Pent-up consumer demand, cheaper rents, and the sight of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel — coupled with the usual optimism — are combining in mid-2021 for what is shaping up to be a restaurant boom in the Philadelphia area.

No matter that the labor situation is dire, and has stalled a good number of already planned restaurants from opening or expanding. Or the skyrocketing cost of building materials that promises to bust budgets. Or the wildly fluctuating commodity costs, which make menu planning and pricing dicey propositions.

I’m counting more than 60 projects on the books — some more fleshed-out than others — that are being positioned to open this year. All are due in “summer,” unless noted otherwise, though a few are in their very earliest, soft-opening days.

The big-budget projects

Dobbs, the storied rock hall that enjoyed a run from 1975 to 1996 at 304 South St., is being revived as a music venue for all genres, with a sports bar upstairs. It could open this summer if city permitting goes smoothly.

Hook & Master (Second and Master Streets), a Jose Garces-run Chicago-style pizzeria.

La Chinesca (11th and Spring Garden Streets), a Mexico City Chinese-Mexican hybrid from Mike Pasquarello (Cafe Lift, Prohibition Taproom). It’s due in mid-June.

Lark, specializing in coastal cuisine from chef Nicholas Elmi and business partner Fia Berisha, is on track at the Ironworks at Pencoyd Landing in Bala Cynwyd.

LMNO (1739 Frankford Ave., at Palmer Street), a Stephen Starr collab with New York scenester Serge Becker on entertainment and Baja Mexican cuisine.

There’s no name, but Michael Schulson and Jeff Michaud are opening at 13th and Sansom Streets, replacing Zavino with a spot specializing in Roman tonda wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta, plus salads and small plates from executive chef Ed Pinello.

Middle Child Clubhouse will be a grown-up version of the Washington Square West sandwich shop, at 1232 N. Front St. in Fishtown.

Victory Brewing Co.’s vast brewpub is on track where the TGI Friday’s was at 1776 Ben Franklin Parkway. A Federal Donuts will open behind it.

A sampling of others

Ancient Spirits & Grille, in its first few days at 1726 Chestnut St., bills itself as the first herbal cocktail lounge in America, with Indian-inspired Ayurvedic-style cooking in a chic, low-lit setting.

Aroma on 3rd, from Tony Cardillo of Aroma at 1120 Pine St., will replace Caffe Valentino at Moyamensing Avenue and Wharton Street in Pennsport.

Bella Trattoria will partner chef Michael Falcone and David Backhus (Bloom and Oori) at 366 Ridge Rd. in Spring City.

Black Squirrel is coming June 9 from chef Art Cavaliere at 3749 Midvale Ave. in East Falls, quite a few steps up from predecessor Buckets.

The Borscht Belt will be a Jewish deli from Nick Liberato (Paramount Network’s Bar Rescue, Netflix’s Restaurants on the Edge) and partners inside the Stockton Market in Stockton, N.J.

Dolce Italian, a swish syndication from LDV Hospitality, is teed up for the new W Hotel on Chestnut Street near 15th.

Essie will see first-time restaurateurs Mike and Cherie Gillespie opening a bistro at 1 Garfield Ave. in Clementon, a sleek redo of J Walker’s.

Farina Pasta & Noodle (132 S. 17th St.) will be a below-street-level pasta shop from Joe Liang and Daniel Lee.

Ferry & Main, under chef Greg Vassos (the late Racine and the Brick Farm Tavern), is coming to the Logan Inn in New Hope.

Urban Outfitters has just opened Gatehouse at the Navy Yard, where Bar Amis was, at the entrance to the Navy Yard (4503 S. Broad St.). It’s a bar/restaurant with a beer garden.

Huff & Puff BBQ is in its first days of conventional and vegan barbecue at 246 S. 11th St. in Washington Square West.

» READ MORE: Philly's best barbecue right now

Ikki Sushi will dispense rolls and drinks from a former nail salon at 310 Market St. in Old City.

Jenni’s Splendid Ice Creams has two locations teed up for Philly: 19th and Chestnut Streets in Center City and 1322 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown.

June BYOB, which shut down on East Passyunk Avenue in 2020, is looking to resurface at 690 Haddon Ave. in Collingswood. Timeline is TBA.

Little Susie’s, the Kensington pie, coffee, and soup shop, is fixing up the old passport photo shop at Second and Chestnut Streets in Old City.

Pierbar, a seafooder, is under construction at 2025 Fairmount Ave., where Hickory Lane was.

Pizza Plus will expand to West Philly, setting up at 4814 Spruce St.

» READ MORE: Philly's best pizza right now

Rex 1516 at 1516 South St. will close soon, in anticipation of a move next door into the Royal Theater.

Sugar Factory American Brasserie is getting closer on its location in the former Zinburger at Garden State shopping center in Cherry Hill.

Top Tomato, the Walnut Street pizzeria, is fixing a takeover of the shuttered Smokin’ Betty’s at 11th and Sansom Streets.

Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream is headed to Philadelphia and a scoop shop at 13th and Sansom Streets, where Capogiro was.

The Yankee Chipper, specializing in fish and chips, is coming to 827 E. Pleasant Ave. in Wyndmoor.

Zachary’s BBQ & Deli from chef Keith Taylor is taking shape at 9 W. Main St. in Norristown.