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Those of us who miss Zanzibar Blue, rejoice! Restaurateurs (and brothers) Robert and Benjamin Bynum are opening up a restaurant/bar/music venue that echoes the “all-in-one” concept of the closed Broad Street spot. But for this one, they’re heading north — and calling it South.
The new South, in the former Route 6 space at 600 N. Broad St., opens tomorrow with a “cheffed up” Southern-style menu from Louisiana native Paul Martin, moving over from the Bynums’ Heirloom; nightly chef’s counter seatings; a list of whiskeys 50 deep; and live music six nights a week in the 75-seat jazz parlor.
We talked to Robert Bynum about what we have to look forward to, and the misery of hunting for parking.
There’s so much happening around North Broad right now. Do you see South as a neighborhood spot?
We really see Fairmount as the northern edge of Center City, with all the other restaurants and developments that are happening in this part of town. It’s the final extension of the Avenue of the Arts North.
Will the three spaces at South — the bar, the restaurant, the jazz venue — be separate?
It’s most closely related to Zanibar Blue; it’s a natural continuation of what we were doing there, where all three aspects are in different locations. Some people will come in and have a drink at the bar, then go into the dining room and have a nice dinner, and then go over to the jazz parlor and have dessert or just enjoy the music. Or people will come in and just go to the bar, just come to hear music.
Who will be playing in the jazz parlor?
We’re bringing in national artists, similar to what we were doing at Zanzibar Blue. We’re doing music six nights a week, so we’re a true jazz venue committed to the music. And we’re committed to the local artists, too.
What can we expect from the menu?
We’re calling it new Southern cuisine. We’ve done soul food at Warmdaddy’s and Relish, but this isn’t soul food — it’s an upscale, more contemporary version of Southern food. Seasonality will be important to us. Fresh, farm-to-table items. We expect it to interest people who usually don’t like Southern cuisine because it’s heavy and somewhat unhealthy. This will be the type of food where you can enjoy those flavors, and also be able to eat it every night.
South sounds like a place you could easily make a whole night out of it.
That’s very much part of the concept. Instead of going out to dinner and then looking for a place to go afterwards to hear music, getting back in your car, finding another parking space, this is an opportunity to make a full night of it — without having to face the realities of finding a new parking space in Center City later in the night, when everything is taken because everyone is out, or paying for another parking garage.