Roger Harman and Vince Whittacre of West Philly's The Gold Standard are branching out, opening a small cafe at 20th and Fitzwater Streets in Southwest Center City. It is the former Beauty Shop Cafe, as noted by the Philadelphia Real Estate blog.
Whittacre told me that the name will not be "the Gold Standard," so as not to confuse people. They're playing with a few names.
The new spot, to open in April, will serve panini as well as other foods that don't require a ventilation hood.
The Gold Standard traces its roots to 1979, when Harman and Duane Ball (who died in 2007) opened a cafe in a former laundry at 47th and Chester. It became the Palladium in 1983 when it moved into the ARCH building at Penn - now home of the new Tortas Frontera restaurant. It ran there for two decades.
After an Italian venture, Abbraccio, at 47th Street and Warrington Avenue (where Vietnam Cafe is now), Harman and Whittacre opened the Gold Standard at 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue in 2009.