footer 1

Tag Archives | Sophia

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Townsend doing bar preview this weekend; full opening Thursday

You can get a little preview this weekend of the “wine-driven food” coming to Townsend, the eponymous restaurant from chef Townsend Wentz that is replacing the former Sophia’s at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave.


General manager Lauren Harris tells us that the preview will be tonight, Friday, April 25 from 5 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow noon to 10 p.m. They’ll be serving a small selection of their beverage program and bar food menu.

Full dinner service begins Thursday, May 1. Drink Philly got the list of what’s being offered this weekend, so you can check that out here.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading


What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Salt and Pepper will become Sophia; Mildred earns two bells

We told you back in September that Salt and Pepper would be closing and reopening with a new chef and concept. Construction began a couple weeks ago on the kitchen, and now Michael Klein of the The Insider blog got some details on that project.

Not long for this world

Klein reports that owner Joe Massara and new chef Christopher Lee – “who won four LaBan bells at Striped Bass, when Stephen Starr owned it” – plan to execute a two-phase plan to turn the restaurant at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave.

Phase one is the kitchen renovation, which is supposed to be ready between Dec. 22 and 27. In the new year, they’ll close again for about a month for a bigger renovation that includes windows that open onto Passyunk and a new bar.

In the meantime, Lee will experiment with the menu, which will be new American. The bar area will be casual and neighborhood-friendly, the upstairs dining room a bit more ambitious. The name will be Sophia. It’s not after anyone; between the sexy, ’40s and ’50s color palette and the choice of sexy art, they’re going for a feminine feel because, as Lee says, “we want to make a woman feel happy.”

Plans also include a rooftop chef’s table and a deck on a rear patio adjacent to Capogiro.

Rooftop bar? Fancy

Meanwhile, the Mildred got a mostly glowing, two-bell review from Craig Laban. Check it out here

Continue Reading



What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Salt and Pepper is getting started on renovations

Salt and Pepper, the American bistro at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave., has closed for a reboot that we told you about in September.

According to our source (the outgoing voicemail message, not exactly Deep Throat):

“We are currently undergoing some extensive renovations of the kitchen. Salt and Pepper will be closed for the next three to four weeks. We will be open for the holidays and look forward to seeing you soon.”

We can’t wait!

This is a pretty exciting development for the restaurant and the avenue. Incoming chef Christoper Lee, who was named the James Beard Rising Star chef in 2005, and owner Joe Massara are collaborating on a new concept for the space.

When we passed by yesterday to snap a photo, the architect on the renovations, Brian Newswanger of Atlantes Architects (no website right now, but he often partners with WASA in New York), said that they are only doing the kitchen now, but plan to completely rehab the facade in the spring, with swing-out windows and everything. Nice.

We’re not yet sure what the new concept will be, but we left a message with Massara, so hopefully he’ll get back to us soon. We’ll keep you posted.

Continue Reading


What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Salt & Pepper’s out, but it’s actually great news

Michael Klein at the Insider reports that chef Christoper Lee will join Salt & Pepper owner Joe Massara to collaborate on a new concept at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave. S&P hasn’t yet closed, but it will.

From Litter Box on Philly Speaks, right before they opened

From Klein’s post:

Right now, Lee told me, they’re in design phase and it’s unclear when the restaurant will close and then reopen. He said the concept is still being fleshed out but would be a neighborhood place with “great food, tasty drinks, and friendly service.

Lee was last in Philly at Stephen Starr’s incarnation of Striped Bass, where he got a four-bell review from Craig Laban in 2005, the same year the James Beard Foundation named Lee the Rising Star Chef of the Year. He decamped for New York in ’06 and earned two Michelin stars.

Joe Massara, via

All this effusive foodie-geek talk is a way of saying this is great news for East Passyunk. Combined with Chris Scarduzio’s move into the corner storefront where Artisan Boulanger is, plus the news that Chicago chef Joncarl Lachman was scouting for an EPA restaurant, this means we’re getting some real heavy hitters of the food world. That third valet stand can’t come soon enough.

To those who are mourning the loss of a neighborhood business: Sorry, but it was time for a change at S&P anyway. When it moved to Passyunk from Queen Village nearly two years ago, it was one of our favorite neighborhood spots – decent food, if not flashy, with moderate prices and healthy wine pours. Then they got dogged by lukewarm reviews, including a 1-bell kick in the gut from Craig Laban. Their response was to make everything more expensive – the menu got more creative but the food never got much better.

OK, enough with the griping. This is a good day. Here’s to success with the new venture, Joe.
Continue Reading


Copyright 2013 Passyunk Post | WordPress customized by Auspicious Consulting