UPDATED: Philly-born Chicago chef eyeing the Avenue


We chatted with Sam Sherman at PARC yesterday and he told us that he gave a tour of the Avenue with a chef from Chicago, but he wouldn’t cough up the details.

Lachman, via Eater Philly

Eater Philly, though, must have heard something similar because they went straight to the horse’s – er, chef’s — mouth. They said Chef Joncarl Lachman, owner of Home Bistro in Chicago, was here looking to open a Dutch restaurant, and he’s narrowed down the search to three properties.

“I’m down to Mémé, Fond, and I was looking at Zen-Nor, too,” Lachman told Eater Philly. “But, I have my heart set on the space on East Passyunk, but we will see how it works out.”

Tentatively called Winkel, the place would serve Northern European cooking, including bitterballen (fried meatballs), konijn in het zuur (rabbit and bacon dish in vinegar sauce), and snert (pea soup). Lachman told Eater that he plans to have lots of smoked fish and smørrebrød (a selection of toasted breads with spreads and proteins). Intriguing.

We’re waiting on Sherman to get back to us to confirm that it was the same person, but really, how many Philly-born Chicago chefs could there be looking to open a restaurant in the neighborhood?

Fond is leaving its tiny space at 1617 East Passyunk Avenue for a larger space with bar and liquor license across form the fountain at 11th and Tasker, which is owned by PARC. One slight con of Lachman’s proposal is that we were hoping the Fond folks would open a second restaurant in their old space, maybe something more casual. Lachman could set up shop somewhere else, right?


Just got an email back from Sherman, who told us that Lee Styer, owner of Fond, said they planned to continue leasing their current space and launch a new concept there once they move to the new corner location.

Turns out Lachman didn’t know Fond wasn’t available. Eater says Lachman “name-dropped” Fond’s space as a potential site before he got here, not knowing it wasn’t even available. He remains dedicated to finding a different spot in East Passyunk, though, and Styer confirmed that they’re keeping their old space when they move.

So that’s that.