Besides more beer and barbecue, the so-called Spring Arts district just north of Chinatown is fixing to get another bar-restaurant project.
Michael Pasquarello (Bufad, Cafe Lift, Prohibition Taproom, Kensington Quarters) says he will be adding to his restaurant/bar holdings as he signed a lease for a former Jiffy Lube shop next to Union Transfer at the corner of 11th and Spring Garden Streets — an acquisition he announced on Instagram Monday morning. My colleague Jacob Adelman noted the project in June.
By next spring or summer, he told me shortly after by phone, he hopes to open a bar/restaurant whose theme will be inspired by La Chinesca — the Chinese residents of the Mexican border city of Mexicali.
The Baja town is noted for its large Chinese population, and with Philly's Chinatown just a few blocks to the south, the idea made sense to Pasquarello, who with his now-wife Jeniphur got into the restaurant business 15 years ago with the nearby Cafe Lift.
Developer Arts & Crafts Holdings, which has bought numerous properties in the area, owns the building, which bears the Sean Gallagher mural treatment of the Biggie Smalls' "It Was All a Dream" lyric.
It's a block from Arts & Crafts' flagship property, 990 Spring Garden — home of Roy-Pitz Barrel House and the forthcoming barbecue bar Lucky Well, and about two from the forthcoming Triple Bottom microbrewery. It's also around the corner from Love City Brewing.
Though the building is small — only 2,000 square feet total — there's plenty of outdoor space, and Pasquarello said he was considering tacking an extension to the rear to create indoor-outdoor seating.
Pasquarello and his 13th Street Kitchens corporate chef, Nich Bazik, are mulling the layout, which is expected to have a bar on the ground floor and something cool in the basement. Rohe Creative is doing the design, and — Pasquarello says — will keep the "It Was All a Dream" mural.