clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 13 Most Anticipated Restaurants in Philadelphia, Fall 2017

Tracking what’s next in the Philly restaurant scene

Dallyn Pavey

Say so long to summer and hello to new restaurants. From fried chicken on East Passyunk to Lebanese fare in Fishtown, plus a Top Chef winner’s new Old City digs, here are 13 highly anticipated eateries expected to open in Philly this fall. Let the countdown begin.

Townsend Wentz


Location: 1129 Walnut Street, Washington Square West

Key Players: Townsend Wentz, Gordana Kostovski

The Situation: Chef Townsend “Tod” Wentz, who’s had hits with French fare on East Passyunk (Townsend) and Italian in Fairmount (A Mano), is going Spanish. The upcoming Oloroso will serve a mix of traditional tapas and bigger plates like whole grilled turbot and roasted pig head. Wentz will be making use of a wood-fire oven and grill. To drink, expect an extensive sherry and vermouth collection and seasonal sangrias. Gordana Kostovski is on board as sommelier and GM.

Projected Opening: October

Royal Boucherie

Location: 52 S. 2nd Street, Old City

Key Players: Nicholas Elmi, David Frank, Stephen Simons

The Situation: Laurel’s Nick Elmi, of Top Chef fame, is teaming up with restaurateurs Dave Frank and Stephen Simons, who know how to put together a top-notch bar: They’re behind Royal Tavern, Khyber Pass Pub, Triangle Tavern, Cantina Los Caballitos, and Cantina Dos Segundos, and moved more into the chef-driven space with Jesse Ito’s Royal Sushi and Izakaya. The Elmi-helmed venture is two levels, with a bar and a dining area on the first floor and an outdoor garden with seating for about 30 on the second floor. The second floor will also have a lounge that can be used as a private dining room. The menu will focus on charcuterie, salumi, and a raw bar.

Projected Opening: September/early October

L’Anima is opening on the ground floor of Carpenter Square
Justin Blasi


Location: 1001 S. 17th Street, Graduate Hospital

Key Players: Rosemarie Tran, Gianluca Demontis

The Situation: Grad Hospital is getting that Philly staple — an Italian BYOB — to call its own. L’Anima is from chef Gianluca Demontis and Rosemarie Tran, who also have Melograno at 2012 Sansom Street and Fraschetta in Bryn Mawr. Their newest venture — similarly sized to Melograno, with seats for around 70 — is opening on the ground floor of the Carpenter Square condo and townhome development, one block north of Washington Avenue on the corner of 17th and Carpenter streets. The space has never been occupied before.

Projected Opening: Late fall

Redcrest Fried Chicken

Redcrest Fried Chicken

Location: 1525 S. 11th Street, South Philly

Key Players: Adam Volk

The Situation: Chef Adam Volk is back home in Philly after several years in New York City, where he made a name for himself at Pier Sixty, Gwynnett Street, and, most recently, Esme. Now he’s ready to open shop on East Passyunk. Redcrest will be a casual spot with counter service, with two varieties of fried chicken available by the quarter, half, or whole bird. Volk will also be selling fried chicken sandwiches and a range of sides. He’s planning to offer delivery as far south as the Linc, for tailgate parties.

Projected Opening: October

Ugly Ducking

Location: 212 S. 11th Street, Washington Square West

Key Players: Kris Serviss, Joe Callahan

The Situation: Joe Callahan and chef Kris Serviss of hit Northeast BYOB Blue Duck and Center City offshoot Blue Duck on Broad have all their ducks in a row for a third spot, this one in Wash West. Ugly Duckling will have more of a modern, darker look than the bright, homey original location. And — like the Broad Street eatery but unlike the original — Ugly Duckling will serve alcohol.

Projected Opening: Callahan tells Eater they are “tentatively looking to open after Labor Day.”

Mike’s BBQ

Mike’s BBQ

Location: 1703 S. 11th Street, South Philly

Key Players: Michael Strauss

The Situation: Michael Strauss (co-owner of Taproom on 19th) found a permanent home for his roving smoker, which has been popping up at festivals, bars, and breweries. Come October, he’ll be plying his wares from South Philly Barbacoa’s former spot. The plan is to open with what he’s calling a “limited menu” to start, though it sounds fairly hefty: brisket, pork, and chicken (on their own or in sandwiches), ribs, wings, and a twist on a cheesesteak with brisket and Cooper Sharp. Sides include collard greens, black-eyed peas, a Filipino-style macaroni salad, “almost famous” Italian mac and cheese, corn bread, potato salad, and mustard slaw. The hours haven’t been finalized, but he’s thinking 5-10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and noon until sell out Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Projected Opening: October

Dallyn Pavey


Location: 2121 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse

Key Players: Andrew Kochan, Tim Lanza

The Situation: Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza of the always-interesting Marigold Kitchen in West Philly are heading over the Schuylkill for Talk (Tim Andrew Lanza Kochan). Unlike Marigold, a BYOB that only serves a tasting menu, Talk is going for a la carte plates and alcohol, but the dishes — carrot beignets, lamb sausage wontons — sound equally inventive.

Projected Opening: Early October

Tuna Bar

Location: 205 Race Street, Old City

Key Players: Kenneth Sze

The Situation: Ken Sze, whose family owns Yokohama Japanese Restaurant in Maple Shade, New Jersey, is about to open a “Japanese raw bar and grill” in Old City in the new Bridge building. Sze, a fourth-generation restaurant owner, will be executive chef at Tuna Bar, where the menu will include sushi, sashimi, maki, grilled whole fish, and a few family recipes like his grandmother’s wonton soup. Raw options will be displayed behind glass and there will be a sushi bar. Bonus: Tuna Bar has a liquor license.

Projected Opening: Mid- or late September

Mad Rex
Rachel Vigoda

Mad Rex

Location: 1000 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown

Key Players: Michael Johnigean

The Situation: This is a post-apocalyptic-themed restaurant next to the Fillmore — and across from SugarHouse — with a virtual reality lounge, do-it-yourself hot rock cooking (in addition to a regular menu), and over-the-top décor, including a plane “crashed” through the roof, a banged-up helicopter, gas masks, machetes, and a truck shooting flames outside the front entrance. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Projected Opening: September

A rendering of Suraya


Location: 1528 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown

Key Players: Greg Root, Nick Kennedy, Nathalie Richan

The Situation: Nathalie Richan of Café La Maude and Greg Root and Nick Kennedy of Root are teaming up on Suraya, a market, restaurant, and outdoor garden focusing on Lebanese fare with influence from Turkish, Syrian, Iraqi, Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian cuisines. The market — described as “traditional Levantine bazaar meets the modern-day all day café” — will likely open first, with spices and other culinary items, a Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee bar, and prepared foods for takeout or dining in. The restaurant (where you’ll be eating with your hands) has an open kitchen with a 12-foot charcoal grill.

Projected Opening: Early fall

Pistola’s Del Sur

Location: 1934 E. Passyunk Avenue, South Philly

Key Players: Casey Parker, Joe Gunn, Adan Trinidad

The Situation: The guys behind Jose Pistola’s in Center City and Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown are bringing their loud, lively, fun Mexican bar concept to South Philly’s hopping restaurant strip, into what was most recently Palladino’s. Parker says it will be similar to the two other locations.

Projected Opening: Early September

Andrew Holtz


Location: 1214 Chestnut Street, Center City

Key Players: New Jersey-based restaurant group Smith

The Situation: Asbury Park pizzeria Porta is opening in Philly — and it’s going big. Porta will be right next door to upcoming sister spot Brickwall Tavern, also from Smith. The two eateries will span 22,000 square feet, with seats for 600. The bulk of Porta’s menu is Neapolitan pies, but expect pasta and risotto plates, too.

Projected Opening: Late fall

Brickwall Tavern

Location: 1216 Chestnut Street, Center City

Key Players: New Jersey-based restaurant group Smith

The Situation: Adjacent to Porta, the Smith team is opening a branch of what they’re calling their “beloved watering hole with quality comfort food.” The original Brickwall in Asbury Park is a popular tavern with 20-plus beers on tap and salads, sandwiches, burgers, and hearty entrees.

Projected Opening: Late fall

Coming Up in Coffee Shops:

Affogato at Flow State
Kristine Muller
  • In Kensington, Flow State is planning for an October opening. The coffee shop/gelateria will serve small-batch gelato from co-owner Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc, who comes to Philly by way of Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago. An indoor mural will cover an entire wall.
  • Rival Bros.long-in-the-works South Philly coffee shop should be opening late fall. It’s going into the former Chiarella’s overlooking the Singing Fountain in Passyunk Square. Interior designer Ian Chapin of Edsel Co., who has worked on some really cool spaces, is involved. Co-owner Jon Adams says the new shop “has ample seating but retains the feel of our original storefront in Fitler Square.”
  • Center City’s Elixr is opening a roastery and café in the Goldtex Building in Callowhill (12th Street between Pearl and Wood). Construction has been going a little slower than expected, Elixr says, but it should be open sometime this fall.