The crew from Mac's Tavern in Old City is adding a much more upmarket bar/restaurant to its holdings.
James will take the ground floor of 1835 Arch St. - which until summer 2013 was the home of Mission Grill, on the corner of 19th and Arch.
The neighborhood is on the cusp of a boom, with the second Comcast tower going up directly across the street and the 14-story apartment building at 1900 Arch St. joining a newly heated residential market. Then there's The Logan, the renovated Four Seasons Hotel, around the corner.
James' ownership - a friendly band of St. Joseph's Prep grads plus chef Mike Suminski - may or may not include Rob McElhenney, the actor/producer/writer of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. McElhenney and his wife, Kaitlin Olson are investors in Mac's. (By coincidence, word of this project comes on the weekend of McElhenney's 20-year high school reunion.)
There is no one named James or Jim. It's just named after square namesake James Logan.
Partner Eric Vesotsky says James will offer back-to-basics, "big and hearty," protein-centric fare - with everything made in-house. Bar will have cocktails and eclectic wines and craft beer.
Ed Eimer at Eimer Design (The Fat Ham, Good Stuff Eatery) will design, and Vesotsky says they're going for "comfortable and casual but an upscale urban aesthetic."
Timeline is not set but appears to be four months or more away.