Blue Duck to open 2 restaurants in Center City
The long-in-the-works 11th Street project will be known as The Ugly Duckling. And the owners are taking over a bar/restaurant on Broad Street.
Talk about poultry in motion.
The Blue Duck, the Northeast Philadelphia BYOB that has been planning a bar/restaurant offshoot for 11th Street in Washington Square West, now has a second Center City spot in the works.
On or about June 9, Kris Serviss and Joe Callahan Jr. will open Blue Duck on Broad at 220 S. Broad St., what is now Bop, the Korean-ish spot next to the Bellevue that previously housed Bliss.
Bop will close after business June 4, and a few days' redecoration/rebranding will follow. Bop's Scott Keenan and Brent Celek, the Eagles star, are partners.
Expect a similar menu to the Blue Duck's flagship on Holme Avenue, but with a DJ at brunch and happy hour.
As for the other Center City project, under construction at 212 S. 11th St., where Hummus Grill was: Its name will be The Ugly Duckling, reviving an old line between Callahan and Serviss. "After we came up with 'The Blue Duck,' we said we could call our second place 'The Ugly Duckling,'" Serviss said. (Perhaps Swan will be next.)
Unlike the Blue Duck's bright and breezy airs, The Ugly Duckling will be what Serviss calls "an American version of Cheu." (Serviss and Callahan are fans of Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh's Asian-inspired noodle bar.) Expect a dark, quirky interior - "the opposite of the Northeast," he said - with a look that appears "chaotically put together."
Opening is penciled in for late June.
The Blue Duck, which received two bells from Inquirer critic Craig LaBan (when it was still known as Blue Duck Sandwich Co.), had an auspicious start.
Two months before its opening, it won the people's choice award at the 2014 Burger Brawl, the annual fundraiser for Philadelphia schools.