The up-and-coming neighborhood of Francisville, just east of Fairmount, has a new restaurant as of 4 p.m. today when Gin & Pop opens its doors. Brothers Tom and Kris Kwiatkowski named their venture after its location: Gin & Pop is at the corner of 19th, Ginnodo, and Poplar Streets. The property was formerly Flying Carpet.
Tom Kwiatkowski brings the industry experience, having spent time at several Philly restaurants including, most recently, Scarpetta off Rittenhouse Square. Kris was a professional musician but he had some bartending and bar managing experience under his belt. He moved back to Philly from LA a few years ago.
The idea for Gin & Pop took root on July 4, 2014, when Kris was hanging out with friends who live across the street and noticed the Flying Carpet. A neighbor mentioned he heard they were looking to sell.
“It piqued my interest,” Kris says. “I didn’t come back looking to open a bar, but the idea started to take shape — and it became the dream.”
The brothers liked the up-and-coming aspect of Francisville and the new construction going on.
Gin & Pop aims to be “a little something for everyone,” Kris says. “We want it to be a step above the corner bar. Casual enough that you can come in in shorts and a T-shirt, but with food that’s high-quality enough to come here for a date.”
The food is from chef Josh Noh, whose résumé includes Talula’s Garden, Sampan, and Matyson. Kris calls it “elevated bar food” — he’s avoiding the played-out “gastropub” label — with plates broken up into small, medium, and large.
The menu starts with mini-lobster rolls and cheddar curds with curry tempura, moves into a short rib poutine and hickory-smoked wings with a pickle brine, and ends with bigger dishes like a vegetarian version of a cheesesteak made with mushrooms and a signature burger with “special sauce.”
Gin & Pop’s address is 1839 Poplar Street. It’s open 4 p.m to midnight Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday.