Chef Bobby Saritsoglou, known for Opa, Santucci’s, Will BYOB, and his hard-to-miss mustache, and Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, co-founder of Philly AIDS Thrift, are getting ready to open their first restaurant this fall. Stina, at 1705 Snyder Avenue in Newbold, will serve pizza and Mediterranean dishes, and give part of its proceeds to local charities, community projects, and school programs every month. The couple, married for a decade, live in the same neighborhood as the upcoming restaurant.
Saristsoglou chose the name Stina — it’s his nickname for his wife.
The chef is coming from Chris Kearse’s Will on East Passyunk Avenue, one of Eater Philly’s 38 essential restaurants. Before Will, he ran the kitchen at Opa, the Greek restaurant in Midtown Village known for its nightlife. His résumé also includes Santucci’s and the now-closed Django (from Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table and The Love) and Ansill.
For Stina, like Will a BYOB without a liquor license, Saristsoglou is drawing on his background making both pizza and Greek fare. Expect lots of items cooked in the wood-fire oven imported from Italy — meats, vegetables, and seafood like Spanish octopus, in addition to the pies — and influence from countries on the Mediterranean. Spanish crudo and mussels will make an appearance on the menu.
The restaurant is snug, with seats for 28. Outdoor seating will be added next year. Kallas-Saritsoglou designed the space, scouring flea markets and vintage shops to give it an eclectic look.
Stina is near the Thirsty Soul, a brand-new church-themed bar/restaurant on West Passyunk Avenue. Second District Brewing, South Philadelphia Tap Room, Brewery ARS, and Miss Rachel’s Pantry are also close by. Crossing Broad, you start to hit the East Passyunk restaurant row.
”The space needed a lot of TLC. However, we fell in love with it and its potential — plus it is so close to home. We met the neighboring businesses, and it all just felt right,” Saritsoglou said via email. “The block Stina is on looks like a Main Street on the verge of coming back to its prime. There are a lot of stores but not many places to eat around West Passyunk. The restaurants and brewing companies are moving in and we want to be part of that energy. It also is on the fringe, which we love, and close enough to our favorite chefs and stores on Broad Street and East Passyunk.”
Along with donating part of each month’s profits to charitable causes, the couple plans to organize neighborhood cleanups and plant trees and flowers to give the street a push forward as more businesses slowly move in.
Stina will be open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They’re hoping to have it up and running in late October or early November.