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Kevin Sbraga Has a New Job

The chef closed his last remaining restaurants earlier this year, but he’s back with Fitler Club

A rendering of Fitler Club

Center City is getting its own lifestyle club, a la the swank Soho House, and chef Kevin Sbraga will be providing the food. Jeff Benjamin, who founded the Vetri Family restaurants alongside Marc Vetri, is also on board. Fitler Club, going into 2400 Market Street, is under construction and slated to open in early 2019.

Top Chef winner Sbraga once ran a mini-restaurant empire in Philly, with his eponymous eatery on Broad and Pine, Juniper Commons, also on Broad Street, and The Fat Ham in University City and King of Prussia. He also opened Sbraga & Co. in Florida. All of those restaurants are now closed — the chef told in June he “grew too fast and wasn’t prepared.” At an event Thursday announcing his role as culinary director for Fitler Club, Sbraga said he’ll be focusing on lighter fare than he’s usually known for at the club’s two restaurants.

Benjamin will run the club’s operations as executive vice president. He oversaw the sale of most of the Vetri restaurants to Urban Outfitters in 2015 and left the company this past August. Chef Vetri and Benjamin kept Vetri Cucina, which is expanding to Las Vegas next year.

Kevin Sbraga
Getty Images

Founder David Gutstadt envisions Fitler Club as “members’ ‘home away from home’ where they can socialize, exercise, work and play in an exceptional setting with modern amenities,” according to a release. Its 75,000 square feet will include the restaurants, five-star hotel rooms, a fitness center (“Philadelphia’s highest-end fitness center,” no less) with a spa and a lap pool, co-working and private office spaces, and places to host events ranging from private dining rooms to bowling lanes to a ballroom. Matthew Rosenberg of M-Rad Architecture is working with Gutstadt on the design.

“Fitler Club has evolved the membership club model by combining social, business and wellness offerings into one cohesive experience unlike anything in Philadelphia — or elsewhere,” Gutstadt said in the release.