There Will Never Be Another Spotted Pig Anywhere, But Especially Not in Philly

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Stephen Starr Photo: Patrick McMullan

If this were paper, rather than a glowing screen powered by the magical internet, you might see tearstains dotting this post. Why tearstains? Because we have to address yet another rumor about Stephen Starr opening up yet another restaurant and every time it makes us weep, since most of the time the rumors turn out to be bunk. What is it this time? The Piazza at Schmidts? East Passyunk Avenue? An Italian joint with Marc Vetri? Chicago? Boston? Mars?! This most recent one comes via a tipster from New York and it involves the acclaimed gastropub the Spotted Pig. And it's not true, according to Spotted Pig's owner Ken Friedman.

After receiving a tip on Friday that Starr and Friedman were meeting that very day to discuss opening a Spotted Pig at 18th and Sansom Streets, we called Ken Friedman, who responded with what sounded a lot like a snort of derision, saying while he is friendly with Starr, he would "never do another Spotted Pig and definitely not in Philadelphia." He also said, "I like Philadelphia, but isn't it kind of small?" Well, no, not really, but we get it. No Spotted Pig in the Sixth Borough.

Eater, responding to the same tip, seems to think Starr is opening a gastropub on the ground floor of 10 Rittenhouse, pointing to a Philly mag story about Starr signing a lease for an unnamed Rittenhouse location. The 10 Rittenhouse space is actually already leased to New York's Serafina.

There are two other potential spaces available in that area that have Starr gastropub written all over them - the former Stiletto store at 18th and Sansom and the extremely jinxed Mantra space just north of Stiletto on 18th Street. And a Starr gastropub will happen, no doubt, as he's been threatening to do one for years. Plus, we've heard heard word of Starr's development team making multiple visits to various successful gastropubs in Philly, soaking up the atmosphere in much the same way he soaked up other restaurateurs' pizza recipes when opening Stella.