Michael Klein: Scratch Speck; meet Raw at the Piazza

Tony Rim, in the new Raw. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer)
Tony Rim, in the new Raw. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 21, 2011

Hundreds of thousands of dollars went to develop Speck, a sleek space in the Piazza at Schmidt's in Northern Liberties that imploded in a clash of will and ego just before it opened.

And in walked restaurateur Tony Rim to lease it as Raw at the Piazza (1050 N. Hancock St., 215-351-5850).

Rim, who owns Raw Sushi & Sake Bar at 1225 Sansom St. and the Corner at 13th and Chancellor Streets (with another on the way at 1710 Sansom St.), says he's using only a fraction of Speck's never-used high-tech equipment. One industrial-size steamer didn't work, for example. Menu includes sushi/maki, robata, donburi, and yakitori dishes, and there's a huge bar list including an enviable selection of sake. Lunch starts shortly; for now, it's open for dinner and late night daily (till 11 p.m. Monday to Wednesdays, till 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday, and to 10 p.m. Sunday).

What's new

Inn Flight/Wingwalker Pub, once with five locations in the region, is down to one Wingwalker run by the Bales family, in Colmar. Last summer, the location across from Abington Memorial Hospital became Timber, a grill, under new ownership. Now the Feasterville location, under Scott Martin, is a family-friendly restaurant called Chow284 (284 E. Street Rd., Feasterville, 215-357-9988). Martin has targeted it for people seeking good, value-driven food (entrees under $14), plus 16 wines by the glass, and about 35 beer selections including eight drafts. Dine-in and take-out customers can order from the digital menu boards, though full service is offered.

Briefly noted

Fathom Seafood House has added two meat dishes, showing once again that an all-seafood menu just doesn't cut it in Philly. (Even the vaunted Striped Bass added a beef entree in its heyday.) Fathom's land side includes a lamb burger and marinated tri-tips (beef tips). Fathom also has discontinued Sunday brunch.

Rotisseur on 21st Street south of Chestnut, whose specialty is organic rotisserie chicken, has started weekday lunch. Among the specialties is that Viet hoagie known as banh mi, studded with chicken.

Shy of its 10th anniversary, Illuminare in Fairmount is closed. Owner Brian Augustine says he needed to take a leave to handle family health issues.

The SJ Hot Chefs - also known as the South Jersey Independent Restaurant Association, representing about 40 independent eateries - are winding down their fifth annual Farm to Fork Week. The specially priced farm-theme menus (www.sjhotchefs.com) run through Saturday.

Specials abound for University City Dining Days (www.universitycity.org) through July 28.


Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com. Follow his blog at http://www.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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