Michael Klein: TableTalk

Bar Lucca , on the site of the old Totaro's in Conshohocken.
Bar Lucca , on the site of the old Totaro's in Conshohocken.
Posted: September 27, 2013

Totaro's, the blue-collar Conshohocken bar that enjoyed a solid food reputation, closed last year after a half-century. Drive past today, and you'll slam on the brakes because of the transformation.

Brian Pieri, who also owns StoneRose on the other side of town, dismantled the facade and much of the interior for Bar Lucca (729 E. Hector St., 610-825-2700), a roomy, two-story Italian bar-restaurant whose main bar sits just inside fling-open doors. It's named after Pieri's family's home in Tuscany.

Chef Will Langlois, a Distrito alumnus who also oversees StoneRose, executes a menu of pastas, salads, appetizer, and entrees (all under $20), plus pizzas from a hand-built, wood-only brick oven.

It's open from lunchtime through late night daily.

Lucky Well in Ambler

Chad Rosenthal, last seen as a contestant on Next Food Network Star, is a few days into the Lucky Well, a family-friendly American/BBQ bar/restaurant at 111 E. Butler Ave., Ambler (215-646-4242).

Rosenthal, who grew up nearby and briefly ran a branch of his former Rosey's BBQ shops in town, blew out the former Shanachie with a subway-tiled bar and attached lounge, with a casual dining room.

Chef Scott Morozin, a Culinary Institute of America grad, mans the Southern Pride smoker. They're doing the barbecue favorites plus Southern dishes. Dozens of brown liquors and 15 beers are on tap, including one custom brew from nearby Forest & Main brewpub.

Initial hours are 4:30 p.m. till late.

What's new

The city's second Joe Coffee opened at Drexel University's Chestnut Square (32d and Chestnut Streets). It's an offshoot of the New York chain. Besides pastries, the location serves soups, salads, and sandwiches from Talula's Daily. Chestnut Square also will see openings of Shake Shack, Zavino, coZara, and Yogorino.

Rittenhouse Tavern at the Art Alliance marks its last night Saturday. It will yield to Le Cheri, a classic French from Bibou's Pierre and Charlotte Calmels.

Briefly noted

Schmooze Deli closed after a year in the Baederwood Shopping Center space that for many years was Murray's Deli.

Pastry chef Fred Ortega and chef Chip Roman are in the candy business together. Tradestone Confections will be sold online and, come late October, in a storefront next door to Roman's restaurant Blackfish at 115 Fayette St. in Conshohocken.

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