Philly's 10 Most Anticipated Fall Openings

Say hello to swanky pasta, seductive sushi and suburban Southern
August 22, 2016
by Caroline Russock

Out with the old and in with the new – this season has a lot of restaurant anticipation. From dated steakhouses making way for swanky new pasta to longtime neighborhood hangs getting a modern-day makeover, this fall is all about reinvention. Here’s a peak at autumn’s biggest openings.

Courtesy of Friday Saturday Sunday

Friday Saturday Sunday
Opening: October
This 40-plus-year-old Rittenhouse neighborhood favorite is getting a new lease on life with the help of chef Chad Williams and Hanna Whitaker, a pair of Garces alums. The new American concept is currently under construction with a full bar on the ground floor and a tranquil, window-lined dining room on the second.  

261 S. 21st St.

Lou Bird’s
Opening: Late August
The owners of well-loved Center City happy-hour hang, Happy Rooster, are taking over Anne Coll's former Meritage location. Billed as a high-end American restaurant, the couple has brought on chef Natalie Maronski, most recently at Volver, to head up the kitchen.

500 S. 20th St.

Royal Sushi & Izakaya
Opening: Late August
This sushi and Japanese bar concept has been in the works since 2012, but it looks like an opening is imminent. The Itos family recently handed over the reigns of Fuji, their beloved Haddonfield sushi bar, and signed on with Royal Tavern, Cantina, Triangle Tavern and Khyber owners Steven Simons and Dave Frank. Expect a menu of Japanese beer, whiskey and sake to stock the bar along with a drinking-friendly menu of sushi (pictured below) and snacks.

782 S. Second St.

Courtesy of Royal Sushi and Izakaya

Opening: September
The shuttered Smith and Wollensky in the swank Rittenhouse Hotel is gearing up to house the latest outpost of this Meatpacking-born fine-dining Italian. Look out for a well-curated wine list, cocktail menu, elegant primi and secondi and Scarpetta’s deceptively simple signature plate, spaghetti with tomato and basil (pictured at top).

210 W. Rittenhouse Square

Opening: Early September
The beer minded team behind BRU Craft & Wurst, Uptown Beer Garden and Finn McCool’s is branching out with a new concept focusing on craft ciders and funky wild ales and sour beers poured from a copper-piped draft system. Food-wise, the open kitchen is going to be turning out pizzas from a custom built wood-fired oven.

1500 Locust St.

Opening: Early fall
When chef Chris D’Ambro took over Southwark he got a two for one deal. A tiny space adjacent to the main dining room was part of the arrangement, and since day one D’Ambro had a petite, tasting menu destination in mind. The menu and wine lists at this tiny 16 seater are focusing on all things Italian.

705 S. Fourth St.

The Fat Ham at King of Prussia
Opening: Early September
Kevin Sbraga’s hot chicken (pictured above) and brown spirits mecca is bringing its Southern vibes to the decidedly suburban climes of the King of Prussia Mall. Come fall, weary shoppers will be sipping barrel-aged cocktails and snacking on pimento cheese between trips to Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.

160 N. Gulph Rd.

Rooster Soup Co.
Opening: Late fall
Zahav's Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook have secured a space for their crowd-funded luncheonette. The subterranean space is currently being renovated into a counter for inspired salads, sandwiches and soups using stock made from Federal Donuts’ chicken stock (like the pastrami ramen pictured below). The best part is that 100% of the restaurant’s net profits are going to benefit Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative.

1526 Sansom St.

Harp & Crown
Opening: Early fall
Fresh off the stunning renovations of Double Knot, Michael Schulson is back at it on the west side of Broad. Lookout for towering ceilings, sparkling chandeliers, a New American menu from chef Karen Nicolas and best of all, a combo two lane bowling alley and cocktail lounge.

1525 Sansom St.

Butcher Bar
Opening: Early fall
Wood-fired fare and meaty plates steal the show at this Rittenhouse restaurant helmed by chef Evan Turney of Varga Bar. The beer friendly menu isn’t taking itself too seriously with fun plates like sloppy joe poutine and a vegetarian meatball sandwich dubbed the Hipster.

2034 Chestnut St.

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