Chef Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga, The Fat Ham) shut the doors for good over the weekend at Juniper Commons, his ode to '80s-style Americana at the SouthStar Lofts. The closure, first reported late Friday night by Foobooz, came abruptly, just shy of the restaurant's six-month mark. It opened on December 8 of last year and saw its final dinner service on Saturday, May 30.
Though highlights like the fried chicken and gin-fueled bar found their fans, the restaurant failed to connect with critics. City Paper's Adam Erace found the food uninspired from concept through to execution, while Inquirer critic Craig LaBan meted out just one bell in a review that unfavorably compared the experience of dining at Juniper Commons to attending a high school reunion.
Sbraga Dining issued a brief statement thanking the "amazing team that took the journey with" them and adding that the group "looks forward to a bright future in Philadelphia." Sbraga's Instagram over the weekend seemed to show the Top Chef champ dealing with it via inspirational quotes, notes to self to keep moving, and, well, this:
There is no word yet on what will come of the space, which neighbors newly opened Big Gay Ice Cream.