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Restaurant notes: Shola surfaces

The chef is consulting on a wine-bar project on East Passyunk.

"Where's Shola?" has been a popular parlor game in the last month or so, since chef Shola Olunloyo and developer Bart Blatstein parted ways seemingly just days before the opening of Speck, a high-concept restaurant at the Piazza at Schmidt's.

Olunloyo has been keeping a low profile. (Not that he ever kept a high profile.)

He's just landed as consultant at Birra, the casual brick-oven pizza and craft beer restaurant coming together at 1700 E. Passyunk Ave. He's been brought in, as one aide said, to "chef up" the menu.

Birra owner Gordon Dinerman expects to be open in mid-July.

Contacted today, Olunloyo declined to address the Northern Liberties matter, only caring to confirm that he was consulting for Dinerman.

The Speck space will open shortly as an outpost of Tony Rim's Raw Sushi.