Another landmark restaurant in Philadelphia will be repurposed, as Cescaphe Event Group's Joe Volpe is poised to take over the Water Works, the grand space at the foot of the Art Museum overlooking the Schuylkill.
Earlier this summer, the restaurant changed its policy after nearly nine years and now accommodates only weddings and private parties.
The policy will continue under Volpe and his crew, who expect to take possession on Nov. 1, pending transfer of the liquor license.
Current owners Michael and Anastasia Karloutsos - who created the venue in what was the neoclassical building's long-empty 1812 Engine House - will accommodate parties now on the books.
Volpe launched Cescaphe - a portmanteau of his children's names - in 2004 after he converted the shuttered Imperial Movie Theater in Northern Liberties into Cescaphe Ballroom.
The empire has expanded. In 2008, Cescaphe began orchestrating weddings inside the Atrium at the Curtis Center. In 2010, the company opened Tendenza next to the Piazza at Schmidt's in Northern Liberties. In 2011, it opened Vie in the former Wilkie Buick showroom at 600 N. Broad St. In 2013, Cescaphe took control of the Down Town Club at Sixth and Chestnut Streets.
Those enormous a la carte restaurants aren't all the rage anymore. You can go back more than a decade to when Old Original Bookbinder's was downsized considerably before its bankruptcy and collapse (it's now The Olde Bar in that smaller footprint). More recently, the steakhouse Union Trust saw new life as a catering venue owned by Finley Catering, and the steamship-size Oceanaire Seafood Room on Walnut Street just west of Washington Square was converted to an urgent-care center by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.