Barbacoa, the well-regarded Peruvian rotisserie-chicken specialist on Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore, has closed after five years.
Co-owner Rob Hayes says it will resurface later this year about a block away as part of an ambitious project involving three restaurants coming to 29-33 E. Lancaster Ave., next to the Ardmore Music Hall. It is the old Fellini's restaurant.
The Barbacoa redux will be called Shack in the Back, Hayes told me. The Barbacoa name was fine five years ago, Hayes says, but then came other restaurants with similar names. The restaurant on Rittenhouse Place closed mainly because of operating partner Guy Buonadonna's illness, though Hayes says Buonadonna expects to be back in the swing by the time of the opening on Lancaster Avenue.
As for the rest of the project on Lancaster Avenue. here is some early, limited intell:
Owner Peter Martin, a developer, is building out Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft, a two-story cocktail bar – "not beer and wine" – with a small stage upstairs and outdoor garden seating out back. Martin says he's modeling it after several bars he's scouted, including the Keefer in Vancouver, Canada, and has adopted the name both from the Grateful Dead song "Ripple" as well as a long-ago dive bar near his childhood home in Elkins Park.
He's also signed on restaurateur Paul Kong, who will open Bam Bam Seoul Kitchen.
They're targeting November for the openings.
Another restaurant is waiting in the wings for Barbacoa's old spot; stay tuned.