Michael Klein: Vetri's gastropub to open Monday off N. Broad

Behind the bar at Alla Spina are co-owner Jeff Michaud (left) and chef Damon Menapace. Above is pig mascot Alex.
Behind the bar at Alla Spina are co-owner Jeff Michaud (left) and chef Damon Menapace. Above is pig mascot Alex. (MICHAEL KLEIN / philly.com)
Posted: February 23, 2012

Monday is the target opening of Alla Spina (1410 Mount Vernon St., 215-600-0017), the Italian gastropub from Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Jeff Benjamin. It's just a half-block from Osteria and next door to Stephen Starr's Route 6 and Joe Volpe's catering hall, Vie, at the old Wilkie showroom on North Broad.

Alla Spina - "from the tap" - has a wide-open, industrial atmosphere and two prize tables: one in the kitchen for eight to 12 people, and another on top of the beer fridge above the bar for six to eight.

Vetri hired a graffiti artist to give the walls an urban feel. (One idea he might have considered was to set out a few cans of spray paint and leave the doors unlocked one night during construction.) See the menu and more photos at www.philly.com/allaspina.

What's new

The former Fish (and Astral Plane) at 1708 Lombard St. is reflagged Brick American Eatery (267-639-9440). Chef/owner Mike Stollenwerk, who recently relocated Fish to 13th and Locust Streets, has installed Jolly Weldon (Jolly's, Mammoni) as operator. Brick is a homey neighborhood spot open for dinner/late night; brunch is on the way. Menu is at www.philly.com/brickeatery.

What's coming

A third West Ave Grille is on the way: Redwood Shopping Center on Route 232 in Southampton, the former City Kitchen. Opening is due in mid-March.

Chickie's & Pete's is taking over the J.B. Dawson's in Drexel Hill. June is the target.

Bonte, the wafflerie, has opened a third Philly location: 1910 Liacouras Walk on Temple's campus. Manager Kayur Popat owns Saxby's coffee locations, and is developing an Indian restaurant called Jalsa at 246 Market St. (Means fun and should be open within a month, he says.)

The second Philly location of European Republic, the Old City frite house, is up and frying at 602 South St.

The second Burger. Org, a sibling of the South Street storefront, has opened at 19th and Chestnut Streets, replacing Snow White.

The third location of the Montco Italian trattoria From the Boot is open at 1502 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, in the former Dolce Luna.

Briefly noted

The Saint James, a restaurant planned for Suburban Square in Ardmore, has applied for a liquor license, and one party has filed with the Liquor Control Board to oppose it: David Mantelmacher, owner of the nearby restaurant Plate. Mantelmacher said he had concerns about parking, not competition.

Neon specialist Len Davidson is refurbishing the sign for the long-gone Horn & Hardart's location in 30th Street Station. If you have a photo of it, contact him at 215-232-0478 or len@davidsonneon.com.

Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com or @phillyinsider on Twitter. Read much more on his blog, www.philly.com/insider, and follow him at www.philly.com/food.

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