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