Rakesh and Heather Ramola of the upscale Indian bistro IndeBlue have left their Center City Philadelphia location after nine years, and plan to set up in Barclay Farms Shopping Center in Cherry Hill.
It’s a return to South Jersey for the Ramolas, who founded IndeBlue at 619 Collings Ave. in Collingswood in 2009. They opened on at 205 S. 13th St., in the heart of Center City’s Gayborhood, in 2013, and ran both locations till closing Collingswood in 2018. The 13th Street location closed after business April 30.
At the Ramolas’ new location in Cherry Hill, last occupied by Pho Barclay, they plan to collaborate with a Jersey winery, a popular work-around to the state’s expensive and scarce liquor licenses.
IndeBlue’s departure has paved the way for the relocation of Flambo, a Trinidadian restaurant, from its home of 5½ years at 820 N. Broad St. in North Philadelphia. Anthony Logan, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, said he wants to reestablish Flambo in the Gayborhood, but eventually will reopen the Broad Street location as part of an expansion.
“I’m looking to showcase my culture,” Logan said, adding that he plans bright-costumed staff and a diverse menu — befitting the Caribbean crossroads that is Trinidad and Tobago — that mixes French, British, African, East Indian, and Chinese cooking. Opening is penciled in for July 1.
Flambo’s second floor will be set up like a beach bar. The idea is to be transporting, “and not rush people out the door,” he said. “Too often, restaurants care only about flipping tables. Nobody seems to focus on a quality experience.”
Logan said came to the States on vacation as a 15-year-old in 1980 and decided to stay on with an uncle. He said he was given a social security number and its corresponding name, Desmond Anthony Logan. Eventually, he said, he became a U.S. citizen. He refers to the situation as “a beautiful story of determination.”
Logan got his degree from Pace University and spent a decade in hospital administration at the former Hahnemann University Hospital. Then he bought the Broad Street building, which is on a stretch of town near the Met, and built the place from scratch.
Now he is ready to do it again. “When you do things from the heart, you always win,” he said.