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Philly's Most Anticipated Spring Restaurant Openings of 2015

Nostalgia and comfort reign supreme this season.

A rendering of Brick and Mortar.
A rendering of Brick and Mortar.

As we head into the busy spring openings season, here's a cheat sheet on the upcoming bars and restaurants (and ice cream shops) we're almost embarrassingly psyched for. Get excited:

Tria Fitler Square

Location: 2227 Pine Street
Key players: Jon Myerow and Michael McCaulley
Projected opening:
Early April
The owners of both Tria Cafes and Tria Taproom didn't have to do much to sell another iteration of their popular beer, wine, and cheese concept, which is just about ready to go in the former Dmitri's spot. But they went ahead and upped the ante anyway, promising a full "dinner-friendly" menu from chef Karen Nicolas. (Nicolas most recently led the kitchen at Citron + Rose in Lower Merion, and was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2012.)

Brick and Mortar

Location: 315 North 12th Street (at the Goldtex building)
Key players: Mike Welsh, Brian Ricci
Projected opening: Late spring
The latest from Mike Welsh, one of the founders of Franklin Mortgage, will be along soon despite a number of delays. He's promising a comfortable yet chic neighborhood restaurant with an American menu from chef Brian Ricci (formerly of Kennett), and an extremely promising bar led by Christina Rando, another Franklin alum.

Bud & Marilyn's

Location: 1234 Locust Street
Key players: Marcie Turney, Valerie Safran
Projected opening: Late spring
Turney and Safran (Barbuzzo, Little Nonna's, Lolita, et al.) are finishing up work on a new one that's right in line with the retro/nostalgia trend creeping across Philly these days. Named for Turney's grandparents, the restaurant draws influence from the restaurant in Wisconsin they operated for decades. Or, as Turney put it: "Design inspired by my grandparent's restaurant that they had for almost 50 years. Food if I was runnin' that joint today."

Triangle Tavern

Location: 1338 South Tenth Street
Key players: Stephen Simons and David Frank
Projected opening: April
More nostalgia is in store at Tenth and Reed, where the revamped Triangle Tavern should be ready to open within a few weeks. The neighborhood bar has sadly sat dormant for years, but will soon see new life from the owners of Royal Tavern, Khyber Pass, and both Cantinas. The menu is full of classics to match the location, from roast pork sandwiches to chicken parm and linguini and clams.

Whetstone Tavern

Location: 700 South Fifth Street
Key players: Jeremy Nolen, Doug and Kelly Hager (Brauhaus Schmitz)
Projected opening: Late spring
This corner spot (formerly home to Tapestry, Adsum, and others) has been said to be cursed, which may account for the really lengthy delays faced by the new project from the Brauhaus team. (They were originally targeting a summer 2014 opening, putting it almost a year behind schedule.) The name's been tweaked a bit, too, with the "tavern" recently tacked on. But now it's finally time to start looking forward to Nolen's take on regional American cooking (no, not German), in a versatile neighborhood bar and restaurant that aims to be casual yet stylish.

Scratch Biscuits

Location: 1306 Chestnut Street
Key players: Mitch and Jennifer Prensky (Supper)
Projected opening: April/May
You may have sampled Prensky's biscuits at events like Night Market or his own pop-ups, but now he's getting close to opening the doors on a real home for the Scratch Biscuits brand. The all-day setup will be fast casual, with fully customizable biscuit sandwiches, sides and desserts available to grab and go or eat in. As a bonus, Prensky has even promised gluten-free biscuits.

Big Gay Ice Cream

Location: 521 South Broad Street (at SouthStar Lofts)
Key players: Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff
Projected opening: April/May
Though the exact date is still in question, the owners of the NYC cult-favorite soft serve shop have at least issued reassurances that their Philly outpost is "looking like an ice cream shop inside." With any luck, they'll debut their cones, sundaes, and shakes to the city just in time for the onset of summery weather.

Also noted: Second locations are on the way for Pizzeria Vetri (Rittenhouse; targeting a May opening) and Joe's Steaks & Soda Shop (Fishtown; opening April 1).