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Starr taking over 18th and Sansom

He's signed a lease for the former shoe store and restaurant next door.

The "Retail/Restaurant Space for Lease" sign has come down from the window of the former Stiletto shoe store at 18th and Sansom Streets.

Stephen Starr confirms that he has signed a lease for that space as well as the adjacent restaurant that had been Mantra.

It will be a gastropub. No name yet or timeline.

Is Ken Friedman of New York's Spotted Pig involved, as had been rumored? Starr said he didn't know.

Larry Steinberg of Michael Salove Co. brokered the deal. Steinberg said that because the two properties are not on the same grade, it will be an "expensive build-out." The total space is 3,500 square feet, a touch larger than El Rey.

Across the street in 10 Rittenhouse, the New York Italian restaurant Serafina is going into 5,000 square feet on two floors; that project is expected to open this fall.

Stay tuned.