Michael Schulson is expanding his restaurant empire around 13th and Sansom Streets, as he and partner Jeff Michaud will replace the shuttered Zavino on the northwest corner with a bar-restaurant specializing in Roman tonda wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta, salads, and small plates from executive chef Ed Pinello.
Schulson, through his association with Michaud, has been delving more deeply in Italian cuisine, through Giuseppe & Sons and Via Locusta near Rittenhouse Square as well as Osteria in North Philadelphia.
They do not have a name for the bar-restaurant, though the timeline is late summer or early fall 2021.
» READ MORE: The best pizza in Philly now
Eimer Design is planning a white marble-topped bar for most seating (though there will be a few cafe tables as well) with greenery, wood floors, and whitewashed brick walls. Floor-to-ceiling windows can swing open to more cafe tables on the sidewalk.
Schulson hit the neighborhood in 2009 with Sampan (Southeast Asian), opening the Graffiti Bar behind it and then Double Knot (Japanese/coffee) next door in 2016 before adding Alpen Rose (steakhouse) in 2019.
Schulson’s project will be directly across 13th Street from Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream, opening this summer in the former Capogiro shop.
The neighborhood also is home to El Vez, Vintage, and Barbuzzo.