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Hai Street Kitchen and Laos Cafe join a rash of restaurant closings

Two Chinatown dessert shops have also shut down in the last month.

The Hai Street chicken roll at the first Hai Street Kitchen, which opened on 18th Street in 2014.
The Hai Street chicken roll at the first Hai Street Kitchen, which opened on 18th Street in 2014.Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN /

The last year has seen an explosion in restaurant openings. Amid the growth, closings are inevitable.

Among the recent shutdowns is the mini-chain Hai Street Kitchen & Co, which billed itself as a sushi burrito specialist. It opened its first location, on 18th Street near Chestnut, in 2014 before heading to University City, King of Prussia, and New York. The manager, Dai Kawauchi of Sakura Dining Corp., did not return a message seeking comment.

Also down for the count are two Chinatown dessert shops. Teassert Bar, a rolled-ice cream shop, left after three years at 227 N. 10th St. while N2 Sweet Cafe at 11th and Cherry Streets, whose big draw was ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen, is closed but says it is searching for a new location.

Among the other closings noted this month:

  1. Laos Cafe, the homey BYOB that Kha Vorasarn and Asia Keomanivanh opened last summer on West Passyunk Avenue across from Philip’s Steaks.

  2. EAT Cafe, the ambitious pay-what-you-wish restaurant in West Philadelphia operated by Drexel University.

  3. Trolley Car Station at the 40th Street trolley portal in West Philadelphia, after seven months.

  4. Cosi’s location at Fourth and Chestnut Streets.

Openings and closings are part of the weekly “Let’s Eat” dining newsletter, which arrives in mailboxes midday Wednesday. The newsletter, covering the city and Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs, includes restaurant trends, tips, and recommendations, as well as a Q&A by critic Craig LaBan. And it’s free; sign up here. Be sure to reply to the confirmation email.