Closer to the road is Iron Abbey (215-956-0600), which with its stone walls and exposed ceiling beams has a medieval look. Eight TVs play mainly soccer. There are 24 beers on tap plus 200 in bottle, as well as barley wines and specialty drinks. Chef John DaSilva, an alum of Manayunk's Bella Trattoria and Sapphire and Center City's former Caffe Monticello, turns out a moderate-price, eclectic menu. It's open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Next door at naBraza (215-956-9600), chef Abilio Medeiros, who grew up in the south of Brazil, oversees the rodizio/churrascaira concept, which includes a large salad bar and has staff patrolling the dining room with meats and poultry on skewers to serve at the table. Portuguese and Spanish wines dominate the wine list, which includes 18 by the glass. Dinner is $29.95 on weekdays, $34.95 on weekends, free for ages 6 and under; the restaurant is open daily.
The Commonwealth is the name of a long-in-the-works project by Premiere Marketing Group's Justin Fine and Michael Steinberg and real estate developer Anthony Sembello at 1320 Chestnut St. They're calling it an intimate, refined cocktail and small-plate concept that will present an "adaptable social environment" combining "the welcoming nature of a boutique hotel lobby bar with the classic look and feel of a grand residence." As such, they emphasize, it will not be a lounge. Ryan Margolis, a Starr Restaurant alum who previously owned 707 restaurant, is consulting. Fall/winter opening is expected.
Avril - French for April - is the name of a 50-seat white-tablecloth BYOB being planned at 134 Bala Ave. in Bala Cynwyd by April Lisante, who spent 10-plus years as a reporter, food writer, and editor at the Philadelphia Daily News, and her husband, Christian Gatti. Food will be provincial southern French with a little northern Italian, including homemade pasta and bread plus flatbread from a pizza oven. Appetizers will be in the $8-to-$12 range, with entrees $22 to $32. They hope to open Aug. 1. Lisante met Gatti on assignment in 2003 for a hot-young-chefs feature. His background includes City Tavern (Concepts by Staib), White Dog Cafe, and Audrey Claire.
Jolly Weldon is saying late August for Jolly's Dueling Piano Bar - guess the concept - at 2006 Chestnut St. Weldon says he'll use the Dueling Pianos - Tony T. (Anthony Decarolis) and Wildman Joe (Joe Marchetti) - five nights a week.
Gilles and Carla Moret's Mimosa in East Goshen closed Sunday after five years.
The Rittenhouse Square lounge Strongbox, which opened at 2029 Walnut St. in March, is closed for regular business till Labor Day, says owner Brett Perloff, who cites "the annual exodus to the shore . . . the current economic state and our venue becoming more and more popular for private events."
Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or email@example.com. See real-time restaurant info at http://go.philly.com/insider.