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Philly's 13 Most Anticipated Restaurants for Summer

An imported Japanese pub? Yes, please.
May 31, 2016
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by Caroline Russock

From the debut of a long-awaited Japanese pub to an import of Mexico City talent, this summer is gearing up to be one of Philly's hottest opening seasons yet. Here's a look at the restaurants on our radar for the coming months.

Skygarten
Opening: June
Jeremy Nolan and his Brauhaus Schmitz partners are taking their beloved biergarten to the 51st floor of Three Logan Square. Unparalleled views (pictured below) will be accompanied with locally brewed and imported beers, cocktails courtesy of bartender-about-town Jesse Cornell and a menu of German-inspired snacks.

1717 Arch St.

Garage North
Opening: Late June
Fishtown is getting its very own outpost of this Passyunk Avenue beer and Skee-Ball mecca. Expect similarly friendly vibes and a kitchen operation that allows guest chefs to step in for the evening with one-off menus.

100 E. Girard Ave.

Mission
Opening: Late summer
Sam Mink and the Oyster House crew are keeping it close to home with their second concept. Taking over the neighboring second story brewery that was formerly Nodding Head, the space is being reinvented into a massive indoor beer garden that’s taking inspiration from both Mexico City and San Francisco’s Mission District.

1516 Sansom St.

Aqimero
Opening: June 23
Mexico City-born chef Richard Sandoval is making over the Ritz-Carlton’s 10 Arts restaurant into a Nuevo Latino wood-fired grill complete with ceviche and a focus on sustainably sourced seafood. The 206 seat restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; it's part of a huge overhaul for the hotel that includes revamped guest rooms, lobby and meeting spaces.

10 Avenue of the Arts

Rooster Soup Co.
Opening: Summer
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 at top). 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.

South Helm
Opening: Early June
Chefs Kevin D’Egidio and Michael Griffiths are expanding into a new Pennsport location for act two of their beloved, blackboard-menu BYO. While D’Egidio and Griffiths might not be straying too far from their winning formula of seasonal produce and local farms, they’re anticipating a menu made of smaller, vegetable-focused dishes designed for mixing and matching.

100 Morris St.


Perla
Opening: Late June
Getting back to his culinary roots, chef Lou Boquila is striking out on his own with a modern Filipino restaurant overlooking Passyunk’s Singing Fountain (pictured above). Boquila has been hosting pop-up dinners all over the city, transforming traditional Filipino fare with techniques picked up during his tenure Twenty Manning and Audrey Claire. Expect elevated adobos (pictured above) and plenty more takes on Filipino favorites. While meals at this new BYO are plated individually during most evenings, Boquila is planning on casual service Sunday nights with Kamayan family-style dinners served on banana leaves. Also in the works is a brunch menu centered around silog, an egg-topped garlic fried rice that’s a big morning fave.   

1535 S. 11th St.

Tiki
Opening: Early June
Channeling time spent living in Tahiti, Philly bar impresario Jason Evenchik’s latest endeavor is a Polynesian-themed cocktail lounge in Midtown Village. The exterior of the boxy, charcoal-gray building might not show it, but the inside will be a tropical paradise outfitted with tiki masks, retro surfboards and plenty of bamboo. Tim Heuisler is going to be running the cocktail side of things with beachy classics like zombies and mai tais. The kitchen is rolling out a menu of Pacific Rim–inspired snacks built for sharing.

102 S. 13th St.


Beefsteak
Opening: Early June
Philly’s fast-casual with a healthy lean scene is getting some company via chef José Andrés. Setting up shop on the Penn campus, the Beefsteak crew is going to be bringing so-hot-right-now grain bowls (think quinoa with snow peas, edamame and asparagus topped with roasted garlic yogurt and a cucumber salad) plus a few hot and cold soup offerings. There's also a game-changing beet burger with vegan chipotle mayo and pickled red onions (pictured above).

3417 Spruce St.

Laurel Bar
Opening: Early June
Reservations at Nick Elmi’s Passyunk Avenue spot are some of the toughest in town, but with the expansion of Laurel it’s going to get a little easier to experience this Top Chef winner. Taking over the space next door (formerly Fond), Elmi is opening an elegant bar geared toward sipping cocktails and grazing on French-inflected American plates. Inspiration is coming from the menu he created last summer during his tenure at Morgan’s Pier, and he’s working on the kind of plates that he’d enjoy on his days off. A six-tap draft list is in the works along with a selection of beers and wines by the glass.

1617 Passyunk Ave.; 215-271-8299

Royal Sushi & Izakaya
Opening: Summer
This sushi and Japanese bar concept has been in the works since 2012 but with Matt and Jesse Ito, a duo of father and son chefs in place, it looks like an opening is imminent. The Itos recently handed over the reigns of Fuji, their beloved Haddonfield sushi bar to a longtime employee 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 above) and snacks.

782 S. Second St.

Bar One
Opening: Early June
The newest addition to Italian Market comes courtesy of Ryan Rubino, longtime manager at Ralph’s Italian Restaurant. Taking over the former Wishing Well space, this new joint will offer a reimagined take on red sauce fare including fried calamari topped with kale-slaw (pictured above) and homemade ​pappardelle with arugula and braised short ribs.

767 S. Ninth St.

Rival Bros Coffee Bar
Opening: Late Summer
The sleek coffee shop is opening a second location in a piece of prime Passyunk Avenue real estate. Expect the same top-notch coffee, as well as a menu of breakfast and lunch options from the bakery at High Street on Market.

1600 S. 11th St.

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