Jet Wine Bar Is Opening a Wine Garden on South Street
Jet Wine Bar is getting into the outdoor drinking game this summer, with a new Mexican concept in Kensington and an expanded, revamped Rex 1516 planned for 2020.
Jet Wine Bar and its sibling restaurants are expanding with a new wine garden, a Cafe Ynez spinoff, and a new home for Rex 1516 in the works.
First, Sojourn restaurant group owners Jill Weber and Evan Malone will bring Jet’s international wines outdoors with a new wine garden, located in the lot just east of the bar, which is at 1525 South Street. The 2,400 square-foot space will seat 40 at outdoor tables, with a menu of small bites from culinary director Lucio Palazzo. In terms of drinks, they’ll offer wines by the glass and bottle, beer, cider, seasonal cocktails, and house-made strawberry rosé wine pops. No word yet on an official opening date, although the owners assure us it will be “soon.”
There are big changes planned across the street at Rex 1516, too. The restaurant is moving into the ground floor of a new development at 1526 South Street. The site was once the home of the Royal Theater, the first Black-run theater in Philadelphia, until the building — except for its historic facade — was demolished in 2017.
The 6,000 square-foot space will feature a bar and bottle shop as well as seating for 268, including mezzanine seating overlooking the main floor. The new Rex will feature live music on weekends, along with a menu of elevated Southern fare; longtime executive chef Justin Swain departed earlier this year, but a new chef hasn’t yet been named. The expanded Rex 1516 set to open in spring of 2020.
Weber and Malone will also bring an all-day concept to Kensington next year at 1800 North American Street. Sor Ynez, sister restaurant to their Washington Avenue spot Cafe Ynez, will serve traditional and modern Mexican fare, with a focus on indigenous ingredients, fresh juices, and vegan and vegetarian offerings (though there will be meat on the menu, too).
The space will seat 50 indoors, with seating for another 75 to 100 in the seasonal outdoor “Aztec garden,” which will also grow herbs and vegetables for the restaurant’s kitchen. Look for Sor Ynez to open sometime in winter 2020.
Jet Wine Garden is located at 1523-1521 South Street. Hours will be Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Check out the menus below (click to embiggen).