Chris Scarduzio, the chef behind the nearly two-years-in-the-making bistro at 12th, Morris and Passyunk, has decided to bow out of that project and all of his other restaurants, reports the Insider.
That’s just in time for the former Artisan Boulanger building to be turned into a hole in the ground.
The good news is that his partners in the 12th Street project, real estate developers Steve and Tamar Olitsky, told the blog they are committed to completing it and have been quietly shopping around for another operator:
They have been discreetly gauging interest among the restaurant community for the space, which is 3,500 square feet on two floors, including the basement. The building, with four apartments above, is expected to be ready for occupancy next spring or summer.
Scarduzio was a partner in Avance, the replacement for Le Bec Fin that opened to mixed reviews, and the shuttered Table 31 in the Comcast Center. He also has Mia’s in Caesar’s in Atlantic City. The Insider says he’ll let go of that one, too, and instead focus on a new project in Newtown Square.
To be blindly optimistic, maybe this is a good thing. There’s certainly no shortage of demand for the area, which is evident in the Bing Bing construction happening just across the street. And if Scarduzio was pulled in too many directions, it probably would have showed. Sure, he was a heavy hitter, but the strength of the neighborhood has always been in its small operators who built a reputation.