Restaurants located at 3rd and Bainbridge (Judy's, Ansill Food + Wine) have never successfully scored neighborhood approval for outdoor seating, which was a huge reason so many of them failed during the summer months. Even Stephen Starr, who had stepped in to buy the space from previous owner David Ansill, balked at the location at the last minute partly because of the notoriously tough locals who would surely stop him from making money when it was warm.
Until now. Philly's hottest chef, Jason Cichonski of Ela, has charmed his way into the hearts of locals, who had no other choice than to give a thumbs up to his modest request for some outdoor tables.
"I went to so many meetings, and had to convince them we really wanted to be a part of the neighborhood community," Cichonski told Eater. "But, after showing up and pleading our case, as well as having a lot of the members stop by to see what we were all about, they agreed."
While the approval of the NIMBYs isn't the only hurdle in front of al fresco dining at his location, it surely was the biggest. Cichonski said Philly can expect to be drinking outdoors at Ela (the roundabout will be great for people watching) before the weather turns warm.
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