Chef Townsend “Tod” Wentz is empire-building these days.

He’s about to officially take over the Irish Pub location at 1123 Walnut St. in Washington Square West, buying the building and installing a yet-unannounced restaurant; it’s next door to his Spanish bar-restaurant, Oloroso.

And he’s just signed a lease for 2121 Walnut St., near Rittenhouse Square, which was TALK, a bistro that lasted only five months before its closing last November.

Wentz, who also owns the critically acclaimed Townsend on East Passyunk and A Mano at 23rd and Fairmount, says he is not quite sure what he will do at 2121 Walnut — other than to immediately begin stripping out the bar (too big, he says) and lightening the noirish decor.

Talk restaurant at 2121 Walnut St. in October 2018, a month before its closing.
Steven Falk / File Photograph
Talk restaurant at 2121 Walnut St. in October 2018, a month before its closing.

Wentz also pointed out that Townsend’s environs were dismal and black when he got the keys for 1623 E. Passyunk in late 2013.