Philly Restaurant News


The Palm at the Bellevue Has Closed

It is with a heavy heart that I report the Palm restaurant at the Bellevue has closed.

From Palm Website

I spoke with someone there today who confirmed the news telling me “we just didn’t make it.”

From Palm Website

This New York import was the tenth Palm to open nationwide and has since become a popular destination for diners including local celebrities, business people and locals. Located in the ornamented Bellevue Hotel building, the chic dining room walls are filled with portraits of local and national personalities.

From PBJ

The Palm restaurant at the Bellevue shut down a few years ago in 2016 to undergo a renovation after 27 years in operation. In the renovation they moved the bar from the entrance way and put it in the space of the original dining room, making the dining room smaller but with amble space to seat at least 130 people.

They also built a party room, where recently they hung caricatures of the Phillies Phanatic and Gritty as well as local sports players.

Even my mug is on the wall, right above my beloved Fox 29 family. (Honored even tho I look a little bit like Uncle Fester, maybe that’s my doppelganger.) BTW after they did my mug, the got a new artist with a little color.

My mug was in the original Palm restaurant as well. The Palm will be contacted folks in the coming weeks on what will be happening to your caricature. I have this one on my shelf, so I’m good. The staff was told this morning, and was in shock when I called. Right now they are calling their customers to tell them. There was even a big networking event happening there tonight, and they called them about an hour ago. They were also nice enough to tell me but I knew already. The networking event will be held at Capital Grille now.

About those caricatures, many were long time customers, notable, business people, families and couples. Interesting enough if a couple broke up they would remove them from their original spot and put them on opposite sides of the room, or a column in the case of this couple who resided next to Stu Bykofsky.

I’ll miss so much about the Palm, as it was one of my favorite spots to just jump into for a quick bite alone, or for dinner with the gang as did in January after going to Wonderspaces. I’ll miss the staff, the customers but most of you Chicken Parm, no one made Chicken Parm as good at The Palm. PS I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the rumored plans I mentioned the new owners of the building Nightingale Properties might have especially now that Nicole Miller, Tavern on Broad and nearly every food vendor in the food court has closed. Plus Tiffany’s is moving out of the building. In a blog post last year I mentioned that Nightingale would like the Bellevue to have a grand lobby similar to the original design, as as popular as the Ritz-Carlton fabulous lobby. We shall see. When is the lease up for Williams Sonoma? The Inquirer’s Michael Klein has more on the recent history of the Palm which might interest you.


Sneak Peek of Pod Hotel and Eateries

I had an opportunity to check out the public spaces of the newly opened Pod hotel at 31 S 19th Street.

The popular, economical micro hotel by Modus Hotels is in the midst of it’s soft opening, and they are already completely booked this week. What people are really excited about is the hotel’s food program which will be operated by Greg Root and Nick Kennedy, the team behind Fishtown’s Root and Suraya restaurants. The pair’s Defined Hospitality group also will run the hotel’s rooftop bar, which is to feature a retractable canopy.

The Lobby of the Pod Hotel, is expansive with tables and couches. The public space is spacious as the rooms are micro at 170 sq. feet or as Jacob Adelman at the Inquirer describe, about the size of two cars next to each other. (Source)

Adjacent to the lobby, with a view of 19th Street is an all-day cafe – El Cafe– centered around baked treats from Suraya pastry chef James Matty, and will feature coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters of Portland, Ore. When I was there last night people were already enjoying the lounge area.

The team that brought you R&D, Pizzeria Beddia and Suyraya are excited to bring you their next passion project, Condesa. Inspired by their trip to Mexico City and beyond Chef Nick Kennedy, Greg Root, Al Lucas with Natalie DiBattista (Project Manager at Defined Hospitality) are opening the full service restaurant around October 1, a Mexican inspired coffee bar (El Cafe) this week, and

an exciting all season rooftop Taqueria/bar (El Techo) in the heart of Center City Philadelphia shortly. The food will be inspired by all seven regions of Mexico as well as the beverage program which is being designed by Aaron Deary of R&D and Suraya fame. (They are hiring too)

Check out the retracting roof. The room was spacious, with lots of tables, nooks and crannies for all kinds of get togethers with friends, loved ones and future loved ones. The room has wrap around views of Center City, and when the roof is retracted the skyline is right there casting light on you. I can’t wait for it to open, I really liked the layout, can’t wait to try the food, and look forward to it’s late night loungy future.

The main entrance is on Ludlow Street. This leads directly to the restaurant and the Front Desk.

Welcome to Philly Pod. I loved you in NYC, and we’re so lucky to have you. It’s amazing what you have built on what seemed to be a tiny lick of land. The 11-story Pod Philly Hotel by Modus Hotels, which broke ground in April 2018 and is now opened in September 2019. Not only is it a hotel, but it’s a destination for us, in the Philly area.