El Balconcito Crew Plans to Open a Peruvian Restaurant and Pisco Bar in Old City

Finally, Peruvian flavors closer to home.

If you’re craving Peruvian food in Philly, you’ll likely have to drive for it. Your options are the Northeast, home of Peruvian-Portugese standbys El Balconcito and El Balconcito II, or City Avenue, where polla a la brasa-chain Sardi’s opened its first Philly location next to a Boston Market, or Upper Darby, where Inka Wall puts out some of the region’s best. But for a taste of that Latin American/Asian fusion closer to city center? Nothing’s filled the hole left by Jose Garces when he closed Chifa in 2013.

That’ll soon change when Miguel Toro — who both co-owns and operates both El Balconcitos with his family — brings his new Peruvian vision to life with a restaurant and pisco bar in the former Serrano/Tin Angel space in Old City.

Right now, they’re toying with something of a similar monicker: Balconcito Old City, but that’s still subject to change. It’ll be the third restaurant by the El Balconcito crew, this one strictly Peruvian — no Portuguese influence whatsoever, which was intentional, “We’re focusing on Peruvian because of the boom happening around the world.” Plus, now he gets to operate with a pisco-focused bar under the direction of bar consultant Nathan Weigert of Aqua Vitae Institute. The food menu you will be similar to El Balconcito’s (still headed by Toro’s step-father René Arroyo), but since there isn’t an entire Portuguese side to worry about here, expect an extended list of more traditional offerings.

Downstairs will go through a bit of a makeover, Toro is shooting for an intensely Peruvian vibe. And as for the upstairs Tin Angel space, he says it’ll be something different, but the concept isn’t fully fleshed-out just yet.

They’re shooting for a summer opening; stay tuned for updates.