Eagles tight end Brent Celek, feeling more like a Philadelphian lately after signing a three-year extension, is planning to expand his restaurant holdings in town.
In 2013, he joined his longtime friend, chef Hee "Chino" Chang, in opening Prime Stache, a bar-restaurant on Chestnut Street in Old City. The two also ran a sausage/hot dog stand at Keenan's in North Wildwood, N.J., and still operate a Prime Stache food truck.
On Wednesday, Celek, Chang, and Scott Keenan of Keenan's signed a lease to take over the restaurant location at the front of the Bellevue (220 S. Broad St.) that until this week was Bliss.
They plan a rapid transformation into a bar/restaurant serving healthfully prepared, Korean-inspired small plates.
Name will be bop, playing off the Korean word for rice.
"I've always wanted to cook the food I grew up with," said Chang, a second-generation Korean American raised in the area. He said he'd riff on his mother's recipes. While the menu will include rice bowls and such, he said, "we'll have the long-fermented kimchi in the back for Koreans who may come in."
His burger, for example, will be a mixture of Angus, short rib, and brisket, but would get a dose of gochujang paste, and his crabcakes will be amped with fermented miso.
Chang hopes bop will be open in April.