Stephen Starr snapped up the corner space at 18th and Sansom streets last year after Serafina, a New York import that failed to impress in Philly, closed its doors. In September, Eater broke the news about his plans for the Rittenhouse property: A third restaurant with Aimee Olexy, after Talula’s Garden and Talula’s Daily. Their new collaboration, The Love, opens Wednesday and it’s kind of a big deal. Here’s why.
1. It’s Stephen Starr
Has anyone had more influence in Philly's ever-improving, ever-impressing restaurant scene than Stephen Starr? The prolific restauranteur's impact goes beyond what people eat to what neighborhoods they eat in, where they hang out, where they want to be seen. And it goes beyond this city, too. One of Starr's two 2017 James Beard Awards went to his New York City eatery with chef Daniel Rose, Le Coucou. The other was for outstanding restaurateur.
2. It’s Aimee Olexy
Aimee Olexy has been a force in the Philly food scene since she and Starr first worked together in the late 1990s. She went on to open the hit restaurant Django, then sold it and popped back up in Kennett Square with the highly praised Talula’s Table — where reservations are taken a full year in advance.
3. It's a homegrown restaurant a block off Rittenhouse Square
It's not that a chain can't survive — or thrive — here, but this city tends to show a lot of love for made-in-Philly ventures. Two local stars opening an attractive, spacious restaurant serving American fare in such a high-profile spot reads like a recipe for success. Look for city dwellers, suburbanites, and tourists alike to frequent The Love.
4. It’s eye candy
Back to Le Coucou, that James Beard Award-winning restaurant of Starr's — Roman and Williams designed it, and they designed The Love too (along with several other gorgeous restaurants).
5. It has to be better than Serafina
And that spot deserves something better.
- Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy Are Opening a Restaurant in Rittenhouse Square
- Stephen Starr to Take Over Serafina in Rittenhouse Square
- That's It for Serafina in Rittenhouse Square
- Philly Takes Top Honors at the James Beard Awards
- Le Coucou Restaurateur Stephen Starr Wins Big at James Beard Awards