Washington Avenue west of Broad doesn’t have much going on food-wise, with a couple of notable exceptions (see: Cafe Ynez). Kermit’s bakery and pizzeria, which always looked a little out of place among the warehouses, shuttered factories, and auto mechanics, closed suddenly late last year. But another pizza option is coming — very soon. Chick’s will open at 1807 Washington Avenue on Saturday, April 22.
Chick’s is owned by Gina and Philip Narducci and, while it is named for Philip’s father, the reputed mobster Frank “Chickie” Narducci gunned down in a 1982 hit, it’s designed as a bright, modern gastropub.
The pizza is from Jennifer Choplin, who was trained by Brigantessa co-owner Joe Cicala. Fred Ryan, formerly of Devil’s Den, will be putting out a full menu — apps to dessert —of “upscale comfort food,” says general manager and beverage director Ilona Ahearn. She spent most of her restaurant career in New York. Dishes include the Chick’s Burger, made with short rib, chuck, and dry-aged brisket and “finished with special sauce,” a panko-crusted chicken parm with ricotta and “red gravy” on a garlic roll, meatloaf served with potato purée and sautéed spinach, and, moving slightly into Asian cuisine, Pho mussels in a lemongrass broth with bean sprouts.
To drink, there’s the 24-tap system, plus wine, cocktails, and flights of bourbon, scotch, and beer. A generously long happy hour is also planned, running weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. Bottles will be discounted on Wine Down Wednesdays, Monday is industry night, and Fridays bring live music.
Ahearn calls the location “on the border of South Philly and Center City,” which might be a bit of a stretch, though the edge of Center City has been creeping steadily south.
“My intention with the beverage program is to cater to all the different crowds we will get in here from being on the border of every area,” she says. “We’ll be offering all different types of beers, classic and craft cocktails, a great wine list, and an array of brown spirits. It’s a great fit for the neighborhood.”