Tonight (Wednesday, June 8) marks the soft opening of Llama Tooth, a light-spirited New American bistro at 1033 Spring Garden St. (267-639-4582), where Thoreau was most recently.

Realtor Joe Galster has installed kids John (a veteran bar manager) and Alison (who's had front of the house experience). They hired chef Ken Therrien, a veteran of Rae and Hinge Cafe in Port Richmond, who is offering a well-priced, well-balanced pub menu of soups, salads, sides, sandwiches, burgers, and plates. Menu is here.

Right now, it's open for dinner only, Tuesdays through Sundays; brunch and lunch are on the way.

The dining room, with its salmon-colored velour chairs and wooden tables, resembles Thoreau. Paintings with llamas' heads replacing certain features hang on the walls. (Where did the name come from? They're not saying.)

The liquor license is expected in about two weeks.

Which brings up another point: The lot next door, which was pebbled-covered in its brief BYOB run as Thoreau, is now covered in paving stone. Murals decorate the walls, and a tiki bar and light strands will liven it up at night.

Things could start cooking in that now-dodgy stretch of town when the music venue Union Transfer opens across the street in the former Spaghetti Warehouse.