Chef Peter Woolsey’s all-day French cafe/bar on North Broad Street, on the books for a year now, has a name and a rough opening date.
Gabi is now penciled in for a June opening on the ground floor of the Hanover North Broad, a new apartment building at 339 N. Broad St., between Vine and Callowhill Streets. (It’s just north of Roman Catholic High School and between the Packard Building and the Pennsylvania Ballet’s new studios, and a block from the forthcoming Philadelphia police headquarters in the old Inquirer-Daily News Building.)
Woolsey, who owns Bistrot La Minette in Queen Village and La Peg at the FringeArts on the Delaware riverfront, is partnered with La Minette executive chef Kenneth Bush and La Peg general manager Brad Histand.
In a ’40s Parisian Art Deco atmosphere designed by Stokes Architecture, they’ll go for a French diner motif, serving familiar dishes such as onion soup, salade Niçoise, and escargots — “casual, straightforward, reasonable prices." Steak frites at $22 will be the priciest dish on the menu. There will be a bar.
It will be open from morning (7 a.m.) through dinnertime.
As for the name: Woolsey’s French-born wife, Peggy, has five siblings. Woolsey borrowed her name for La Peg, and two sisters’ nicknames for La Minette and Gabi. Still on the list of potential restaurant names are Baud siblings La Grande, Neh Neh, and Jo Jo.
As for what else is coming in the neighborhood:
Cicala, the posh Italian from chefs Joe and Angela Cicala at the Divine Lorraine (699 N. Broad St.), is up for spring. (A restaurant at the Divine Lorraine from Top Chef contestant Natalie Maronski will follow.)
The Institute, the corner beer-and-whiskey bar formerly at 12th and Green Streets, is being readied in its new home at the Independence Press Building (525 N. 11th St.) for spring.
The Philly branch of Chad Rosenthal’s Ambler BBQ bar Lucky Well, in the SpringArts building at 990 Spring Garden St., is projecting a late-April opening.
Also, La Chinesca, a Mexican-Chinese hybrid from Mike Pasquarello (Cafe Lift, Prohibition Taproom, Kensington Quarters), is looking at a late-2019 opening at 11th and Spring Garden Streets.