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Jamonera, Center City’s Stylish Spanish Spot-Turned-Pop-Up, Will Close on Halloween

Safran Turney Hospitality will also shut down upscale market Grocery next door

Jamonera, currently operating as Greek pop-up Super Spartan, will close for good this weekend.
Jamonera/official photo

Safran Turney Hospitality will close its tapas hotspot Jamonera and neighboring food market Grocery, leaving a gaping hole along Philly’s popular 13th Street dining strip.

Partners Valerie Safran and chef Marcie Turney, the restaurant/retail duo credited with developing the once-desolate neighborhood into what is now trendy Midtown Village, flipped Jamonera into a summertime venture dubbed Salty’s Seafood & Ice Cream Shack in July.

On October 1, Greek pop-up Super Spartan took over and continued to capitalize on a pandemic-era streatery that added 70 alfresco seats. The temporary fixture hoped to operate through the end of the year via indoor and outdoor dining and takeout (105 S. 13th Street).

“However, as the weather turns colder, it’s proving to be too challenging with its already limited indoor seating capacity to operate at that location,” according to an emailed closing statement from the partners, who “made the difficult decision” to not renew leases for Jamonera and Grocery at the corner of 13th and Chestnut Streets.

Super Spartan’s last day of service is Saturday, October 31. For a closing week special, dinner for two ($69) includes roasted beet whipped dip, Greek fries, skewers, and rice pudding.

Chic grab-and-go market Grocery (101 S. 13th Street), which fueled up the 9-to-5 neighborhood on soups, prepared foods, and salad bars since 2006, “relied on heavy foot traffic that has disappeared,” according to the team.

The duo’s cluster of eateries between Chestnut and Locust Streets include Lolita, Barbuzzo, Little Nonna’s and Bud & Marilyn’s, which will continue to offer takeout, delivery, and indoor/outdoor seating and bring on newly displaced employees. The team’s nearby boutiques Verde, Open House, and Marcie Blaine Chocolates also remain open for in-store and online shopping.

The pioneering partners are credited with making the 13th Street corridor cool, starting with the debut of hip home goods store Open House in 2002. Safran and Turney opened Indian eatery Bindi in 2007, which transformed into Jamonera in 2012.

When dining rooms closed in Philly during the coronavirus pandemic, the perennially packed strip that also counts El Vez and Sampan as restaurant tenants housed the biggest concentration of outdoor seating in Philly.

Safran Turney Hospitality opted to maintain 25-percent occupancy at their restaurants, even after 50-percent capacities were allowed at the end of September, noted the Philly Inquirer.

“We will get through this pandemic together and we not only look forward to, one day, starting new projects in this great city, but also coming back stronger and better as a community,” according to the team’s closing statement.

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