2014 Forecast: A Deluge of New Restaurants and Bars

By Danya Henninger  |  January 2, 2014
Credit: Danya Henninger

Ready for another killer restaurant year, Philadelphia? There’s so much on the slate that we had trouble narrowing things down (and that’s not even including all the rumored projects we can’t write about quite yet). Click through for a sweeping overview of what’s coming to the Philly scene in 2014. Get excited.

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    New Projects From Big Names

    Jose Garces originally had aimed for autumn 2013 for new showkitchen Volver, but construction delays at the Kimmel Center - and a detour to revamp Rosa Blanca - have pushed the opening to 2014. Also on the Iron Chef’s slate are an outpost of Distrito in Moorestown and something in Old City at the Old Original Bookbinders location.

    Marc Vetri is following up this year’s two launches (Pizzeria Vetri and Osteria Moorestown) with Lo Spiedo (the name translates to "the spit," as in rotisserie; the project was formerly known as The Brig). The restaurant will be a 150-seat lunch and dinner restaurant with a full bar in the Navy Yard. Look for it in late spring.

    Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook are planning a pair of places just up the street from Federal Donuts in Center City. Dizengoff will be a casual hummusiya with a small beer list and lots of take-out options, while Abe Fisher will feature a full bar and small-plate menu built on foods from the Jewish diaspora. An early 2014 launch has been targeted, and this year will also bring two new FedNuts outposts, in University City and West Poplar.

    Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran scored a liquor license for their first restaurant, modern Mexican Lolita, and are in the process of redoing the interior with a full bar. The pair has yet to announce their plans for the former Fish space, just around the corner from newly opened Little Nonna’s.

  • First-Time Ventures From Notable Chefs

    Aldine is the name former Stateside and Morgan’s Pier toque George Sabatino has chosen for his first venture as chef-owner; it’s going into the former Noche in Rittenhouse sometime this spring.

    Brothers Justin and Jonathan Petruce, alums of Mémé and Mike Stollenwerk’s Fish and Little Fish, are very close to launching Petruce et al at 1121 Walnut, where the focus will be on wood-fired cooking.

    Fishtown will get its first pho house when Zahav sous chef Tyler Akin launches Stock, possibly within the month. Chadds Ford will have to wait a few months more for Junto, an Amish-meets-modern restaurant from former Garces sous MacGregor Mann.

    Former Pub & Kitchen chef Jonathan Adams will get his own storefront when he and Rival Bros. partner Damien Pileggi launch a brick-and-mortar home for their popular roastery and coffee truck on 24th and Lombard. No target date has been set.

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    Beloved Favorites Adding New Branches

    Old City is getting new, liquor-licensed outposts of two multibranched establishments: a Capogiro will open on Chestnut Street next to Amada as soon as the end of January, and another Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat is coming to 228 Vine in the early part of the year.

    The new Drexel building that is already home to Shake Shack and Joe Coffee will get a second version of Midtown Village pizzeria Zavino and an offshoot of Rittenhouse sushi bar Zama called co Zara, plus another branch of Yogorino.

    Oregon Avenue will get a sibling to Northern Liberties bowling alley/bar/snack stop North Bowl, and it will be called... South Bowl (probably). Not many timeline details have been released, but we’re expecting an opening this year.

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    Mainstays Expanding in New Directions

    Le Virtu owners Francis Cratil Cretarola and Catherine Lee and Le Virtu chef Joe Cicala announced Brigantessa as the name for their pizzeria/enoteca/birreria. It will begin serving food and drink from all over Italy on East Passyunk sometime this summer.

    Jose Pistola’s partners Casey Parker and Joe Gunn are also teaming up with their chef, Adan Trinidad, to bring Sancho Pistola’s to Fishtown in the former Bubba’s Texas BBQ. The Frankford Avenue spot should be up and running before the Super Bowl.

    Chef Alex Capasso converted Blackbird in Collingswood to a casual burger joint so he would have time to open in the city. Crow & the Pitcher is what he’ll call the restaurant coming to Rittenhouse in the former C19.

    Nicole Marquis of HipCityVeg is calling her veg-friendly Midtown Village bar Charlie Was a Sinner. There’s no target date yet for that, nor for the bar Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby of Vedge will be opening next to Zama in Rittenhouse.

    Now that Avance is open, Chris Scarduzio plans to get back to work on the bistro he’s bringing to East Passyunk. A total rebuilding is needed for the former Artisan Boulanger Patissier spot, so no telling yet when the launch will take place.

  • Out-of-Towners Taking on Philadelphia

    Along with brothers Felipe and Patricio, Chicago-based Alfredo Sandoval is bringing an outpost of high-end Mexican Mercadito to 2116 Chestnut Street, flanked by a branch of Double A cocktail lounge. Right now a summer opening has been floated.

    Chicago’s Rick Bayless is also heading to Philly. UPenn’s Locust Walk will be home to one of his casual Mexi-cafes called Tortas Frontera, though no launch date has been mentioned.

    More Mexican is coming via NYC: Cal-Mex mini-chain Calexico has targeted a location on South Street West and then another spot in Fishtown for 2014 launches.

    We haven’t heard much about Spike Mendelsohn’s first non-DC Good Stuff Eatery, other than the news that construction has started at 108 S. 18th Street in Rittenhouse. A pre-spring launch is quite possible.

    Fall 2014 is the latest target for Center City’s first Cheesecake Factory, going into the second floor of a new glass building at 15th and Walnut, and several other chains have set their sights on our city in the coming year as well (Japanese BBQ Gyu-Kaku in Franklintown, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on South Street, smoothie spot Robeks in Center City).

    Ready or not, here they all come! Looks like we’re in for a great year ahead.