Philadelphian to Watch: July
WHO: Lobbyist/political operative Michael Karloutsos, 35, who, after running Paul Vallas’s unsuccessful campaign for governor of Illinois, moved to town to work with Vallas on reviving Philly’s schools.
WHY: This summer, Karloutsos unveils the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge, his long-awaited restaurant at the historic Fairmount Water Works, overlooking the Schuylkill.
HOW: Greek genes and a knack for working a room. Karloutsos’s grandfather owned a diner in New York; Karloutsos himself cut through the red tape of dealing with the city in part by having lunch four times a week with Everybody Who’s Anybody at the Capital Grille.
WHAT HE SEES IN THE FUTURE: The Water Works as a destination restaurant. And if the eatery misses its late-June opening date? “I’m gonna pull a Rick Mariano and head to the top of City Hall,” he says.