More than three dozen restaurants will open in the last four months of 2015, as the Philadelphia region's dining growth shows no sign of letting up. Openings still outnumber closings by a wide margin. The churn is a real estate broker's dream.
The big names we'll see are SuGa, the return of Susanna Foo to Rittenhouse with her son Gabe; A Mano (yes, that's the name of Townsend "Tod" Wentz's Italian BYOB in Fairmount); Restaurant Neuf, Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan's French/North African bistro in the Italian Market; Double Knot (Michael Schulson's coffee shop/izakaya in Washington Square West; Buckminster's, a neo-bistro in Point Breeze from Kensington Quarters/Prohibition Taproom/Bufad/Cafe Lift's Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello; Hungry Pigeon (Scott Schroeder and Pat O'Malley's neighborhoody Queen Village American); LP Steak, a Luke Palladino steakhouse at Valley Forge Casino; and Kanella, Konstantinos Pitsillides' relo of his popular Cypriot/Greek taverna into a bar-restaurant with an open grill and wood oven in Queen Village.
The fall crop is diverse, but only to a point. Most restauranteurs are playing it safe.
After 22 years of tracking openings, I realize it's nearly impossible to predict when a particular restaurant will open, more than about two weeks out. I write "late September," and then the liquor license is stalled, a pipe bursts, the staff needs extra training, a handicapped ramp is demanded. (All of which have delayed openings in the past.)
So I will call everything here "fall," unless otherwise specified. That is all the more reason to check back frequently.
Updates are marked with >
The following restaurants are brand new or pretty much ready to go:
> Kitchen just opened its Glen Mills branch, at Glen Eagle Square.
> Cedars, the Middle Eastern favorite in Queen Village, reopened Sept. 12 after a top-to-bottom redo.
> Movie Tavern opened in Flourtown Shopping Center on Sept. 16.
> SOUTH Kitchen & Jazz Parlor is the Southern restaurant and jazz room by the Bynum brothers at 600 N. Broad St., replacing Route 6. It opened Sept. 18.
> Milkhouse, the dairy/grilled cheese specialist, has opened at 37 S. 19th St.
> Kanella opened Sept. 22 at 757 S. Front St., where the Village Belle was for a New York minute.
> Neuf is the French/North African spot, with bar, from Noord's Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan, at 943 S. Ninth St. in the Italian Market. Opens Sept. 30.
The rest, broken down geographically:
A Mano is the Italian BYOB from Townsend "Tod" Wentz, at 23rd Street and Fairmount Avenue, the former Garden Fresh. It's also a skip and jump from McCrossen's Tavern, where Wentz got on the dining radar.
Santucci's Pizza is coming to 655 N. Broad St., replacing Alessandros. This is a branch of the South Philly Santucci's. The area, now home of Osteria and Alla Spina, could be the next neighborhood to pop, given the work now green-lit for the Divine Lorraine Hotel.
Bar Hygge - a brewpub from Earth Bread + Brewery - is targeting November at 1720 Fairmount Ave.
SuGa - a portmanteau of "Susanna" and "Gabe," as in Foo - is down for late October at 1720 Sansom St. Chinese, not fusion.
Lil' Pop Shop will set up a branch at 20th and Locust Streets.
Revolution Taco is the storefront version of Street Food Philly and Taco Mondo at 2015 Walnut St.
Urban Farmer is the steakhouse coming to the new Logan hotel, replacing the Four Seasons by the end of the year.
> Tredici is a Mediterranean wine bar at 13th and Sansom Streets, across from its parent, Zavino. Up for early October.
Double Knot is Michael Schulson's coffeehouse (with Elixr coffee) on the ground floor, with a Japanese bar in the basement at 120 S. 13th St., next to his Sampan.
Toasted Walnut is the bar-lounge at 1316 Walnut St. from Denise Cohen, former manager of Sisters.
1100 Social is the new restaurant at Xfinity Live; menu is set by Gaslight/Ela's Jason Cichonski. Opening date is Oct. 2.
Neuf is the French/North African spot, with bar, from Noord's Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan, at 943 S. Ninth St. in the Italian Market. Opens Sept. 30.
Keystone, a Pennsylvania-theme bar replacing the Ugly American at 1100 S. Front St.
Sate Kampar will be a Malaysian sate house at 1837 E. Passyunk Ave.
Tio Flores is the Mexican spot from the Hawthornes/Cambridge gang at 16th and South Streets.
Gus' Fried Chicken is coming to 20th Street and Washington Avenue.
Buckminster's, a neo-bistro in Point Breeze from Kensington Quarters/Prohibition Taproom/Bufad/Cafe Lift's Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello, at 21st and Federal Streets.
Herban Quality Eats is saying "late fall" for its good-for-you grub, set up in a new building at 3601 Market St.
Clarkville will be a beer bar from the Memphis Taproom/Strangelove's crew at 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue.
Hungry Pigeon will set up at Fourth and Fitzwater Streets - a casual, neighborhood-friendly American from Scott Schroeder and Pat O'Malley.
Kanella at 757 S. Front St. gives Konstantinos Pitsillides two kitchens to work with, and a sexy, low-lit bar off to the side.
Cafe Nola's spirit will live as Hurricane Alley, as it replaces Redwood next to Copabanana at Fourth and South Streets.
A change of ownership is about to go down at Southwark, as Kip and Sheri Waide will cede to Chris D'Ambro and fhis fiancee, Marina De Oliveira.
The Little Lion will be a casual American bar-restaurant at Third and Chestnut Street, where Haru was.
Argento Argentinian Steak House will occupy Second and Pine Streets, which last was Society Hill Society after years as the Artful Dodger.
> Spuntino, the Doylestown Neapolitan pizzeria, opens a branch in early October at 701 N. Second St.
Fishtown Social will be a wine bar/small plater at 1525 Frankford Ave.
Peter McAndrews (Modo Mio, Paesano's, etc.) is trying to get his taco stand, Heffe, together at Frankford Avenue and Marlborough Street.
Front Street Café at Front and Thompson Streets emphasizes sound nutrition.
Philly Style Bagels - do not scoff at what appears to be "just another bagel shop" - at 1451 E. Columbia Ave.
Hugo's Frog Bar & Chop House will set up in the SugarHouse Casino.
Chabaa Thai will be resurrected at Main and Grape Streets, where Main Street Market was.
Anastasi Raw Bar will be an offshoot of South Philly's Anastasi Seafood and Bala Cynwyd's Pescatore at 4161 Main St.
Maya J will be a global small-plater at 4371 Main St.
Avenue Grill is brand-new in Glen Eagle Square in Glen Mills.
Pizzeria Felici will be a pizza parlor from the Taqueria/Cantina/La Calaca Feliz partners, at 303 Horsham Rd. in Horsham. Opens in October.
Roberts Block will be an American in a historic building at the Glenside train station (6 Roberts Ave.).
Speaking of Glenside and its spiffy Keswick Village: Dino's Backstage, a '40s supper club, is fixing to open at 287 N. Keswick Ave. Dino is Dino Cataldi, one half of the team that ran Napoleon, first in Port Richmond, a quarter-century ago.
Maido, the Japanese grocery/cafe, has completed its move from Narberth to Ardmore, as it takes the corner of Lancaster and Anderson Avenues.
> LP Steak will be Luke Palladino's revival of a hot property for him; it's going into Valley Forge Casino, with an Oct. 16 opening.
Besito, a Mexican chain, expects to open in October in Ardmore's Suburban Square.
Lorenzo & Son's will bring its oversize pizza slices to High and Gay Streets in West Chester.
Brick & Barrel is very new at 870 Welsh Rd. in Maple Glen, the former Allegro Grille.
Sabrina's Collingswood is up for late October/early November at 714 Haddon Ave.
Yard House, a beer specialist, has a Dec. 5 opening at the Moorestown Mall.