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EPIC PHILLY FOOD NEWS (Bibou)

Bibou to open second (non-BYOB) spot in beautiful ex-Rittenhouse Tavern:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/th...

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  1. I really, really wish pierre and charlotte the best. They are wonderful, and bibou is one of my favorites. But I'm really concerned about this. They are competing with Parc? And why?

    And on top of that, Pierre seems to basically be leaving bibou...but isn't the reason that many regulars go back to bibou over and over the personal attention they get from P&C?

    They should take over the Artful Dodger, put big windows in. They would have a liquor license, be closer to the old spot, and be competing with *no one*.

    4 Replies
    1. re: alex1018

      It was inevitable that with success comes the desire to build on that success. We all do it in our own lives too. But naturally, we would all prefer that our favorite haunts never change, but change is inevitable.

      They will leave Bibou in capable hands. The few times I've been there when Pierre was away and Ron was in charge, I never noticed any diminution in quality. And we've already been living with a reduced presence from Charlotte due to family obligations (although she was there all evening when we were at Bibou Sunday).

      It sounds like Bibou will stay BYOB (they'd loose most of their regulars if that changed!), and the bigger space with a liquor license will obviously improve P&C's bottom line dramatically.

      Much the same same story as when Chip Roman expanded from Blackfish to Mica. Blackfish is as good as it ever was with Steve in the kitchen, but if you want the direct interaction with Chip you now have to go to Mica and pay for wine off the list (although he stops by Blackfish every day, and I'm sure Pierre will do the same at Bibou).

      [Or when Aimee left Talula's Table for the Garden, the former which had the additional challenge of serial chefs.]

      LOL, If I were Parc, I'd be the ones worried about competition, not the other way around. No desire to ever go there again, and I'm already planning for opening night at "Le Grande Bibou"!

      1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

        my point is just that it's an unnecessary, and huge, risk. I know bibou is in wonderful hands, but obviously there's a dropoff when a chef is no longer in the kitchen. not necessarily on a night-to-night basis, but certainly on a month-to-month one.

        I also know that bibdeux will have better food than parc, but parc is consistently very good, traditional bistro food, so it just seems unwise to try to compete with it from around the corner.

        conversely, society hill has *nothing* like that. society hill barely has a restaurant where you can go and relax for lunch on the weekend (except for stella).

        Again, i wish them well, i just hope that the monetary risk isn't too big, because there are a lot of things working against them.

        1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

          I wish them the best too. They are a lovely couple. I hope they don't suffer the same fate as their predecessor in the Bibou spot, David Ansill, when he went on to Ansill. Or Mike Stollenwerk when he opened Fish. I do understand the need, however, to open a place with a liquor license in order to make money. They have picked a good spot, and IMO Parc is no competition for them.

        2. re: alex1018

          The only thing that worries me about this is the Rittenhouse Tavern space itself. It's one of those places where it's hard to tell from the street that there's a restaurant in there, which isn't good for business. I think Bibou will do just fine with Ron in the kitchen, he's been there since day 1 and he's back there cooking while Pierre is in the dining room giving everyone the hospitality they've come to expect. Actually, I'm kind of excited to see what Ron can do when he's running the kitchen. I think there are plenty of diners to keep both Parc and Bib2 busy. I do think that the experience of going to their restaurant and having Pierre and/or Charlotte stop by your table and chat for a while may go away, but Charlotte's been spending a lot more time away from Bibou anyway now that they have 3 kids. We'll see about that. Anyway #2, the thing that keeps me coming back is the food, as long as they can keep that standard up in both places I'll probably be spending some time at both places.

        3. Nice! I wish them all the best.

          1. Wow! Great news. Beautiful spot and now it will have food to match. I remember that spot fondly from my son's rehearsal dinner, when it was Opus 251.

            1. Wow, that is big food news, and pretty exciting. I agree that the "personal touch" aspect of Bibou is one of the things I have loved about it--once Pierre even came chasing us outside as we were leaving because he hadn't had a chance to stop by our table, and we are hardly regulars--but I am very excited to see what he can do in a bigger place with (presumably) more resources. The space there is so beautiful. I look forward to checking it out.

              1. We love the Art Alliance space, the entry, the courtyard, the location on the Square. Add great food and there will be no need for a "flashing neon sign" proclaiming a restaurant within. Very exclusive establishments world wide often have very simple, obscure and discrete signage, if any at all.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bacchus101

                  I would say with this location and their well deserved reputation the risk is minimized and well worth the opportunity to move to a prime venue.

                2. According to LaBan, Bibadeux will be called "Le Chéri", to open in early November:

                  http://www.philly.com/philly/food/201...

                  1. Interesting stuff.
                    My tummy is already reacting.