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New Contemporary Japanese Restaurant for Old City

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The former location of Zento
The former location of Zento
Photo: Rebecca Stawartz

A tipster sent us in this photo of the papered-up windows at the previous home of Zento, which has moved down the street to the former Grey Social lounge. With only a sign letting everyone know to expect a "Contemporary Japanese Restaurant," there are more than a few possibilities of what this could be. Calls to the Zento crew were not immediately returned, so we'll get the wheels spinning with a few suggestions.

Could this be the long-rumored Royal Izakaya from Stephen Simons and Todd Dae Kulper? It makes sense since The Khyber Pass Pub, which Simons also owns, is just around the corner. This could also be the Ramen Room, which Sam Ho (of Zento) and Darin Picorella are planning to open sometime this year. And, of course, it could be the brick and mortar for the Cheu Noodle House pop-up (once called Roundeye), as well. We're hoping for any of the three, but there's also the distinct possibility it could be something altogether new, as Zento was BYOB in its former life, and there's currently no liquor license with the building.

We'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: Stephen Simons has said his new Royal Izakaya is coming to S. 2nd Street.

· Zento [Official]

138 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA