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Strange Things Are Happening in the Philly Restaurant Scene

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Post-apocalyptic restaurants and kung fu cooking classes? Sure, why not!

Johnigean Enterprises/Facebook

FISHTOWN — You’re probably well aware of The Fillmore, Fishtown’s mega-venue shining bright at the confluence of Delaware and Frankford Avenue. But it’d be safe to assume you were unaware of the two restaurant/entertainment venues being built right next to it by a man named Michael Johnigean. The restaurants’ names are built from acronyms: Mad Rex (Restaurant, Entertainment, Xperience) and Urban EEL (Entertainment, Eatery, Lounge). Here’s how it’ll play out, according to’s report:

  • Mad Rex is a post-apocalyptic-themed restaurant billed as a “survivors kitchen” and “VR lounge”. Food wise, its website boasts “hot rock and Himalayan pink salt grilling”, which can be done at your table (says this Facebook post). Oh, and he’s also promising a pastry chef and “five-star dining at its best”, plus live music and dancing in addition to the three large virtual reality theaters where “patrons will recline in wheelchairs, sipping drinks through a straw (but set up like an IV drip)”.
  • Urban EEL is an American restaurant with a wood fired grill, sushi bar, cigar lounge, and, of course, “an 8,000-gallon salt-water tank stocked with moray eels”, for show.

The plan is for both restaurants to be open this spring, as insane as they sound.

OLD CITY — Han Chiang, chef-owner of the Han Dynasty empire, took to Facebook to announce a new series he’s calling Han’s Kung Fu Cooking Club, where attendees will get a hands-on cooking lesson from Han himself while watching his favorite kung fu movies. At the end of each lesson, they’ll be given an assignment — example assignments include: “cook for someone in need, someone you love, ur fav wawa cashier/hoagista, or want to kick the shit out of”. But don’t even think about using Trump as fodder for conversation or you'll be banned from the club.

The first meeting is happening January 30th, but it was booked up immediately. Though, don’t be too discouraged, today, again on Facebook, he promised to announce a second date very soon.

Mad Rex Restaurant

1000 Frankford Avenue, , PA 19125 (267) 773-7566 Visit Website