Super Restaurateur Stephen Starr Has Big Plans For 2011, Including Four New Restaurant Projects In Philadelphia… And Those Are Only The Ones We Know About

Dandelion, Starr's newest Philly restaurant, opened on New Year's Eve. (Photo courtesy SRO)

Philadelphia’s acclaimed restaurateur Stephen Starr closed out 2010 by opening his 15th Philadelphia restaurant, The Dandelion, on New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year.

And he’s showing no signs of slowing down in the new year. In fact, if anything, it appears that he wants to go on an expansion tear.

Stephen Starr currently has plans to open at least four new restaurants in Philadelphia this year.

And those are only the ones that we currently know about. The Starr Restaurant Organization (SRO) is always cooking up new ideas and looking at potential opportunities for new concepts.

And on top of that, in an article in this week’s Crain’s New York, the new president of SRO said they would be opening at least two new restaurants in New York City in 2011, adding that “it’s been a number of years since the company has had a growth spurt like this one.”

It’s good to hear that the company is experiencing a growth spurt. SRO doesn’t simply churn out copies of the same old restaurant — rather, instead they’re always innovating and looking at what they can do that will be a new and fun addition to a neighborhood.

For example, the beer garden Starr is planning for Fishtown and the casual, New England-themed seafood restaurant he’s planning for North Broad Street are both completely new concepts to the Starr Restaurant universe. And we’re very excited for both of them.

So here’s a quick rundown with a little more information on what Starr has in the works for this year in Philadelphia.

Il Pittore, a new restaurant coming to the old Deux Cheminees space in Midtown Village: This spot, headed by Starr’s culinary director Chris Painter, is slated to open in spring 2011, serving authentic Italian fare.

A new, yet-to-be-named restaurant in the old Washington Square space: Starr is teaming up with with Aimee Olexy of Talula’s Table fame on this one. The garden setting and open dining room are sure to be complemented well with top-notch cuisine. Mid-April is the projected opening date.

• A German-style beer garden in Fishtown: A 10,000-square foot, mostly outdoor beer garden just off Frankford Avenue across from Johnny Brenda’s. It was originally scheduled to open in 2010. We’re now hearing that they are hoping to be open in time for summer 2011.

Route 6, a casual seafood restaurant on North Broad: Both Starr and Marc Vetri will each open a restaurant in a new development coming to North Broad Street. The working name for Starr’s project, Route 6, derives from the main road through Cape Cod. The restaurant will offer clambakes, lobster rolls, corn on the cob and pie. Awesome finishing touch: Outside there will be a spot for horseshoes.

As always, we know that wherever Starr does decide to go, we will follow.

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