Starr, Olexy setting sights on Fishtown

Future home of Stephen Starr-Aimee Olexy restaurant on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown.
Future home of Stephen Starr-Aimee Olexy restaurant on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. (MICHAEL KLEIN /
Posted: January 10, 2014

Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy, partners at Talula's Garden and Talula's Daily on Washington Square, are setting their next project in Fishtown.

They are taking over a former warehouse at 1526-30 Frankford Ave., a few blocks north of his Frankford Hall and Fette Sau. The name and concept are not final, though Starr said it will have a garden and should open in the spring.

Bagels, 'round here

The Philadelphia area has two new bagel shops opened by out-of-towners re-creating their hometown styles.

Haberdasher Norman Vosko, a Montreal native, just sold his Hugo Boss stores to open a genuine Montreal-style bagel shop, Mount Royal Bagel Co., in Marlton Crossing Shopping Center (101 Route 73 South, 856-334-8108). The wide-holed bagels, much lighter than other bagels, are bathed in honey and water before they reach the brick oven. The shop, which has comfy seating by a fireplace, sells sandwiches, salads, and coffee.

Steve Gherca, a native of the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, employs a hand-roller to shape his bagels at Brooklyn Bagels (1051 County Line Rd., Huntingdon Valley, 215-364-1347). The shop, unrelated to the local Brooklyn Bagels shops of yore, also sells store-made salads and - as the menu explains - heroes.

Closings and relocations

With all these new restaurants opening, something has to give. Gnocchi, which held down 613 E. Passyunk Ave., just off South Street, since 1997, closed in late December. It has resurfaced as MiaMare at 18 Tanner St., in Haddonfield, the former Melange. Salento, which Davide and Kathryn Faenza opened in 2007 at 2216 Walnut St., closed after New Year's Eve. Kathryn Faenza says their original BYOB - L'Angolo - is still going strong at 1415 Porter St. The Orchard, which chef Gary Trevisani took over more than five years ago, ended its run New Year's Day.

Briefly noted

The former steak house Union Trust at 717 Chestnut St., which closed in late 2012 in bankruptcy, is on the market for lease. Broker Jacob Cooper of Michael Salove Co. would not disclose the terms, but based on its size (14,000 square feet, with soaring ceilings) and its equipment, rent is probably about $30,000 a month, judging by market rates.

Metropolitan Bakery's Chestnut Hill retail shop will close after business Friday, after a 15-year run. A rep said the bakery will set up a stand at the Chestnut Hill Farmer's Market, which operates Thursday to Saturday. That start date has not been determined.

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