Queen Village staple Southwark is changing hands, according to a report today from the Insider. Chef Chris D'Ambro and partner Marina De Oliveira are in the process of purchasing the property from Kip and Sheri Waide, who opened the restaurant in 2004. And while the Southwark name will stay on at Fourth and Bainbridge, the buyers have ambitious plans to add a second restaurant while they're at it.
Restaurant Ambra will go in at 705 S. Fourth St. (Though the entrances are a few doors apart, this space is connected through the back to Southwark's corner property and houses the kitchen.) The area in front of the kitchen has been used as a sort of catch-all storage space, which will be converted to a 24-seat Italian wine bar and restaurant. The official transition should take place over the summer, with Ambra following along several months later. The Insider has more details on the timing and technicalities.
D'Ambro has cooked all over, including Talula's Table and Talula's Garden and a more recent stint in Mexico. Today, critic Adam Erace dug up a 2009 review from D'Ambro's time at "sleek clubby cavern" Bocca in Old City (Sto's Bar now lives in that space):
Peripatetic chef Chris D'Ambro is taking over Southwark via @phillyinsider. He impressed me back in 2009 http://t.co/D7L9TgK1IG— Adam Erace (@adamerace) May 4, 2015