Somewhere there's a TV salesperson counting a lovely commission.
J.L. Sullivan's Speakeasy
, a plush sports bar that opened last month in the downstairs space beneath the Bellevue that formerly housed Zanzibar Blue (Broad and Walnut Streets, 215-546-2290), has 34 flat-screens scattered throughout its 6,000 square feet.
Operators have tried a shotgun approach, hoping to hit everyone. Seating includes tables, large private booths, luxury suites, and an 80-foot bar. Menu ranges from gastropub-style small plates to $34 lobster and a $32 rib-eye. Chef Jason Peabody's background includes Vesuvio and the Four Seasons.
In keeping with the speakeasy theme, bar list includes old-school touches such as martinis, sidecars and Manhattans. General manager Michael Churbuck's resume includes Denim Lounge, Striped Bass and ¡Pasion!
It's open from lunchtime to late-night daily. J.L. Sullivan himself is John Sullivan, chairman and CEO of East Coast Saloons, which operates McFadden's in Northern Liberties and at Citizens Bank Park.
The Westin Mount Laurel (555 Fellowship Rd., Mount Laurel, 856-778-7300) has gone the Tuscan steak house route, and tonight officially unveils
with a companion tap called
. Hotel exec chef Jean-Francois Lassance, a former chef instructor at the Restaurant School, oversees the operation; dinner entrees start at $15 and top out at $43 for a 16-ounce New York strip. The main room keeps hotel hours, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., while Bar 555 is open to 1 a.m.
, the national fast-foodery with the edgy commercials and carhops on roller skates, has finally opened one in the area; previously, you had to head west to Morgantown. This week saw the debut at 37 W. Ridge Pike in Royersford. Others are planned for Bucks County.
Franco Federico, who owns Horsham's Fountain Side and Giuliano's Brick Oven Pizza & Bistro as well as Ariana's Ristorante Italiano in North Wales, has a late-month opening planned for a fourth ristorante,
. It will occupy the space last held by Plate in what's now the Towers at Wyncote (the apartment complex known more recently as Trilogy after many years as Cedarbrook Hill) at 8440 Limekiln Pike in Wyncote. Federico says he's positioning Primo Bacio as his most upscale; it'll be the only one with a bar. Chef will be Ben Goldberg, who's worked with Federico at Fountain Side for 10 years. Expect lunch sandwiches and light entrees to run $7 to $11, dinner entrees starting at $15.
A combo coffeeshop, salad stop and brick-oven pizzeria with a bar, due to open late this month in the RiverWest condos at 21st and Chestnut Streets, will be called
Mix Brick-Oven Pizzeria
. The project had begun as Garlic. Owner Victor Fellus is a partner in Old City's Soho Pizza.
Qdoba Mexican Grill
are coming this fall to the revived Market Street in downtown Wilmington. Qdoba will open in what was the China Palace at 837 Market St., while Public House will take the former Great Room in the Residences at Rodney Square at Ninth and Market.
Jesse Fellows left the executive chef's post at
Jonathan's American Grille
in the Jenkintown train station last summer to go to Delaware Valley College. After finishing his freshman year, he called to pick up some summer shifts on the line - just as chef Shawn Buffert announced he was stepping down. Buffert will stay on in a support role, and Fellows, 33, will decide later this summer if he can matriculate and continue as executive chef as a sophomore. Jonathan's also has resumed Sunday brunch.
Caffe Aldo Lamberti
in Cherry Hill has opened an indoor-outdoor bar with glassed-in wine room, called Aldo's Enoteca.
Chef change at
at 20th and Rittenhouse: Jonathan McDonald left last month, as he wants to lay low while awaiting the September birth of a baby with his girlfriend, Melissa. Sous-chef Joshua Homacki, formerly of Lacroix and the Freight House in Doylestown, has retooled the menu, which includes more large plates and less molecular gastronomy and is served till 1 a.m. daily.
Nick Farina, chef/owner of
in Bryn Mawr, does custom tasting menus on Mondays. Basically, he or his sous chef plays waiter/personal chef by walking out to the table and interviewing patrons. It's $30 for three courses, $50 for five.
Chef Mark Doto, who has worked at Delaware's Eclipse, Zanzibar Blue and Krazy Kat's, has recently joined
in Wilmington as co-executive chef with Jason Barrowcliff. Doto had been providing Domaine Hudson's pastries.
Peter Lamlein's retirement has spelled the end of the 161/2-year run of
, the French-Mediterranean spot on Passyunk Avenue off South Street.