Table Talk: A do-over at District in Riverton

District Riverton Bistro's Ken Merriman (front) and Dan Maher.
District Riverton Bistro's Ken Merriman (front) and Dan Maher. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 04, 2013

Developer Jim Brandenburger has called do-over (again) on his Riverton restaurant. After leasing it as Tara's Cafe and Frankie's Home Cooking, Brandenburger extensively renovated the space last year and brought in several Stephen Starr alums as partners/operators. District 611 looked smart but closed after six months.

For the new incarnation, called District Riverton Bistro (710 Broad St., Riverton, 856-499-2916,, two industry veterans, Ken Merriman (a hometown guy) and Dan Maher, both of whom operated the Philly bars Fado and Tir na Nog, are running the show. District is still a BYOB, but it has an additional pizza oven and what Brandenburger calls a larger, more accessible menu. It serves dinner daily.

What's new

Cognoscenti of soup dumplings and other Shanghai treats have flocked for five years to the dreary fluorescence of Dim Sum Garden, on 11th Street between Filbert and Arch. Now there's a more stylish option. Dim Sum Garden has opened a branch two blocks away at 1020 Race St. (215-873-0258). The 11th Street original is not going away, insists manager Sally Song. The new spot, open from lunch through late night (and also BYOB) has an expanded menu and a tea counter.

Dim Sum Garden, by the way, provides the Shanghai soup dumplings served at Jose Garces' Asian small-plater, Yuboka, at Revel in Atlantic City.

What's coming

This month's openings include:

Howl at the Moon, the dueling-piano bar chain replacing a Buca di Beppo at 258 S. 15th St: opens Thursday; see more info in next week's column.

A branch of Spice Kitchen, 758 Allentown Rd., Lansdale: Oct. 5.

A branch of HipCityVeg at 214 S. 40th St.: Oct. 8.

Shake Shack locations at 32d and Chestnut Streets (Oct. 11) and on Mall Boulevard in King of Prussi (late October).

Black Powder Tavern, replacing Winberie's on Valley Forge Road near Chesterbrook in Wayne: Oct. 17.

A branch of Di Bruno's, at Ninth and Sansom Streets: late October.

Nomad Roman, a Roman-style pizzeria spin-off of Nomad at 1305 Locust St.: mid- to late-October.

Royal Cracovia, the $3.5 million European bistro that will replace Magnolia Diner in Magnolia, Camden County: Oct. 25.

The Good King Tavern, a French-themed bar, at 614 S. Seventh St. (the former Chick's Social): late October.

A branch of Stella Rossa, at 10th and Walnut Streets: late October.

Down the road, Rick Bayless, the Chicago-based Mexican chef and cookbook author, will open a so-far-unnamed cafe specializing in tortas in late winter at Penn's ARCH building at 36th Street and Locust Walk, now under renovations.

Briefly noted

The Brewerytown location of Mugshots Coffee has closed.



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