The proposed lamb barbecue joint by chef Benjamin Miller and his wife Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, will not be located in Isaiah Zagar’s mosaic warehouse on Watkins Street after all.
Miller gave an information-only presentation to the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s zoning committee last month to gauge community feedback and met “considerable resistance from the neighborhood about a restaurant opening there,” he told us yesterday.
“I hope that something really cool can happen there so it can show off that awesome space but I don’t think it will be restaurant,” Miller said. “It’s a residential neighborhood, on a little side street, and there’s no parking. But it was a great idea for our project.”
Miller said he is still looking for a space in South Philly but now he’s going to “wait until we have the right place.”
David Goldfarb, EPX zoning chair, said that he’s trying to help Miller find another location in the neighborhood. “It was not a good fit in many ways, honestly on all sides,” he said. “I’ve been putting him in contact with different people in hopes of keeping the concept in South Philly.”
So, all is not lost. Also every Sunday, they’ll be continuing to serve the barbacoa at a food cart outside Rosa’s Bakery at 8th and Watkins. They start selling at 7 a.m. “The first day, we sold out at 11 a.m.,” Miller said. “The next week I doubled it and we were out by 11:45.”
Then later this month, they’ll be doing a pop-up event at the food cart inside Garage, on Feb. 28.