Bar One: A Ralph's manager to spin off a South Philly bar
The fifth generation sees opportunity across the street.
The Rubino family, which operates the South Philadelphia Italian restaurant Ralph's, opened a branch in the Sheraton Valley Forge in King of Prussia a few years ago.
The perspective has been interesting, said Ryan Rubino, 28, the fifth generation (he's one of Jimmy's kids). "On Ninth Street, we do what we do," he said. "Out here, we get the freedom to experiment, especially at our bar. We'll do mussels a different way, flatbread specials, that sort of thing."
The closing in October of the Wishing Well, a bar at Ninth and Catharine Streets across from the original restaurant, spelled opportunity for Rubino and chef Anthony Barone. "This almost made too much sense," Rubino said.
Playing off Barone's name, the two and Rubino's sister Gabrielle are going into the bar business with Bar One.
Rubino says Bar One will aim for a "neighborhood bar vibe" and a younger crowd. Bar food and small plates will be served - and Rubino was quick to add that there will be "zero competition with across the street - zero overlap. If we serve a mussels dish, it's not mussels red."
They hope to open in time for the Italian Market Festival, May 21-22.