also tracking the opening of Bing Bing Dim Sum on East Passyunk. Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz thrilled us with their non-traditional take on noodles at Cheu Noodle Bar, now they’re promising more dim sum and dumpling irreverence on East Passyunk. Look for Bing Bing to open open in a few weeks.

You can never have too much fried chicken and before the end of the month, Philadelphia should have its first Bonchon Chicken. The South-Korean based chain is coming to 1020 Cherry Street in Chinatown, where the twice-fried chicken is sure to be a hit.

Elsewhere in Chinatown, New York’s Nom Wah Dim Sum Parlor is opening at 218 N 13th Street. Nom Wah has been a New York institution for 95 years.

Buster surveys the progress at Big Gay Ice Cream.

Buster surveys the progress at Big Gay Ice Cream.

Speaking of New York, another Big Apple export is coming to Broad and South Streets. Big Gay Ice Cream will open in plenty of time to work out the kinks before the weather heats up and the lines stretch out the door. Get ready for some Salty Pimps and Bea Arthurs.

The 13th Street empire of Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are opening Bud & Marilyn’s at 13th and Locust. In what is surely the restaurant trend of 2015, Turney serving retro-inspired dishes at this restaurant named for her grandparents.

Queen Village is not so patiently waiting for Whetstone Restaurant. The bar and restaurant will have a menu by Brauhaus Schmitz chef Jeremy Nolen. And you guessed it, it will be a somewhat nostalgic look at the food of Nolen’s youth in Reading, PA. So expect pot roasts, minute steaks and some dishes influenced by trips to Lancaster and the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. alum Mike Welsh is opening Brick & Mortar on 12th Street, just north of Vine Street. Expect plenty of cocktails and an “American tavern” menu.

Hear that rumbling in deep South Philly? That’s the sound of South Bowl, the new bowling alley from the fine folk at North Bowl. This cool looking bowling alley will be much larger than its Northern Liberties sibling, and perhaps best of all, lots more parking.

In beer, we’re seeing a couple of expansions as well as some first-timers looking to hit the ground running. Victory at Magnolia brings a 250-seat brewpub to Kennett Square. Tired Hands Brewing is also expanding, they’re adding a second location within Ardmore, PA. In Jenkintown, Guild Hall Brewing takes over an antiques store on York Road. And in Philadelphia proper, Crime and Punishment Brewing Co. promises to put the brewery back in Brewerytown.

For more news about restaurant openings, check out the Foobooz Openings section.