A husband and wife known for their serious approach to beer are having fun with wine in their brand-new South Street West shop. Also this week, I head to Chester County to check out a novel approach to Korean food, and I visit West Philadelphia for hot bagels served with all the deli trappings.

I’ll also share some inside news: Jamila Robinson, a decorated writer and editor with a knack for engaging readers and baking pies, starts Feb. 3 as Inquirer food editor. (Hmph. Just when Craig LaBan and I had the old one, Jenn Ladd, broken in. She will move into writing.)

Also: We hear from Craig, always ahead of the curve, as he explains how the humble cabbage turned over a new leaf in 2020. Read on.

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Grape expectations from South Street’s new Wine Dive

Wine Dive, at 1506 South St., is attached to The Cambridge.
Wine Dive, at 1506 South St., is attached to The Cambridge.

Everything happens for a riesling.

Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico, whose bar-restaurant group includes the beer-forward Hawthornes in Bella Vista, are on Cloud Wine these days.

Next door to their South Street pub The Cambridge, they’re rolling out a quirky wine shop/bar called Wine Dive this week at 1506 South. Official opening is 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11.

Truly hodgepodge decor has a vague ’70s/’80s rec-room look. An almost life-size Spuds MacKenzie statue, borrowed from Fetfatzes’ mom’s house, sits on the bar.

Shelves are stocked with 200-plus bottles at a variety of prices, including 20 by the glass. There’s a fun food and drink menu from Cambridge chef Derek Cantwell (chili served in one of those New York-style takeout coffee cups). There are boxes of sake (like juice boxes, complete with straws); 45 different beers in cans, plus 20 ciders; cheap gifts such as candles and cards; a 50-cent jukebox with a Ben-FM-like collection of everything; and there are wowlers.


They’re the wine version of a growler. Bartenders fill bottles with tap wine (25-ounce and 12.7-ounce) and affix a stamped wax seal to the cork for a festive look.

Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (kitchen serves till 1 a.m.) daily. Late-night happy hour, starting at 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, includes $6 cocktails.

This Week’s Openings

Bart’s Bagels | West Philadelphia

See below.

Dig | Rittenhouse

Healthful, veggie-forward scratch cooking in a fast-casual setting at 1616 Chestnut St.

Nudy’s Cafe | Conshohocken

Diner-ish drop-in, the 11th location in the western ’burbs, sets up at 100 Fayette St.

Vegan-ish | West Philadelphia

Vegan sandwich shop at 1214 N. 52nd St. with a slight twist: Seafood is available as add-ons to four menu items.

Wake Coffee Roasters | Ambler

Coffee roastery/cafe, with a bar, at 133 S. Main St., across from the SEPTA station.

Wine Dive | South Street West

See above.

This Week’s Closings

La Veranda | Penn’s Landing

White-tablecloth Italian at Pier 3 is gone after nearly 30 years. A seafood-steak eatery called Riverstone is on its way this spring.

Morton’s The Steakhouse | Center City

The manly steakhouse bowed out after just over 20 years upstairs at 1411 Walnut St. (Trivia: Morton’s launched in 1985 at One Logan Square, across 19th Street from the Academy of Natural Sciences, and moved in July 1999.)

Sovana Bistro | Kennett Square

Fire destroyed this Chester County BYOB on Jan. 3.

Track 3 Microbrewery & Coffee House | Dresher

The beer-coffee pair-up in Dreshertown Shopping Center folded after 8 months. Its beer is available at Ambler’s new Wake coffee shop.

Where we’re enjoying a “Hoppy Meal” lunch special

The "hoppy meal" lunch special of beer, burger, and fries at Butcher Bar.
The "hoppy meal" lunch special of beer, burger, and fries at Butcher Bar.

Butcher Bar, 2034 Chestnut St., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday

Trademark misappropriation aside, Butcher Bar’s lunchtime deal is a McSolid one: a 4-ounce beef patty with the works on a brioche bun, a respectable-sized order of house-cut fries, and a beer from a rotating selection for $12. That’s the price of a burger alone at more than a few places nearby.

Butcher Bar, which rocks a meat menu and an old-time butcher shop look, also offers a happy hour (4-6:30 p.m. weekdays) with $4 drafts and pretzel monkey bread; $5 wines, sloppy Joe poutine, and smoked Gouda mac and cheese; and $6 well mixed drinks, confit duck wings, and roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Where we’re eating

Oori, 2228 Pottstown Pike, Pottstown

Dandan noodles at Oori.
Dandan noodles at Oori.

Chef Michael Falcone, who wowed ’em a few years back at Pottstown’s Funky L’il Kitchen, has a brand-new bag: cooking Korean-influenced dishes such as fried chicken and ramen in a former pizzeria on Pottstown Pike near Route 23 in South Coventry, Chester County — of all places.

Oori (say it “OO-dee”) is a fresh-looking, full-service BYOB that’s worth the 25-minute hike from King of Prussia, but snag a reservation first. Weekend waits for the 40 seats can stretch past an hour. Staff is unfailingly friendly. Say hey to owner David Backhus, who also runs Elverson Coffee House about 20 minutes yonder.

Bring beer for the Korean fried chicken (served wet or dry), the kimchi trio, and various ramens. The dandan noodles ($18), topped with spicy ground pork, get a mellowing from black tahini. Dinner brings a few additions, such as steamed Arctic char ($19) over a short-grain rice cake and braised grass-fed beef ($18) over bone marrow congee with bok choy and red pepper puree.

Hours: lunch (11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) and dinner (5-9 p.m.) daily.

Bart’s Bagels, 3945 Lancaster Ave.

Smoked fish and lox on a sesame bagel from Bart's Bagels.
Smoked fish and lox on a sesame bagel from Bart's Bagels.

They’re putting new keys in all the lox, all right, at Bart’s Bagels, which officially debuts on Wednesday in West Philly’s Mantua section.

This is the passion project of brothers Kyle and Brett Frankel. Brett, the self-taught bagel guy, obtained the chef services of Ron Silverberg (The Silverspoon, Hawthornes, a.kitchen, Ela), whose menu hits the highlights of traditional bagel shops and delis: smoked fish sandwiches, breakfast egg sandwiches, and specialty sandwiches including house-roasted corned beef and turkey. There’s coffee, too. The smoked fish is sourced from Samaki, out of the Hudson Valley.

Initial hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

Dining Notes

Meet The Inquirer’s new food editor, Jamila Robinson, who starts Feb. 3: As a young girl in Detroit, she grew up hoping to combine a love of music and journalism in a job as a classical-music critic; she became a passionate food editor and writer (and figure-skating instructor) instead.

Ever gone into a bar and wound up debating a stranger about Philly’s best restaurants? That’s the premise, more or less, of WHYY-TV’s new show, Check, Please!, which premieres tomorrow night. Want to appear on season 2? Here’s how to catch the producer’s eye.

You probably saw the ads for Bud Light Seltzer while watching the Eagles’ tragic playoff game this weekend. Budweiser might be the latest entrant to the seltzer pool, but local breweries have already dipped their toes into the fizzy water.

Finally, for New Year’s resolution-inspiration, check out the fitness routines for these seven Philly chefs — Muay Thai, kettlebells, and CrossFit, oh my!

It’s Ambler Restaurant Week, through Jan. 13, while Center City District Restaurant Week ties on the feedbag from Jan. 12-24.