Michael Schulson Plans New Speakeasy For Center City

Chef Schulson has a mysterious new speakeasy planned for South Broad Street.
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One of Philadelphia’s best known hometown chefs is currently planning an exciting new concept for Center City later this year.

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Chef Michael Schulson is currently one of the best known names in the Philadelphia culinary community. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Schulson has worked in iconic restaurants like Park Avenue Cafe, Peacock Alley, and Susanna Foo. In 2008 he launched his first restaurant, Izakaya, to great critical acclaim. Only a year later, Schulson opened up his second restaurant, Sampan, and quietly began building his culinary empire.

Today, Schulson is best known for bringing to life Philadelphia staples like Harp & Crown, Double Knot, Alpen Rose, Graffiti Bar, and Prunella. Most recently, Schulson revealed plans to open a new Jewish deli in a story that was covered by your intrepid reporters at What Now Philly. The new restaurant, Samuel’s Deli, is set to open in the next few weeks at 1523 Sansom Street.

Now, Schulson and his team are getting ready to plan an impressive array of brand new concepts planned for the second half of the year. On the heels of launching Samuel’s deli, Schulson has now revealed his intention to open a brand new speakeasy concept at 123 S. Broad Street. Speaking to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Schulson revealed that the as-yet unnamed cocktail bar will offer roughly 1,500 square feet of space, and is the third of four new concepts he has planned for Philadelphia this year. He has another restaurant planned for The Laurel Rittenhouse condo tower as well, but is not ready to share any further details.

Additionally, a job application on Culinary Agents lists a new project from the Schulson Collective called Pearl & Mary. The listing describes the concept as a raw bar that is scheduled to open at 114 South 13th Street, across the street from Prunella. However, Schulson has not shared any information regarding this concept yet, so the information is definitely subject to change.

Schulson told the Business Journal that it has been “a busy year” for him and his team, noting that the hospitality market has changed significantly since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Schulson believes that now that most of the extreme restrictions are “behind us… hopefully for good” it is now “time to move forward a bit.”

Additionally, the Schulson Collective has an ambitious new plan to bring some of Schulson’s most popular concepts to Wynwood Miami, including Double Knot, but you’ll have to visit our sister publication at What Now Miami to get the full scoop. For more information on all of Schulson’s upcoming new projects, you can follow the Schulson Collective on Instagram.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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