The rush to open restaurants by the end of the year
The busiest year in memory shows no sign of slowing down.
This year was wall-to-wall restaurant openings - an avalanche of newcomers offset by only a few closings.
2016 is not done with us yet.
Here are a few more openings due over the last five weeks of 2016. I'll have more info closer to the actual debuts:
Justin Weathers (a Starr alum) and chef Joseph Monnich (ex-Parc) of Lansdale's hit Stove & Tap are just about ready to open two restaurants side by side in Exton's Eagleview Town Center: a modern Mexican called Al Pastor (spit-roasted meats, tableside guac) and an Italian wine bar called Bella Vista (pizzas, pasta, salads, salumi).
Also, late November: Mi Lah, the Ambler vegetarian restaurant, is fixing to open a small-plater at 615 S. Third St. in Queen Village, where Hostaria da Elio was for quite some time.
Also due shortly is Cerdo, the Mediterranean at Elm and Cherry Streets in Conshohocken from Brian and Christina Pieri.
Early December - perhaps the second week - is the intended opening of Flying Fish Crafthouse (31st and Master Streets) in Brewerytown. Brian Duffy is overseeing the restaurant portion. South Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing Co. will provide the beers.
Early December will see the debut of Baril, the reflagged French bar-restaurant at the former site of Crow & the Pitcher, 267 S. 19th St.
Early December is the expected opening of Puyero Venezuelan Flavor, a fast-casual shop at 524 S. Fourth St. in Queen Village specializing in arepas and other Maracaibo-style street comida.
December is looking doable for Res Ipsa, an all-day cafe at 2220 Walnut St. from Tyler Akin of Stock and the crew from ReAnimator Coffee
Dec. 10 is the opening of City Works, a contemporary American restaurant with a 90-tap beer system, next to Davio's at the new King of Prussia Town Center.
Dec. 12 is the target opening of B2 Bluefin at 401 City Ave. in Bala Cynwyd, across from the Target and where Chops was for many years. Swank and modern, this Japanese restaurant from sushi master Yong Kim (of East Norriton's renowned Bluefin) will serve sushi and rolls as well as oysters, tempura, and cooked dishes. Fourteen draft beers, plenty of bottles, and an enviable sake collection round out the bar. Kim is hunting for staff in the front and back of the houe; contact general manager Ryan Kim here.
Dec. 12 is the cross-his-fingers date for Banh Street Fried Chicken, a shop at 832 N. Bethlehem Pike in Spring House, specializing in double-fried chicken and banh mi. It's the pet project of Chad Rosenthal, chef-owner of Ambler's The Lucky Well and the Roslyn banh mi stand Banh Street.
Sometime in December, The Taco Truck is due to park (it'll be a fixture) in Savor, the food hall at the King of Prussia Mall.
Sometime this month should see the premiere of Burg's Hideaway Lounge at 21st and Federal Streets in Point Breeze. Developer Ori Feibush bought the former Buckminster's and restored the barroom's former name. Veteran restaurateur Jonathan Makar is helping to open it.
I'm hearing "late December" for the reopening of Jake's and Cooper's Wine Bar in Manayunk, which closed in mid-July after a water-main break inundated the property.
Meanwhile, Veda - a stylish Indian spot at 1920 Chestnut St. - appears to be about ready to open, but management has adapted radio silence.