High Street on Market, the Old City restaurant from Fork’s Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp, is closing its doors, with plans to reopen in a new, to-be-determined location somewhere else in Philly. The owners point to a hefty rent increase combined with the effects of the pandemic as the reason for the impending closure. The restaurant will likely stay open in its current spot until mid-September.
When it opened in 2013, High Street, at 308 Market Street, was one of Philly’s first notable all-day cafes, serving breakfast sandwiches in the morning and a locally sourced, new American menu in the evenings. It quickly became known for its bread from baker Alex Bois, who went on to open Lost Bread Co.
Before High Street, the space was Fork Etc., a casual off-shoot of Fork serving prepared dishes to go. In 2012, Fork owners Yin and Roberto Sella brought in chef Eli Kulp, who became a partner in what became High Street Hospitality Group (dating back to the 1600s, High Street was the original name of Market Street). They turned Fork Etc. into High Street on Market.
The owners now say rent has gone up more than 50 percent in the past year. That, combined with the impact of the pandemic, forced the closure/relocation. The lease is up at the end of September; the owners hope to have a new location secured before then.
Despite the two restaurants being connected, Fork has a different landlord and a separate lease from High Street and is mostly not affected by the closure, except for its private dining room, which is currently in High Street.
Both restaurants currently offer takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.