Mexican on the corner
If early crowds are an indication, Joseph and Theresa Rimmer Scull have hit on the right combination at 22d and Carpenter Streets with a Mexican bar called Los Camaradas (918 S. 22d St., 215-309-3727). After a spell as Divan Turkish Kitchen, the bar had been two short-lived clunkers, SoWe and the Strip Joint, under different management. The Sculls - he was chef at the late Solaris Grille in Chestnut Hill, while she is a former beverage manager at La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount - added sconces and other decorative pieces from Mexico. There's a wide selection of tequilas and mezcals, in addition to craft beer and a few cocktails. Menu ($16.95 to $24.95 for entrées) is easy to navigate. For now, it's open at 4 p.m. daily, and the kitchen stays open till 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and till 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Bar closes at 2 a.m. Weekend brunch is on the way.
Roll your own pizza
The pick-your-own-ingredients, assembly-line style of fast-casual dining extends to pizza at the region's first Mod Pizza (4025 Welsh Rd., Willow Grove, 267-948-2180), opening Thursday in front of the Lowe's home-improvement center. The Seattle-area-based pizza/salad chain also will open in Gateway Shopping Center and in Allentown in May and at 522 W. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne in midsummer.
Dave Magrogan will open the fifth location of Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar - at Moorestown Mall - on March 16. This location will be a biggie: 7,200 square feet, with 220 seats in its dining room, 50 seats in the bar, a 50-seat private dining room, plus 30 seats on an outside patio and at two chef's tables. Besides Harvest, Magrogan owns the brands Kildare's, Red Star Craft House, Barra Rossa, Doc Magrogan's, and Harvest.
Smith & Wollensky, the swank chain steakhouse in the Rittenhouse Hotel (210 W. Rittenhouse Square), will end its 15-year run July 18.
Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop, the sandwichery formerly known as Chink's Steaks - has set April 1 as the opening date of its second location, at Girard and Frankford Avenues in Fishtown.
Tamarindo's, one of the longer-running Mexican restaurants in the Ambler/Blue Bell area, is preparing a move 10 minutes away this summer to 726 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown, in a lovely stone house near Valley Green Road. It will remain open at its current spot through July, owner Fernando Sauri said.
So much for the "fall" edition of Center City District Restaurant Week. The popular promotion, one of the rites of September, is moving to early August this year - Aug. 2 to 7 and Aug. 9 to 14 - because of a late Labor Day, Jewish holidays, and the World Meeting of Families.
Not even three years since he arrived in Philly from New York City, chef Eli Kulp has been made a partner at Old City's Fork and High Street on Market. Kulp has been a partner at High Street Hospitality Group, which oversees restaurant operations at a.kitchen and bar at AKA Rittenhouse Square.