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Tag Archives | Openings

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Peek inside new Kings Music

Owner Joe King is scrambling to get ready for his grand opening party Saturday, but from the looks of it, he’s in pretty good shape. He took a couple minutes to show us around and as you can see, almost all the instruments are stocked. Guitars, drums, amps, accessories and other equipment line the walls.

No “Stairway to Heaven”

He’s still waiting on a huge order of saxophones to fill another shelf.

Are you ready to rock?

He kept the wooden, grooved walls that previously held up the shelves when the former Shoe Gallery was located in the storefront. The displays looked awkward in the shoe store but they’re actually better suited to displaying instruments. He also slapped a coat of purplish paint on some of the walls.

Are you properly equipped for the rock making?

This is King’s first effort at retail (he worked in sales at Verizon/AT&T/Bell Atlantic), but he plays drums, bass, guitar, banjo and a little keyboard. He has a stable of nine teachers that will be giving the lessons, though.

One of the lesson rooms
King now lives in South Philly near Marconi Plaza but grew up in South Jersey in a Mummer family – he, his father, brother and cousin are all in the Mummer Hall of Fame. He’s marched in the parade for 49 years, with the Quaker City String Band for the last 15. In non-Mummer music, he said he’s also been in a band called Sensation for years, playing everywhere from the Bahamas to Boston, and from the casinos to the old Crystal Tea Room.
Joe King messing with soundproofing in another lesson room.

The onsite recording isn’t quite ready yet, but his portable equipment can be quickly set up. He just said he’s working on getting that website going, too.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Toyotomi falls flat, but it’s cheap

On the surface, the new Toyotomi Japanese restaurant that opened this month across from Neumann-Goretti High at 1740 S. 11th St. shows promise. It certainly has better decor than the handful of forgettable takeout places that have filled the tiny corner storefront over the past few years. Dark tones, a handful of plush chairs and red accents dress up the 18-seat BYOB, even if the zebra picture and poster of the Frank Gehry Disney Concert Hall tacky up the joint. The chandelier from Lowe’s, which I briefly considered for my own dining room, sums it up: nothing special, but passable, just like the food.

That’s more than half the dining room
And the rest

We only got a few basics for takeout, so this isn’t a condemnation of the whole menu, especially since we didn’t get any of the fish (don’t judge us, just felt like going to a new place). But the five items we did get mostly failed to impress. Agedashi Tofu, described on the menu as “Fried tofu, scallion, grated daikon in tempura sauce,” sounded better than it was – essentially cubes of soggy fried tofu over a bed of romaine lettuce with a soup container’s worth of weak broth to dip it in. The spears in the Asparagus Denkatsu (“sesame seed glazed with sweet black sauce”) were crisp but drenched in a thick, sickly sweet plum sauce.

We’d get the Japanese Spring Rolls again, crispy on the outside, fresh snap of bamboo shoots and chicken in the middle. California rolls were just fine (like we said, don’t judge), and the Beef Negimaki were tasty, but the slices of seared flank steak wrapped around scallions also was drenched in too much sauce.

Now open, across from Neumann-Goretti

Because of a bit of a language barrier, getting solid info on the place was tough, but the woman manning the counter said that the chef/owner, Sugi Wijaya, runs the place with his family. He was involved with Big Eyes Sushi on 7th and Bainbridge, the spot that took over after the ambitious Roku quickly closed. Before Big Eyes, the family had been living in North Carolina, running a sushi counter at an Asheville grocery store.

Adorable radish butterfly

The best part? We were full on $25 for two people, about half what the same meal would have cost at Izumi for about half the quality. We’ll give it another shot — the $8.99 lunch specials look particularly appealing — but probably only for a quick, cheap fix. And next time, we’ll dive into the fish.

Has anyone else been there? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Will BYOB’s coming along (updated with pics)

Update:

Here are some more pics:

If it looks good from the outside, it’ll probably be pretty good inside
Forgive the reflection, please
Like a stalker, peeking through the window
Another view. They can pull this together by Aug. 24, right?
Original Post:
Meal Ticket checked in with Christopher Kearse, the chef/owner opening Will BYOB at 1911 E.P.A. near the end of August.

MT says he’s in the process of hiring his staff, plucking from his former employers Pumpkin and Lacroix (Kearse has a mile-long resume of short stints at stellar restaurants, including Napa’s French Laundry and at Charlie Trotter’s and Alinea in Chicago).

From the outside renovations appear to be progressing smoothly. New, black fling-out windows are installed and lighting and the paint job look complete. A quick peek inside showed plenty of work to be done though, so hopefully late August isn’t too optimistic.

Kearse seems to think not, though. His Open Table site is up, which is a good sign even if their map is wrong.


Oops, that’s West Passyunk
Check out this incredible story about Kearse from May in City Paper.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Will BYOB’s coming along


Meal Ticket checked in with Christopher Kearse, the chef/owner opening Will BYOB at 1911 E.P.A. near the end of August. 

MT says he’s in the process of hiring his staff, plucking from his former employers Pumpkin and Lacroix (Kearse has a mile-long resume of short stints at stellar restaurants, including Napa’s French Laundry and at Charlie Trotter’s and Alinea in Chicago).

From the outside renovations appear to be progressing smoothly. New, black fling-out windows are installed and lighting and the paint job look complete. A quick peek inside showed plenty of work to be done though, so hopefully late August isn’t too optimistic.

Kearse seems to think not, though. His Open Table site is up, which is a good sign even if their map is wrong.

Oops, that’s West Passyunk

Check out this incredible story about Kearse from May in City Paper.



Continue Reading

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