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What’s up with that Scarduzio project at 12th and Morris?

It’s been nearly 22 months since news broke that chef/restaurateur Chris Scarduzio was planning to open a bistro in the former Artisan Boulanger at 12th and Morris, and more than a year since he got approval from the EPX zoning committee for the building he wants to construct in its place.

Now a sign pasted to the door warns him to tear the building down or repair it by March 31. Here we are, another week later, and nuthin’.


Well, you won’t have to wait much longer. “We’re looking to have this building down by the end of the month or middle of next month,” Scarduzio told us. “And we’re hoping to have everything up an running and filled, including the apartments upstairs, by the end of the year.”

Scarduzio still plans about 40 to 50 seats inside on the first floor, with about another 30 seats on the sidewalk outside, weather permitting. The concept has not been finalized, but he stressed that he wants people to be able to afford to eat there regularly.

“We’re going to do a very neighborhood-driven, well-priced, affordable environment so that people can dine there two, three, four times a week,” he said. That’s good to hear, especially on the heels of news about two more upmarket places in the works: Palladino’s steakhouse in the old Colombo’s and Townsend in the old Sophia’s. (Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but how many $100+ dinners for two can you really spring for in a given month?)

Scarduzio says the design of the building has been changed to blend in with the neighborhood a little more than the modern rendering that was unveiled last year.

This is the old proposed design

This is the old proposed design

Besides the weather, Scarduzio said the delay has partially been because of extensive outreach to the neighbors regarding the demolition. “Especially with the problems with the building collapse at 20th and Market, we want to make sure we’re doing it right way,” he said. “We’re taking every neighbor’s concern into consideration, and we want to get it cleaned up and done with the minimal amount of disruption.”

“We’re really looking forward to a very nice experience down there.”

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8 Responses to What’s up with that Scarduzio project at 12th and Morris?

  1. Conor April 9, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Yes! Great update. Up and running by the end of the year seems really aggressive. I’d love it, but wouldn’t be surprised if they open closer to spring 2015.

  2. squishimichi April 9, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    excited for a place more in my price range!

  3. bob April 9, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    can we finally get a good brunch/lunch spot on passyunk ave.? something affordable?

  4. Rob April 9, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    Is it necessary to tear the building down?

    • AnthonyG April 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      Apparently the building is structually unsound and unsalvagable.

  5. Brian M. April 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Not that Mr. Scarduzio would be derivative in his approach, but here’s a recipe for a grand slam:
    1. Visit Umami in Silver Lake
    2. Recreate that concept at this corner, down to the drink program, the “vibe” and the prices.

    OK, I’ll shut up now about this.

  6. Phillydave April 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    It will be interesting to see the new design. The previous design was unique for the avenue and a little variety in architecture isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  7. jesse April 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Hopefully they can remove the awning before more random metal pipes from it fall into the sidewalk…

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