Around Town

Fond Farewells, Friendly Hellos & A Focus On The Future: The Mid March Edition

Looking ahead to Vuori, new fast facials Glow Bar, a new Brazilian steakhouse that replaces the OTHER Brazilian steakhouse, plus more!

Welcome to our 2nd but not last feature where we do a quick roundup of who’s left us, what’s opened up, and what’s on the horizon in Rittenhouse plus Rittenhouse-adjacent areas.

In summary: 2024 started off with a bang with several retail store closings and a few openings. But that’s not deterring other retailers and restauranteurs who continue to see opportunity, and it’s DEFINITELY not turning off developers who are playing the long game with several multifamily developments underway, albeit slowly.

This edition is fortunately short on the farewells while the hellos are holding steady and long on the future – all good signs for our neighborhood.

Fond Farewells:

Chima | 📍1901 JFK Blvd

📸: Chima

In our opinion, this corner of JFK Blvd is an awkward area for a high-end Brazilian steakhouse restaurant, but chain restaurant Chima did okay judging by the one time we went to it when it was busy. Not sure if it did the crazy business Fogo de Chao on the other side of Broad sees every weekend, but it was a nice place and convenient-ish. And apparently, when one Brazilian steakhouse closes another rises in its stead (details further down).

Pink Elephant | 📍1500 Locust St

Craft Concepts took over the closed Blume Burger space to launch a series of Insta-friendly cocktail pop-ups and they’ve been a hit, judging by both the TikToks and the fact they followed up their holiday theme White Elephant with Pink Elephant for Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day. Alas, the pink season is over so RIP Pink Elephant and say welcome to Green Elephant (details further down).

Twenty Manning | 📍261 S 20th St

Everyone in the food world (we heard) was thrown off-guard when it was announced that Twenty Manning was going to be replaced by a new restaurant. They had one last restaurant week in January and have now closed their doors—more on its new occupant below.

Friendly Hellos:

Green Elephant |📍1500 Locust St

Like Brazilian Steakhouses, when one door closes another opens. In this case, the Pink Elephant has now (if you’re reading this in time) morphed into Green Elephant where you can get your luck on. And it’s doing SO WELL that Craft Concepts’ Teddy Sourias, the brains behind Uptown Beer Garden, Bru, and more, plans to continue the pop-up-themed cocktail fun for the foreseeable future. Thinking maybe Easter with pretty pastels will pop up next.

Jonesy’s Accessories📍1931 Chestnut St

There seems to be a trend of outside-of-Philly stores coming deep into Philly – Jonesy’s Accessories, a Chestnut Hill boutique has arrived on Chestnut Street and 19th. It’s a nice addition to that area of Chestnut Street which also has DFTI and – if you’re not on a budget – Joan Shepp.

Mr Rabbit📍2301 Spruce St

What was the empty British Imperial Cleaners is now a lovely and charming coffee shop, Mr Rabbit. First, there are not a lot of coffee shops that are as adorable as this one by the Fitler Square area, and second, it’s from the people behind Sally’s. It’s dog-friendly, WFH-friendly, and has good coffee plus pastries. What’s not to like?! Nothing, judging from the line to get in on its opening weekend and the challenge to find a seat. Luckily, they have outdoor seating – perfect for springtime.

Nabrasa |📍1901 JFK Blvd

📸: Nabrasa

Why fix something that’s not broke? Clearly, Chima did something right as Horsham-based Brazilian steakhouse Nabrasa slid smoothly into the space, keeping absolutely everything as far as the furniture, carpet, and decor so it seems, judging by the photo on their site. Their Horsham location has almost 3K reviews AND 4.5 stars so they must also be doing something right. So if you like meats on a stick Gaucho-style, definitely give Nabrasa a try.

Puttshack |📍1625 Chestnut St

Puttshack finally opened up in late February and had a water break the same day it officially opened. That’s a story for another day but if you’re seeking drinks and quick mini-golf games in a sexy space, this is the place to go. It makes the Chestnut Street side of Liberty Place much nicer to look at, compared to the retail spaces that occupied it in years prior. Like Spin, it turns into a 21-and-up space in the evenings.

Taste of Spain |📍104 S. 21st St

As we posted on Instagram everything at this Taste of Spain outlet (the original store is in Reading Terminal) looks stellar. Run by couple Vanesa Peredo and Alejandro Fernandez (The Inquirer has a nice profile on them) this location has seating – something that’s almost impossible to come by in Reading Terminal.

The Scaffolding @The Lanesborough |📍1601 Locust St

It was bad enough when nearby church St Marks had to undergo renovations that forced the removal of their lovely rose gardens on Locust Street. Now condo building The Lanesborough (we covered one of their insanely amazing condos available for sale) has scaffolding up, possibly making life less than stellar for that poor person working the newsstand on the corner, right outside the PATCO entrance. Among other things, of course.

Focus on the Future:

Architeqt Color Bar |📍1501 Walnut St, 5th Floor

We can’t remember the last time a salon opened up in the neighborhood so we’re really interested in this expansion from the Washington Square-based salon Architeqt, founded by Alexey Kats. Architeqt Color Bar is the brand new concept that promises a relaxing experience, truffle potato chips, and experienced colorists, some of whom will split time between the two locations or be permanently at the new spot.

Vuori |📍1625 Chestnut St

What goes well with yoga, pilates, gym, and an active lifestyle? Athleisure and Rittenhouse can’t get enough of it as direct-to-consumer brand Vuori comes to Walnut Street. Our latest photo shows that it’s now ready for the team to set up the displays and then move merchandise in. No word yet from them on a rough open date.

Glowbar |📍42 S 17th St

There’s something really special happening in Rittenhouse where brands that are resonating with people we’ll call “hip” (for lack of a better word) are now opening up brick-and-mortar. In this case, it’s Glowbar, the hot fast facial chain that’ll deliver a custom facial while you grab coffee at the Swedish Konditori next door. Or a sub from Jimmy John’s – RTO demands sustenance, after all.

Damo |📍100 S 21st St

Nestled between the Japanese donuts and boba tea place Mochi Ring Donut, and the new Spanish tapas place, Taste of Spain, will be Damo, the casual Italian pasta place. Or as we call it, the Chipotle of pasta where you can mix and match pasta to suit your style. If you want to check it out in advance you can find it in Washington Square West.

Little Water 📍261 S 20th St

Foodies were caught off-guard when Twenty Manning announced they were closing. What was also surprising was the fact a brand new coastal restaurant called Little Water was going to open in its place, from hip restauranteurs Randy and Amanda Rucker who own East Passyunk restaurant, River Twice. The hype is real and the foodies are primed, so expect a mad rush when they open their doors. But maybe we can get into My Loup then?

Levain Bakery |📍1518 Walnut St

A New York staple that’s been slowly expanding across the country, Levain Bakery’s lusciously huge cookies are now coming to Rittenhouse at the space formerly occupied by My.Suit. Swipe through to see the gorgeous space that it’ll occupy when it eventually (hopefully soon!) comes. Shoutout to the lovely Chris P for letting us know!

Taylor Chip |📍1809 Chestnut St

Speaking of cookies, we dropped the ball on following up with Taylor Chip, the Lancaster-based cookie store that was supposed to open last year. But life is busy when you make the Forbes Under 30 list and opening a store in Rittenhouse is challenging, to say the least, so kudos to them! The cookies are probably amazing and we can’t wait to sample them in person.

Tequilas |📍1602 Locust St

📷: Google Maps

Still waiting for Tequila’s, the only place you can find a rose margarita in the neighborhood, to come back to life, well over a year since it closed due to a bad fire.

Walnut Garden |📍1708 Walnut St

📷: Walnut Garden

Walnut Garden – the pop-up that transformed a desolate area on Walnut Street into a fun, outdoor place to hang and have drinks – said “see you next spring” so we’re going to hope the weather cooperates and they come back stat. Note that this is the future spot for a high-rise condo building but in the absence of permits, we’re going to assume it’ll be another year.

Know of anything else coming or in the works? Shoot us an email here so we can watch their progress together.