Yesterday I went by San Carlo and they were gutting the place for "renovation". The sign said "come back after renovation" or something like that and suggested diners go to Gnocci, their sister restaurant on Passyunk.
This surprised me.
The restuarant had a different menu and atmosphere than Gnocchi and I recommended it here a few months back UNTIL I had a terrible experience with an "attitude" problem. The restaurant was "non-smoking" except for "regular customers" and I stopped going and recommending it. They have a liquor license - though you could bring your own boittel weeknights. Gbocchi - to my knowledge - has no licence. So they are paying for a licence - and a supply of wine - while they are closed. I'm sure there's more to the story than I know but there seemed no reason to completely gut the interior and redocorate - and obviously raise prices if they do re-open. Anyone know more?
And then there are the other restaurants in the area.
This restaurant turnover in lower South St is becoming more active. NEXT opened and is nearly empty when I go by (have yet to see it full). The new testaurant on 3rd North of South St is also never busy - and I've yet to see a review. The Kalidoscope Cafe (3rd South of South) which stopped servince food a year ago, closed and did MAJOR renovation as a Caribeean Bar has yet to open (Liquor licence still being applied for). And the Pad Thai Restaurant on 2nd St below South is so large it always looks empty.
The standard like Judys and Overtures and Bridget Foys are continuing to be busy. I wonder how long the others will last.