clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Philly's Most Anticipated Winter Restaurant Openings

The best of the best new things you'll be eating this season.

After one of the best fall opening seasons in recent memory, Philadelphia's restaurant scene has weathered the holiday season and is gearing up for more exciting debuts — and good thing, too, because you'll need some serious motivation to brave the cold. Here now, the season's most compelling reasons to bundle up and check out something new, starting this very weekend (with the launch of a reboot at Bookbinder's) and heading straight through March.

Bing Bing Dim Sum

Location: 1648 E. Passyunk Ave.
Team: Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh (of Cheu Noodle Bar)
Projected opening: January
Now in its second year, Cheu is still generating plenty of buzz for itself, so it's no surprise that Philly has not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of a follow-up from the moment it was announced. Better yet, this second spot will focus entirely on dim sum — something that the city could definitely use more of. Bing Bing promises a menu full of dumplings, buns, and more, surely with influences from all over the world and a few completely nonstandard takes throughout. (Possibilities: chocolate custard bao, pastrami fried buns.) It will also have a full bar. With a building inspection already put to bed, the shop could be getting approval from the health department and putting on the last of the finishing touches any day now. All Eater Philly coverage.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Location: 218 N. 13th St.
Owner: Wilson Tang
Projected opening: January
Meanwhile, the city's dim sum game is simultaneously prepping to get another huge boost in Chinatown, as Wilson Tang is hard at work opening up a Philly outpost of his family's 95-year-old NYC tea parlor. Look for a more classic selection of dim sum staples (see the menu for the NYC shop here to get an idea of what they do up there, though of course items and prices will vary here), as well as a bar. All Eater Philly coverage.

The Olde Bar

Location: 125 Walnut St.
Team: Garces Group
Projected opening: Friday, January 9
Finally, landmark seafood house Old Original Bookbinder's is getting a new life, thanks to Jose Garces. The official opening is just days away, though some New Year's revelers did get a preview last week. (The space has hosted some catered events already — in addition to the restaurant and bar, the building has two private rooms for use by Garces Events.) The idea is "a new interpretation of a classic oyster saloon," with an emphasis on rotating raw bar selections. And yes, there will be snapper soup, if a bit updated from the old signature (think sherry espuma).  The cocktail program is a joint effort between renowned mixologist Charlotte Voisey and Erich Weiss, a grandson of former Bookbinder's owner John M. Taxin. The Olde Bar will serve dinner nightly, with the bar staying open until 2 a.m. (dinner service ends at midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekend nights). Happy hour will run from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. All Eater Philly coverage.

South Bowl

Location: 19 E. Oregon Ave.
Owner: Oron Daskal (of North Bowl)
Projected opening: January/February
North Bowl's South Philly sibling was rumored for what felt like forever, and then experienced some fairly major delays during construction, but it's finally right around the corner. The huge space at Front and Oregon will house a full bar and kitchen, 26 total lanes (some of those are in private party rooms), pool tables and video games, a roof deck, and more. While they have yet to commit to an exact opening date, teasers have shown the work to be nearly complete, so keep an eye out. All Eater Philly coverage.

Crime and Punishment Brewing Co.

Location: 2711 W. Girard Ave.
Owner: Michael Wambolt
Projected opening: Early 2015
Brewerytown deserves a brewery, and it's about to get one, as (fingers crossed) Crime and Punishment Brewing Co. begins to near the end of its long road to opening. Once open, the place will be a full brewpub with a little different flavor than most — the working menu involves lots of Russian and Eastern European staples like pelmeni, beef stroganoff, golabki, plov, and borscht. Official website.

Bonchon

Location: 1020 Cherry St.
Projected opening:
Early 2015
Initially intended to open before 2014 wrapped up, Philly's first location of the popular Korean fried chicken chain has hit a few snags, citing inspection delays. Still, they assure us "the day is coming very soon." Once it arrives, look for extra crispy, double-fried chicken tumbled in soy-garlic or spicy glazes. This location will serve lunch and dinner and will also have a bar; the chain is known for stocking very respectable craft beer selections in their restaurants. Official website; all Eater Philly coverage.

Bud & Marilyn's

Location: 1234 Locust St.
Team:
Marcie Turney and Val Safran
Projected opening: March
Next up for the 13th Street crew is a throwback to chef Marcie Turney's grandparents' old restaurant in Ripon, Wisconsin. It's going in at 13th and Locust at the Independent Hotel, in the space that was most recently Rhino Bar and, before that, one of the many iterations of Fish. Look for: American nostalgia. All Eater Philly coverage.

Tria Fitler Square

Location: 2227 Pine St.
Projected opening:
Early 2015
Next up for the space that was dearly departed Dmitri's is a familiar and welcome face: another Tria Cafe, with a similar concept but a menu expanded beyond the other locations' limited cheese and small plates. All Eater Philly coverage.

Whetstone

Location: 700 S. 5th St.
Team: Jeremy Nolen, Doug and Kelly Hager (of Brauhaus and Wursthaus Schmitz)
Projected opening: Mid- to late January
Originally aiming to open last summer, Whetstone restaurant and bar is finally starting to look like it's about to happen. (Hopefully that delay will be the last spot of bad luck for this supposedly cursed location, which previously housed Ad Sum and Tapestry.) While you'll find some similarities to the food you're used to seeing from Berks County native Nolen — including emphases on charcuterie and pickling — the food here won't be German but American, pulling from Pennsylvania Dutch and other regional traditions. All Eater Philly coverage.

Also eagerly tracking: NYC soft-serve import Big Gay Ice Cream. Work is finally underway at SouthStar lofts, but it looks more likely that this may end up being a warmer-weather opening. (Who wants to eat ice cream in February anyway? Just kidding; we all do, but we'll try to be patient.)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Philadelphia newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world