If this is the summer of many restaurateurs' discontent (e.g. Ansill, Oceanaire, Vincent's, Copper Bistro, Meju, Trattoria Alberto), there is no shortage of optimists taping up liquor applications in store windows.

How about two more in University City:

  • The names of Daniel Stern and partners Sue Mahoney and Samuel Greenblatt are attached to a liquor license pending on the ground floor of the new Science Center at 3711 Market St.; it's actually the license transfer from his Queen Village spot Gayle, which went BYOB not long ago. Stern, trying again after Rae didn't make it a few blocks away at the Cira Centre, is also going into Two Liberty Place with R2L

  • A branch of Landmark Americana, a sports bar with college locations at West Chester and Rowan, is applying to feed hungry Drexel Dragons at 3333 Market St. (photo). It's the university's new Recreation Center, and plans say it will spread out over 69,000 square feet plus an outside dining terrace.

University City's crop includes Blockley Pourhouse, which is two weeks old at 38th and Ludlow, and its partner operation, Mary Oaks, which is to open next month. Casual eateries from Avram Hornik (working name is Duo, at 39th and Chestnut) and Brian Harrington (Tap House at 39th and Walnut) are on their way for the fall.

The neighborhood to beat, in terms of blaze orange, is Wash West, where I count six signs erected in the last month or so.

Around 13th and Sansom Streets alone, there's 'Za Vino planned for the northwest corner, and Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran's unnamed Mediterranean planned next door. Bar,  a bar, is coming to 1309 Sansom St. Then there's The Commonwealth, the nightspot planned for 1320 Chestnut St., and -- a few blocks south -- Marc Vetri's forthcoming Amís a few blocks south, at 13th and Waverly.

The latest orange posting is on the former Gene kiddie shop at 122 S. 13th St., whose application, as Foobooz noticed today, lists Michael Schulson's name.

Here are the details: Name is Sampan. Concept: modern Asian food. Opening October.

Schulson is the hunky chef/owner of the well-received Izayaka at the Borgata and veteran of Pod in Philly and NYC. He also did a star turn on a Style Network show called Pantry Raid and has another show on TLC coming up.

Ah, to be a fly on the wall at the Wash West Civic Association.