There are more pressing matters on Mike Pasquarello’s mind these days — what with the opening of his latest restaurant, La Chinesca, due next week — but the restaurateur wants to confirm a bit of gossip flying around Haddonfield.
Cafe Lift, which in 2003 brought brunch to a warehouse district in North Philadelphia, will open a location, perhaps this winter, at 142-44 Kings Highway East, he said.
Pasquarello was 22 when he and his girlfriend (and now wife), Jeniphur, opened their bruncherie at 428 N. 13th St., the brownstone that formerly housed Keystone Caps, a manufacturer. The building’s lift in what is now the lobby gave the restaurant its name.
Since then, the couple, now Haddonfield residents, have gone on to create 13th Street Kitchens, overseeing their nearby Prohibition Taproom, Kensington Quarters in Fishtown, and KQ Burger in University City. A second Cafe Lift, in Narberth, had an 18-month run, from mid-2018 to early 2020; it’s now Royal Cafe Narberth. They also owned a pizzeria called Bufad at 13th and Spring Garden Streets from 2012 to 2018.
La Chinesca, in the works for three years, will present a menu of Chinese American and Baja-style dishes in a Rohe Creative-designed fit-out of the former Jiffy Lube at 11th and Spring Garden Streets. (La Chinesca is a neighborhood of Mexicali, Mexico, which has a sizable population of people of Chinese origin.)
The Pasquarellos also are planning a wood-fired grill called Little Sister nearby, at 448 N. 10th St. That project is on the books for 2022.