Not satisfied with simply selling cars, Cortright Wetherill Jr. of Devon Hill BMW has gotten himself into the restaurant business with Ella's American Bistro in Devon Square (214 Sugartown Rd., Wayne, 610-964-3552).
Though it's white-tablecloth, they're going for a distressed feel with wood-paneled walls. The bar is made from a knotty sycamore tree; the wine list consists of about 50 bottles and 12 wines by the glass.
Executive chef Matt Schuler, a Johnson & Wales University grad who lives in Lancaster, is doing the local-sourcing thing (sustainable, naturally raised, organic, chemical-free, etc., etc.), stopping at suppliers on his way to work. Dinner entrees, served daily, are $12 to $28, with a special approaching $35. It is also open for weekday lunch.
Fairmount is seeing activity. Besides Fare, which opened in May; Brown Street Pub, which recently replaced McKenna's; and the new Isabel, there's Hickory Lane, a snug BYOB eventually doing all-day service at 2025 Fairmount Ave. (215-769-2420), across from Fare and Eastern State Penitentiary. The American bistro, named after Fairmount Avenue's original handle, has Matt Zagorski, former chef of Rouge on Rittenhouse Square, working with Jack Henderson, who had a stake early on in the space's previous restaurant, L'Oca. They've polished up the interior, adding gorgeous wooden tables and minimizing the clatter of the open kitchen. It's open for dinner nightly; breakfast and lunch are to start next week. Also on the way in the neighborhood is Lemon Hill, a food-forward bar opening Dec. 28 at 25th and Aspen streets, replacing Lucky 7. This is a meeting of Rittenhouse Square's Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. and Mitch Prensky, chef-owner of South Street's Supper. Menu utilizes a gas-fired brick oven. Bar menu includes classic cocktails, a few specialties from Franklin Mortgage, 25 craft beers in bottles/6 on draft, and 30 wines.
Mid-January is the target of La Calaca Feliz (2312 Fairmount Ave.), a Mexican from Cantina Feliz's Brian Sirhal and chef Tim Spinner that supplants Illuminare.
Just east of Fairmount, Marc Vetri and crew are readying Alla Spina, an Italian beer bar, for a February opening at 600 N. Broad St., next to Route 6.
Fish at 1708 Lombard St. has closed as Mike Stollenwerk gears for a Dec. 26 relocation to 1234 Locust St. The old location will become Brick American Eatery, but will not open till the new Fish is swimming correctly.
From the Boot, now in Lafayette Hill and Ambler, will occupy the former Dolce Luna at 1502 Dekalb St. in Blue Bell's Whitpain Shopping Center. It's due to open in four weeks or so.