Originally planned for 2013, Jose Garces announced today that Volver, his new signature space at the Kimmel Center is currently slated for an early April opening. Garces, along with principals from architecture firm KieranTimberlake and interior designer Marguerite Rodgers, showed off the space today in its unfinished state.
The tabletops currently on display in the main dining area, for instance, are the "reject" tops, according to Rodgers. (The finish was unsatisfactory, so replacements are in the works.) The lighting in the champagne and caviar bar, said to be inspired by black box theater lighting, was not yet finalized, and wires are still hanging from the ceilings.
But the "performance kitchen," where Garces and his team will put on their nightly shows preparing tasting menus for 40 or so onlookers at the kitchen's bar and surrounding tables (plus any gawkers who care to press their noses against the glass bump-out on Spruce), is looking good. While the tables by the floor-to-ceiling windows offer some of the feel of sidewalk dining, Garces explained that the windows will not open onto the street, at least in part because the Kimmel Center's finely tuned, climate-sensitive performance spaces would complicate such an indoor-outdoor set-up.
The champagne and caviar bar, more spacious than the main dining room, has a separate "pantry" kitchen to provide small bites and will offer some 40 to 50 varieties of champagne. Several large-scale art installations are already in, including several works by local artists, and the entrance and hallways are lined with framed photos from Garces' travels that will inform the menu.
While the project seems close to completion, Garces said today that as "the space is just being turned over to [him]," the team still has a significant amount of menu testing and training ahead of them before opening day.
· All Volver Coverage [-EPHI-]