Celebrity Chef Jose Garces Reinvents His Bold GTC Concept at Cira Centre

Garces Trading Company’s origins date back to 2008, however, its newest incarnation is bigger and better than ever.
Celebrity Chef Jose Garces Reinvents His Bold GTC Concept at Cira Centre
Photo: Official
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Iron Chef winner and Philadelphia local, Chef Jose Garces, recently unveiled plans for the newest incarnation of his signature concept, Garces Trading Company (GTC), due to open this September at 2929 Arch Street in Cira Centre

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Essentially, CTG Cira Centre will bring together the various pieces of just about every GTC that came before – including a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery, grab-and-go offerings, wine shop, and marketplace – all housed in a 3,000+ square foot space with seating for 130 and a balcony executive dining room. What’s more, the Cira Centre outpost is just the first of what is meant to be numerous other locations that will be announced later this fall.

Although each GTC location will share some commonalities in menu and marketplace, so too will they have unique offerings. At Cira Centre, folks can expect to find a menu that emphasizes breakfast and lunch fare, such as ensaimadas (Spanish bagels), fresh Spanish pastries made in-house, and breakfast sandwiches and tacos. 

Meanwhile, the GTC Marketplace – operated in conjunction with Merchandise Food – will carry Garces’ signature lavender truffle honey, salsas, hummus, chocolate, coffee, spice blends, and more.

“Garces Trading Company is really special to me,” said Chef Jose Garces in a press release. “The concept is centered around an exchange of cultures that neighbors, friends, family members, coworkers and commuters can explore and connect over new dishes and flavors. Garces Trading Company is truly an outpost for foodies that incorporates discovery and connections – and I am excited to bring new life back to the GTC idea but in an all new way.”

Likewise, Jerry Sweeney, CEO and president of Brandywine Realty Trust – the company behind Cira Centre – explained, “We’re delighted to partner with Chef Garces and his team to bring the reimagined Garces Trading Company to Cira Centre. The variety of food, beverage, and dining offerings, combined with the brands’ proven ability to create environments that are distinct and inviting, is the perfect complement to the range of lifestyle experiences offered within University City and the Schuylkill Yards neighborhood. We are looking forward to GTC becoming the go-to place for employees and the community to gather and connect.” 

GTC began in 2008 as a humble marketplace and wine shop, followed by a restaurant that opened in Center City two years later. Unfortunately, that location closed in 2018 following a spate of financial troubles for Garces’ restaurant group. Two years later, undeterred by the COVID-19 and buoyed by the success of numerous other ventures, Garces resurrected GTC as an online marketplace and “ghost kitchen” that acted as a delivery dispatch hub for his restaurants and brands that were unable to provide in-person dining during the pandemic.

Speaking to Philadelphia Business Journal at the time, Chef Garces explained, “Just because indoor dining had caused a major impact on the city’s restaurants, we wanted to continue to bring our customers their favorite dishes and continue to operate as many brands as we could during this delicate time.”

Photo: Official

Drew Pittock

Drew Pittock is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, CA. He’s covered music, culture, and plant-based cuisine for various media outlets from Beijing to Tallinn and beyond. He currently lives in El Paso, TX with his wife and their cat.
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