The only thing the PLCB ever did right was to make liquor license applications so aggressively orange. They're hard to miss, especially when they pop up in the window of a long-vacant spot like Pat Bombino's at 9th and Catharine Streets. What did this official sign tell us? Not much, but the new owners Christopher Martino and Carmen Cappello were inside and came out to give us the scoop. They're getting ready to open the Wishing Well Public House which will be a gastropub, although like a lot of people, they are not especially fond of the word gastropub, so we'll just call it a bar with good food.
The license transfer process just started, so although they'd like to open before the new year, it all depends on the PLCB. They're doing some cosmetic work to the interior, including extending the bar about six feet and changing the bartop surface. Martino will be general manager while Cappello will be executive chef. He's worked under Perrier and Francesco Martorella and was a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, among other spots down South.
Cappello already has a menu up online - we're especially intrigued by the scrapple-topped "shame burger." Do you eat it after a walk of shame, or are you full of shame for eating a burger made with an egg, scrapple and American cheese? As for the bar, expect 10 to 12 craft beers on tap with five to six mainstays and a selection of five to six on rotation. Capello says he'd like to introduce some Southern microbrews like Terrapin and Highland to our fair MidAtlantic region.
The plan is to be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and eventually to open for brunch.
Wishing Well Public House, 767 S. 9th St., (215) 238-6555