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Sbraga to open The Fat Ham at KOP Mall

April 27, 2016

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Michael Klein

Restaurateur Kevin Sbraga has put ink to paper to open a branch of The Fat Ham, his Southern-style bar, in the new connector linking the Court and Plaza at the King of Prussia Mall.

The new Fat Ham, expected to open July amid a slew of other retail and chain-dining options, will be different from the University City original, which opened in late December 2013 at the Left Bank (3131 Walnut St.).

“It will be more refined but not more stuffy,” Sbraga said.

He and designer Ed Eimer are keeping an eye on the setting – the second-largest mall in the country, and in the suburbs, opposed to the edge of the Penn campus.

He says the new location, open mall hours, will have more of what he calls a “Charleston feel or refinement than the foothills of the Appalachians.”

“I couldn’t just pick it up and put it down next to Jimmy Choo and Hermès,” Sbraga said, adding that he learned a lot about contemporary Southern dining while opening Sbraga & Company, his restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla.

Also different will be the menu approach. He said the KoP menu would be about 40 percent the same as University City’s, but will include more salads and more vegetables. “Not as heavy,” he said.

One discovery is Georgia-grown olive oil, which he finds lighter than the Euro varieties.

His signature hot chicken and smoked pork and brisket sandwiches will be offered, as will takeout.

The design calls for 65-plus seats, a communal table, and a bar of 14 to 16 seats. Drink list will focus on bourbon, whiskey, and rye. Info about a transfer of the liquor license was first reported by the Times-Herald.

So far, new tenants announced for the connector include Shake Shack, Hai Street Kitchen & Co., Nicoletta Pizza, and the Melt Shop. I’m also hearing of a Jose Garces project. Pizzeria Vetri, meanwhile, will be opening in the mall, as parent company Urban Outfitters rejiggers its retail configuration.

In other Sbraga news, Ben Fileccia, the company’s director of operations, will leave at the end of June to join Reserve, the digital concierge service.