A few bits and pieces... Leaf through the photos and follow along, shall we.
Big ups to restaurateurs Greg Dodge and Eddie Bianchini, who are taking the sting out of the closing six months ago of Bianchini's bistro Tweed at 114 S. 12th St. Dodge promises to accept Tweed gift certificates at 100 percent of face value at his Italian wine bar, Zavino, at 13th and Sansom Streets. Deadline for use will be March 31, 2012.
Anyone remember J.D. Coleates, who for a time was a big shot with Triumph Brewing Co. He later tried to open a restaurant at 13th and Locust Streets (now Nest gym), running up against civic watchdogs in the neighborhood after it was learned that he had run afoul of the feds in Hawaii over a multimillion-dollar scam. He's now in hot water in Connecticut, where a club that he and partner opened apparently went belly-up.
Hopewell, N.J.-based Nomad Pizza's Philly location (611 S. Seventh St., off South and in the former Horizons) appears to be two weeks or so from opening. The wood oven is burning with test pies and the dining room is being set up. Another New Jersey spot, a steak house from Lawrenceville called KC Prime, will make its Pennsylvania debut in early January at 1580 Easton Rd. in Warrington.
In Old City, Mike Naessens (Eulogy) has won LCB approval for the transfer of a liquor license from his subterranean bar Beneluxx on Third Street to his latest acquisition, Old City Asian Bistro (206-08 Market St.). In a move I told you about in September, Naessens is converting that underutilized restaurant into a German-Chinese hybrid called Tsingtau Lokal, fancifully based on a restaurant in the German-controlled Chinese port of Tsingtau or Tsingtao (now Qingdao) a hundred years ago. As a result, plans for Tsingtau Lokal are ramping up and Beneluxx has gone BYOB.
In Fishtown, a sharp-eyed reader spotted a liquor-license application at a renovated building at 1306-12 Frankford Ave. (Frankford and Thompson, a block north of Frankford Hall). The attorney handling the case says the developer, Alex Generalis, is simply trying to lure a tenant for the roomy 6,000 square feet, which has a back yard (a la Frankford Hall).
Also in Fishtown, Rob Holloway is rolling out the menu at his newly flagged East Girard Gastropub, at Girard and Shackamaxon. It's the former Fathom. Menu is here, and the website includes a 10 percent discount coupon.
In Malvern, Restaurant Alba is proud of its new bar and seating, as it's added a small-plate menu. Chef/owner Sean Weinberg, an alum of the Rose Tattoo downtown, will put out comp apps between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekdays.
The Trestle Inn at 11th and Callowhill Streets starts Sunday brunch on New Year's Day, 1 to 5 p.m. (Usual hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
In the openings department, Walnut Street Supper Club turns on the lights Dec. 28, replacing Portofino at 1227 Walnut St. Same owner (Ralph Berarducci) and chef (Anthony Mignona); new jackets-only policy and live music. Dec. 28 also is the public opening of Lemon Hill in Fairmount; see Jason Wilson's story about the pub action in that part of town. (Hilarious interplay with the owners about the term gastropub being defined by the inclusion of bone marrow on the menu.)
I'm hearing rumblings that Fish, relocated to 13th and Locust Streets, may open as soon as New Year's Eve.
Check my map of restaurant openings for more info.