7/24/2012 01:29:00 PM

Hot Scene: Chefs & Chains Flocking to Philly

Mike Santoro is one of several out of towners opening here
The Philadelphia food scene is hot right now, and we’re not talking about the 90-degree days. Chefs from around the country are flocking to our city, as are popular NYC gourmet micro-chains. Find out about a few of them below.

Michael Santoro
The new chef-driven restaurant closest to opening is The Mildred, going into the former James space at 8th and Christian in Bella Vista. Michael Santoro gained acclaim as chef de cuisine of D.C.’s Blue Duck Tavern, and is planning what he tells Grub Street is “a good, fun neighborhood spot with slamming foods, great beers and a really, really good wine list.” He is looking at an early September launch.

John Shields
John Shields has worked at Alinea and Charlie Trotter's, and recently left his stint running the kitchen at Town House in Chilhowie, VA. After it was reported he took up residence in nearby West Chester, the chef confirmed to Eater that he and wife Karen are planning their own venture in Philadelphia, featuring the same high-concept, seasonal American fare that gained the small Virginia bistro national recognition.

Joncarl Lachman
Original from Philly, Joncarl Lachman found his footing at Chicago’s HB Home Bistro, a BYO that he designed after the many sophisticated cafes here. He’s returned home, and tells Eater that a Dutch BYO, based on his heritage, is in the works for later this year.

NYC Transplants
Word on the street is that Steven Starr has worked out a deal with Williamsburg’s uber-popular BBQ joint Fette Sau to open a branch just beside beer garden Frankford Hall on Frankford Ave. We mentioned last week that Joe’s Coffee, one of Manhattan’s favorite Starbucks alternatives, has chosen Philly as its first expansion city. And Crumbs Bake Shop, which made moves to open a Rittenhouse location last year, is back in the running for the 18th Street spot after gaining zoning board approval, according to Philly.com.

Welcome all!

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