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Fishtown Social: A wine bar for Fishtown

What the neighborhood needed, Vanessa Wong decided, was a casual wine bar - a low-key drop-in.

Vanessa Wong, a lawyer who with her husband, Ryan, has lived in Fishtown for 10 years, saw the sad-sack building across from the post office at Frankford Avenue and Oxford Street and knew it could be something.

So she bought it and fixed it up, thinking that she would lease the ground floor to a nail salon or pizza parlor and install tenants in the apartments upstairs.

The residential piece was clear. "But we really don't need another nail salon or pizza parlor around here," said Wong, who like many Fishtowners is raising a family - in her case, three kids.

What the neighborhood needed, she decided, was a casual wine bar - a low-key drop-in that would attract fellow parents and, yes, singles to share a glass of wine and a plate of nibbles.

Thursday, March 10 is the grand opening of Fishtown Social (1525 Frankford Ave.), which is joining a few more upmarket projects in the Fishtown/Kensington area. Around the corner on Front Street, Wm. Mulherin's Sons is opening within a couple of weeks, and Root - next to Fette Sau and Frankford Hall - has the finish line in its sights.

At Fishtown Social, Wong is keeping things simple. The menu is built on cheese and meats, with a few snacks - sort of like Tria in the early days.

Sommelier Nick Brydels, whose stops include Tria and Fork, just received his Level 2 certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Decor includes a marble-topped bar, a few high-tops in the window, and a cozy back room with a private feel to it.

It opens at 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and at noon Friday to Sunday.