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Upcoming Philly Restaurants: Celebrity Chefs Edition

A continually updated list of bars, coffee shops, and restaurants opening soon     

@thelovephilly is coming along! We can't wait to open the doors to you.

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RITTENHOUSE Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table in Kennett Square is opening The Love off Rittenhouse Square with Stephen Starr, who hasn’t opened a restaurant in Philly in a little while (he’s been busy opening a Paris bistro and picking up two James Beard Awards, including Best New Restaurant for New York’s Le Coucou). Olexy and Starr also have Talula’s Garden and Talula’s Daily, both on Washington Square.

CENTER CITY — Famed French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who has restaurants around the world including several in New York, is heading to Philly. Vongerichten will open an eatery in the upcoming Comcast Technology Center, situated off the lobby of the Four Seasons hotel going into the top floors of the tower.

CENTER CITY Greg Vernick, who won the 2017 James Beard Award for best chef in the mid-Atlantic region, is also heading to the new Comcast tower. Vernick will be opening his second restaurant — after Vernick Food & Drink in Rittenhouse — on the ground floor of the building.

Vernick Food & Drink
Vernick Food & Drink
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NORTHERN LIBERTIES Avram Hornik is opening Craft Hall at 901 N. Delaware Avenue after Yards Brewing Co. leaves the property to relocate to 5th and Spring Garden. Hornik, who owns Morgan’s Pier and Dolphin Tavern (and previously co-owned Union Transfer, among other venues), is turning the space into a bakery, brewhouse, and barbecue kitchen, reports Philly.com. Star baker Alex Bois of Lost Bread Co. will set up shop there. [Philly.com]

FISHTOWNPost-apocalyptic bar/restaurant/virtual reality lounge Mad Rex is slated to open its doors just a crack this week. The goal is to get settled in and work out any kinks before the official opening, tentatively scheduled for October 6.

KING OF PRUSSIA — The first Philly-area location of Founding Farmers is opening in King of Prussia Town Center on November 1. The restaurant chain, which started in Washington, D.C., is majority owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union, made up of more than 47,500 family farmers. The King of Prussia location is 14,000 square feet, with a restaurant, bar, and cafe/ice cream shop.

September 7

CENTER CITY — New York’s 10Below is opening in Philly on September 23 at 42 S. 17th Street. It’s the first out-of-state location for the rolled ice cream shop, which has plans for nationwide domination — or, at least, an LA location too. Ice cream is half-price on opening day (one per customer). 10Below’s hours will be noon to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and noon to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

CENTER CITY — Malvern’s Dixie Picnic is heading into town, opening at 1306 Chestnut Street in what was most recently Mitch Prensky’s Scratch Biscuits. Dixie Picnic serves casual Southern comfort food with lots of sandwiches and wraps on the menu: pulled pork with a Georgia barbecue sauce, a fried shrimp po’boy, ham with pimento cheese spread. Less-Southern items, like egg breakfast sandwiches, turkey clubs and, veggie burgers, round out the options. But what Dixie Picnic is best known for is boxed lunches with a sandwich, a side, a deviled egg, and an upside-down cupcake frosted on the bottom and sides. The “upcakes” come in a range of flavors, from the expected (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, red velvet) to more unusual versions like S’mores and banana icing on a banana pineapple cake. Look for Dixie Picnic to be open and churning out upcakes this month. STATUS: Open

OLD CITY — Brothers Eric and Ryan Berley of Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionery are opening another sweet shop in Old City. The art deco-styled Franklin Ice Cream Bar is slated to open early fall.

SOUTH STREET — Brothers Harrison and Nick Lin are almost ready to open Nori Sushi on the 1600 block of South Street. The sleek sushi spot will also serve hot Japanese dishes. STATUS: Open

CHESTNUT HILL — Chestnut Hill is getting a tropical island-themed eatery, likely later this month. Jim and Karen Cerenzia are opening Louie’s Little Hut at 8419 Germantown Avenue. Jim, the chef, is planning a menu of tacos, hot dogs, grilled cheeses, burgers, and breakfast sandwiches at the snug daytime spot. There’s also seating in an outdoor garden.

August 28

UNIVERSITY CITY — London-based mega-chain Pret A Manger is finally heading to Philly — today. The restaurant, which has locations in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., is opening two cafes at Penn. Both are in the Wharton School’s Hunstman Hall (3730 Walnut Street), on the first and second floors. The first-floor location is bigger, with the second-level shop mostly for Wharton students. The eateries are two of the company’s first three U.S. franchise locations; the third opens at the University of Chicago next month. Pret A Manger is a solid lunch option for University City, serving sandwiches, wraps, salads, and coffee. STATUS: Open

CENTER CITY — North Broad Street is getting a new hotel and a new hotel bar this week. Aloft Philadelphia Downtown opens in the Liberty Title & Trust Building on Thursday, August 31, with the 120-seat W XYZ bar serving libations and Philly-centric bites like a cheesesteak flatbread, pretzel bites with Whiz, and cheesesteak egg rolls. To drink: wines, beer on draft and in bottles, and a cocktail list heavy on limes and lemons in concoctions like the Millennial Margarita (Patron silver, Grand Marnier, lemon, lime juice), the Cucumber Collins (Bombay sapphire, lemon juice, lime juice, Sprite, cucumber), and the BLT (Bourbon, lemon juice, tonic). The W XYZ has a mezzanine-level outdoor terrace dubbed the Backyard, with plush seating, a fire pit, and string lights. The 179-room hotel has direct access to the Convention Center. STATUS: Open

RITTENHOUSETatel, a celebrity-owned Spanish restaurant with locations in Madrid, Ibiza, and Miami, is opening at 1908 Chestnut Street in the new tower going up where the historic Boyd Theater was. Enrique Iglesias, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Pau Gasol are among Tatel’s partners.

NORTHERN LIBERTIES — A Peruvian restaurant is going into Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties, across from the Piazza in the former Bar Ferdinand. Chalaco's Ceviche & Pisco Bar will open early next year.

VILLANOVA — In the suburbs, a “Northern California focused American bistro” is opening at 789 Lancaster Avenue. Main & Vine is from Jay Stevens, who worked at Morton’s steakhouse in King of Prussia, Dettera Restaurant and Wine Bar in Ambler, and The Freight House in Doylestown. His resume also includes Stephen Starr’s restaurant group and David Burke Restaurants in New York. Kim Strengari of Conshy Girls restaurant group is a partner in the new venture. Expect a dining room serving global fare, counter seating at a pizza kitchen, which will be making sourdough pies, and a 20-seat bar with a large selection of California wines. It’s looking to open in November.

August 21

OLD CITYGina’s 45 is opening in Old City in what was last the Irish Pol, which moved in early 2015. The new bar is from Josh Shemesh and Curt Large of Fishtown Tavern. Large also owns Buffalo Billiards in Old City, where Shemesh is general manager. The space has been completely revamped, inside and out. Look for Gina’s 45 (45 S. 3rd Street) to open within a few weeks. A block away on 2nd Street, Nick Elmi’s Royal Boucherie should be opening not long after. STATUS: Open

EAST PASSYUNK — “Hot Bagels” is getting a fourth and a fifth location. The first in the local chain is actually named South Street Philly Bagels, but the neon “hot bagels” sign earned it a neighborhood nickname. Chestnut Street Philly Bagels and Fitzwater Street Philly Bagels followed and now, reports Philly.com, owner Aaron Wagner is bringing his bagels to Passyunk Avenue and to Francisville, in that order. According to the Fitzwater Street location’s website, Wagner is a fifth-generation bagel maker. [Philly.com]

SOUTH PHILLY Tandoor Fishtown is headed to the other side of town. A South Philly location will open at 1849 Wolf Street in early September, though the owners might start with limited hours later this month. For now, it will be takeout and delivery only, but they may try to squeeze in a few tables later.

KENSINGTONMelanie and Liz Diamond-Manlusoc and Maggie Lee have pushed back the projected opening of their coffee shop/gelato shop Flow State to October. They’re in the process of hiring a muralist to paint an indoor wall.

August 9

GRADUATE HOSPITAL — The transformation (a.k.a. gentrification) of Grad Hospital (a.k.a. Southwest Center City) continues. The retail space on the ground floor of the Carpenter Square condo and townhome development has a tenant, with Rosemarie Tran and chef Gianluca Demontis telling Philly.com they plan to open an Italian BYOB serving lunch and dinner. The pair also has Melograno in Center City and Fraschetta in Bryn Mawr. The name isn’t set for their Carpenter Square venture, which is a block north of Washington Avenue at 17th and Carpenter streets, but they’re leaning toward “L’Anima.” [Philly.com]

CENTER CITY — The Del Frisco’s restaurant chain, which already has a steakhouse in Philly at 15th and Chestnut, is opening a more casual — but still meaty-heavy — Del Frisco’s Grille in the upcoming Cambria Hotel and Suites at Broad and Locust streets. It will open next year.

WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST — Expect pub grub, lots of beer, and live music at Six Feet Under, opening August 24 just off Washington Square. It’s from the same team as the nearby M Restaurant in the Morris House Hotel. STATUS: Open

WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST — More details on chef Tod Wentz’s upcoming Spanish restaurant from Philadelphia magazine: It will be named Oloroso and serve “rustic and super traditional” fare, Wentz says. The restaurant is going into the former Petruce et al space. [Philly mag]

FISHTOWN Mad Rex, a post-apocalyptic theme restaurant with the motto “Be a Survivor” and over-the-top decor (see: plane “crashed’ through the roof and truck on fire) is opening next month at Frankford and Delaware Avenues, next to the Fillmore and across from SugarHouse Casino.

July 12

SOUTH PHILLY — South Philly Barbacoa just moved into sister spot El Compadre a couple weeks ago and there’s already a new smoked-meat tenant signed on for its former digs at 11th and Morris. The address will become home to Mike’s BBQ, a roving barbecue operation from Michael Strauss, who’s also co-owner of Taproom on 19th. This will be the first brick-and-mortar shop for Mike’s BBQ. Strauss told Michael Klein at Philly.com he’s shooting for a fall opening. [Philly.com]

SOUTH STREET — A sign for Nori Sushi is up at 1636 South Street, sandwiched between Indian Restaurant and New South China. The space is under construction, with a posting from the Department of Licenses and Inspections indicating the plan is for a sit-down restaurant with less than 50 occupants. A call to the contractor revealed the new sushi spot is likely opening next month.

MARKET EAST — A second location of lobster roll–slinging Luke’s Lobster is opening next week at 17 S. 11th Street, near the Gallery (RIP) and the massive East Market development. STATUS: Open

MIDTOWN VILLAGE — Up the street from Luke’s Lobster, another Rittenhouse eatery is opening its second location on the other side of Broad Street. The new Wrap Shack, at 112 S. 11th Street, is throwing an opening party tomorrow, Thursday, July 13. The owners were going for “a neighborhood sports bar meets professional happy hour setting,” according to a press release. It will have a similar menu as the original location, with lots of wraps, sandwiches, salads, wings, loaded fries and tater tots, and alcohol. STATUS: Open

CENTER CITY — After almost a year and a half of renovations, The Palm steakhouse is reopening at the Bellevue this Saturday, July 15. STATUS: Open

FISHTOWN — Cheu Fishtown looks to be getting pretty close to opening on Frankford Avenue. The restaurant, set in a former police horse stable turned bike shop, is a bigger version of Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh’s perennially popular Cheu Noodle Bar. The guys posted a call for line cooks, plus a photo of the building’s cleaned-up front:

Sprucing things up a bit

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STATUS: Open

July 5

WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST — Chef Townsend Wentz already has a French restaurant (Townsend on East Passyunk Avenue) and an Italian BYOB (A Mano in Fairmount) under his belt. Now he’s going for Spanish. Wentz is taking over what was most recently Petruce et al, at 1129 Walnut Street, according to Philly.com. Wentz told Michael Klein his to-be-named eatery will offer both tapas and bigger plates like paella. It should open sometime in the fall. [Philly.com]

WEST PHILLY Mi Lah is on the move. The inventive vegan pan-Asian (with some other cuisines thrown in) restaurant relocated from Center City out to Ambler and then came back to Philly to open a second location. That second location, on 3rd Street just off South, started as a sit-down restaurant but turned into a take-out/cafeteria-style eatery. It now has a commuter-focused quick-serve spot in the works at 30th Street Station.

RITTENHOUSE SQUARE Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza of Marigold Kitchen in West Philly are opening Talk at 2121 Walnut Street. Unlike Marigold, which is a BYOB with a tasting menu only, Talk is going with al la carte new American fare, plus alcohol. The design includes seats for 55 at wooden tables, black hardwood floors, a white marble bar with seats for 15, and wrought iron lighting fixtures. Kochan and Lanza were originally shooting to open early this month but the latest word is September.

June 13

SOUTH STREET — Canadian poutine chain Smoke’s Poutinerie is (finally) opening its first Philly location on the first day of summer, Wednesday, June 21. (Eater Philly originally learned the opening would be last month, but the inspections process held it up a bit.) Just in case you’re not familiar with the dish, it is definitely not loaded cheese fries, stresses co-owner Raj Rana. Smoke’s (411-413 South Street) sells “fresh hand-cut fries with squeaky cheese curds and signature gravy, which you can customize with several toppings,” he says. “This is authentic Canadian poutine. It’s the only thing Smoke’s Poutinerie does.” Get to Smoke’s on opening day between 11 a.m.-noon or 4-5 p.m. to try it out for yourself, for free: The restaurant is giving away snack-sized traditional poutine during those hours. STATUS: Open

EAST PASSYUNK — The former Palladino’s space is finally getting a new tenant and it’s one to get excited about. The guys behind Jose Pistola’s in Center City and Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown are opening Pistola’s Del Sur at 1934 E. Passyunk Avenue. Joe Gunn, Casey Parker, and Adan Trinidad are shooting for a September 1 opening for their third Mexican restaurant, according to Philly.com. If it’s similar to their other eateries, expect good food, plenty of beer, fruity margaritas, loud music, and a lively crowd. [Philly.com]

NAVY YARD — The Vetri Family is switching things up deep in South Philly. On June 27, Lo Spiedo at the Navy Yard will become Bar Amis. It’s inspired by the restaurant group’s Amis (412 S. 13th Street) and will be helmed by Amis’ executive chef/partner, Brad Spence, according to a press release. The Navy Yard spot will offer similar fare as its big sister, but in a more casual setting, with small plates, salads, sandwiches, and some bigger entrees. There will be frosé, which you can drink outside on the patio. Vetri Family recently opened an Amis in Westport, Connecticut. STATUS: Open

June 5

CHINATOWN — Mongolian chef Hai Bin Yang, who’s just 23, is bringing Chubby Cattle to Philly’s Chinatown in August. Yang, who opened the first Chubby Cattle in Las Vegas last year and has a Plano, Texas, location in the works, came to the U.S. a few years ago to study at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. According to Vegas-based Joe Muscaglione, who’s helping to open the restaurant here, Chubby Cattle raises and serves its own breed of grass-fed, hormone-free lamb, bred from the South African Dorper Sheep found in Mongolia, and the beef is top-of-the-line A5 Miyazaki wagyu from Japan. Both come in hot pots, with a range of flavors and spice levels, and in noodle dishes — the noodles come in wheat, purple yam, green tea, carrot, and tomato versions. Chubby Cattle is going into 146 N. 10th Street.

CENTER CITY — The hit Northeast Philly BYOB Blue Duck, from Kris Serviss and Joe Callahan Jr., is opening two Center City locations. The first, The Ugly Duckling at 212 S. 11th Street, has been in the works for a while, with Serviss telling Eater it will be more “modernized” than the Northeast spot. The second is a surprise. It’s going into 220 S. Broad Street, in what was until yesterday Bop. According to Philly.com, Bop's Brent Celek (of the Eagles) and Scott Keenan are both partners in the new Blue Duck on Broad. It’s slated to open later this week. Both will serve alcohol. [Philly.com] STATUS: Blue Duck on Broad is open

CENTER CITY — Taiwanese street food has arrived at 18th and JFK. Baology opened June 2 on the first floor of the Sterling apartment building, which also has a Misconduct Tavern and a Square One Coffee. The restaurant — from Judy Ni and Andy Tessier, both formerly of The Farm and Fisherman — is in soft-opening mode, testing out items and only opening a few hours a day for lunch, weekdays only, with an abbreviated menu. STATUS: Open

CENTER CITY — Vegan donut shop Dottie’s is opening right next to vegan pizza shop Blackbird, at 509 S. 6th Street (between South and Lombard streets). Dottie’s owners Jeff Poleon and Matt Quinn met while working at Blackbird. Their doughnuts are sold at coffee shops around the city and their first brick-and-mortar location opened last year in West Philly. As one Instagram user commented in response to the news of a second location: “HAIL SEITAN!”

May 24

KENSINGTON — Le Cordon Bleu-trained pasty chef Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc is opening a coffee shop and gelateria at 2413 Frankford Avenue alongside her wife, Liz, and their friend (and Philly native) Maggie Lee. The Diamond-Manlusocs came from Chicago to visit Lee, liked Philly’s welcoming vibe (yes, really), and decided to set up the ideal coffee shop, where the coffee and snacks are on point and no one rushes you out the door. “You go to a coffee shop and the Wi-Fi is going in and out. Or you can’t find a plug for your computer, or the coffee is really shitty. Or the coffee and ambience are good but then you spend $4 on the worst cookie ever,” Melanie says. “The place we want doesn’t exist, so we’re going to make it.” Flow State CoffeeBar is opening in the fall. Later on, they’ll be adding a co-working space in the basement level, plus beer and more food.

She's coming together #phillypoutine

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SOUTH STREET — Poutine is coming to 4th and South Streets in the form of Canadian-based chain Smoke’s Poutinerie. Raj Rana and Balrup Hundal are opening the local franchise. Rana tells Eater that Smoke’s, with its ’80s hair band music, plaid décor, and unusual ordering process (employees shout out orders as loud as they can), is a perfect fit for South Street. “The street embodies a lot of the same characteristics as Smoke’s,” he says. “It’s unique, edgy, and different.” It’s scheduled to open Tuesday, May 30. STATUS: Open

KENSINGTON — James Beard Award-nominated baker Alex Bois, formerly of High Street on Market (which has ridiculously good bread), is working on his own project: Lost Bread Co. The bakery will start as wholesale and add retail later. Philadelphia magazine has the details. [Philly Mag]

WASHINGTON SQUARE WEST — Just off Washington Square, Six Feet Under is taking shape below street level — about six feet below — at 727 Walnut. Management is calling it a gastropub, with pub fare, two bars, seven TVs, and live music. It’s scheduled to open July 7.

Sampling pizza today with @crondavis and @b_fox01 #sourdoughpizza #june1st

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NORTHERN LIBERTIES Urban Village Brewing Company will be serving up brick-oven pizza and craft beers when it opens early June. (The website lists June 1 as the opening, but Eater is told the date isn’t finalized.) It’s going into 1010 N. 2nd Street, in Schmidt’s Commons. Year-round drafts include Rye Bread IPA, Land Down Under Hoppy Saison, Wildey Wheat Witbier and Sour Beets Berliner Weiss. STATUS: Open

SOUTH STREETPhilly.com reports that Yeeroh from Yiannys Degermentzidis will be opening soon at 1412 South Street. According to the restaurant’s website, it’s a fast-casual, modern Greek grill with gyro and souvlaki sandwiches. [Philly.com]

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