So Iron Chef Jose Garces has leased the long-dormant Old Original Bookbinder’s in Old City. What the hell’s he going to do with so much space (13,000 square feet!) — especially considering he’s scheduled to open Rosa Blanca at Seventh and Chestnut in November and Volver at the Kimmel Center in December? Though the deal isn’t finalized, I’ve heard scuttlebutt inside and outside Garces’ organization that the legendary Second and Walnut Bookbinder’s would be everything from a test kitchen and production facility to two different restaurants within the same building. My guesstimate is that Garces will take his knowledge of the hotel business (he’s aligned with The Saguaro Hotel of Scottsdale, Ariz.) and take over Bookbinder’s connected hotel space for a boutique lodging the likes of which Stephen Starr has discussed (but has yet to do) for ages. Hey, here’s another fun Garces rumor while we’re at it: Douglas Rodriguez — the man behind Miami’s De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean and the exec chef at Starr’s Alma de Cuba — is said to have had a major hand in designing the menu for Garces’ aforementioned Rosa Blanca. Doing stuff for Starr and Garces? Nice work if you can get it.
Scott Johnston, co-creator of Philly burlesque behemoth the Peek-A-Boo Revue, is a man of superlatives, but when he tells me this Friday’s Halloween mega-show at the Troc will be their finest yet, he’s onto something. “I’ll go out on a limb — two limbs — to say that this is the greatest show that we’ve ever brought to their stage,” says Johnston. I caught the Revue in rehearsal at Jeanne Ruddy’s dance studio earlier this week: He could be right.
Jazz drummer/bon vivant Bruce Klauber (can’t wait for his “Classics in Jazz” show at WRTZRadio.com), pianist Andy Kahn and bassist Bruce Kaminsky will unveil Prime Rib’s elegant new late-night lounge concept, the Leopard Room, this Saturday with a post-11 p.m. menu, no cover and a cocktail list that’ll knock the bow tie off your neck.
A different kind of lounge, the electro-heavy Lit UltraBar on North Second Street, is having a different kind of party. Kyber Bernstein is celebrating his first year owning the place, and his RAW Artists showcase there on Oct. 17 will involve a massive runway show with major help on the local-accessories lineup from BlckBts, one of Philly’s swankiest belts-and-bags designers. Then, on Oct. 24, Bernstein says Lit’s event with Dada Life is a guaranteed sellout.
Icepack gets illustrated at citypaper.net/nakedcity.