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Jam Bistro, the seasonal brunch, lunch, and dinner concept that has operated out of 21 Baltimore Ave for the past decade, is set to move its operations to the former UnWined space at 210 2nd St this April, according to co-owner Mark Hunker.
“The owner of the Atlantic Sands [Hotel], for the past three or four seasons – three seasons, four years – has told us that we’re going to need a new location because he’s going to build a hotel there,” Hunker tells What Now Philadelphia. “So we just kind of decided it was time to protect the Jam name and brand and move it ahead of time.”
As it happens, Jam’s current storefront won’t be torn down until the end of 2024 at the earliest. Nevertheless, Hunker and his business partner Jeff McCracken “didn’t want to wait,” instead opting not to renew their month-to-month lease in favor of getting “Jam ready for the season, and hopefully the next 10 years.”
Hunker says that fans of Jam Bistro can expect the same seafood-driven seasonal menus that they know and love, adding there won’t be any dramatic changes to the food program. What is new, however, is a rooftop terrace that will inspire “more beachy cocktails.”
As Hunker explains it, “Jam’s tried and true method will be the same, but we will adapt some things to the space.”
Aside from the terrace, the new restaurant has a larger kitchen and slightly more seating, which Hunker says will come in handy given the influx of remote workers who have flocked to the area since the start of the pandemic.
“Our shoulder seasons are very busy now, which is great,” says Hunker. “So we have viable year-round business and having a bigger indoor space will be great for us and our clients.”
It’s worth mentioning that there will be an operational gap of one or two weeks as the move takes place. However, come springtime, Jam will be fostering that same “Cheers [the TV show] at the beach” vibe it’s cultivated over the past 11 years.
“When we talk about Jam, we’re moving it to extend and expand our clients’ experience,” says Hunker. “And we want to be here – just like we were for the past 11 years – we want to be here for 11 more. And by moving it, it secures that for us. We can do it on our own terms, and build the Jam we want.”