Before Chad Durkin was part of the “Cake Boss” world, in charge of research and development for Buddy Valastro’s Carlo’s Bakery chain and appearing on the show, he ran Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, a hybrid pizzeria and bakery on Washington Avenue that was a bright spot on an otherwise mostly industrial stretch of street. When Kermit’s owner Adam Ritter closed the shop in November 2016, Durkin has already moved on to Carlo’s. But now the pastry chef is back in the same space with another two-in-one deal. He’s opening sandwich shop Porcos Porchetteria and bakery/cafe Small Oven Pastry Shop, set right next to each other at 22nd and Washington.
For Small Oven, Durkin plans to sell pastries, like eclairs, cream puffs, mousse cakes, tarts, and cookie sandwiches, available by the piece or in a baker’s dozen.
Next door, Porcos will specialize in Italian roast pork sandwiches, along with other sandwiches, including vegetarian options, on house-baked ciabatta bread and salads. This one is more of a restaurant, with a BYOB policy, though it also has a takeout window — see the “order here” sign:
Driving by, it’s hard to miss the bright blue and white exterior, though the eateries aren’t quite ready to open. They should be up and running this fall.
A block away, a second location of West Philly’s Dock Street brewpub opened over the summer. Café Ynez is also close by, and Chick’s is on 18th and Washington. That’s about it for now, but the street, the border of Grad Hospital and Point Breeze, continues to change as new residential developments go up.