The owners of Kensington Quarters are taking over a storage space next to concert venue Union Transfer (formerly a Spaghetti Warehouse) for a new restaurant and bar with an unusual-for-Philly concept. Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello, along with chef Nich Bazik, are looking to La Chinesca — an underground Chinese neighborhood in Mexicali, the Mexican city right on the border of Southern California — for culinary inspiration, reports Philly Mag. The as-yet-unnamed eatery is at 11th and Spring Garden, just a few blocks north of Chinatown in the pocket of Callowhill being developed as the Spring Arts district.
The Pasquarellos are already very familiar with the neighborhood. They opened Café Lift at 428 N. 13th Street 15 years ago, later adding Prohibition Taproom and pizzeria Bufad just up the street. Their empire also includes Fishtown’s Kensington Quarters and a newly opened Café Lift, complete with a liquor license, outside the city in Narberth.
The newest venture is in a former Jiffy Lube on Union Transfer’s property — it’s the small building with a mural of the Biggie Smalls’ lyric “It was all a dream.” Arts & Crafts Holdings, the developer turning the area into the Spring Arts district, owns the building. Mike Pasquarello told Philly.com they’ll be keeping the mural.
Rohe Creative, the design firm behind Cheu Fishtown, Harp & Crown, Louie Louie, the brand-new Nunu and others is signed on for this project as well. But it’ll be a while before the look is revealed: The restaurant won’t open before spring or summer 2019.
- New Restaurant and Bar to Open Next Door to Union Transfer [Philly Mag]
- Mexico meets Chinatown at Mike Pasquarello’s new restaurant on Spring Garden St. [Philly.com]
- Mapping Callowhill’s development boom [Curbed Philly]
- Inside the Basement Tunnels Where Mexicali’s Chinese Immigrants Once Lived [Vice]