Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario
Two more restaurants, and a paint and wine bar brand have signed on to open their first outposts in the Philadelphia region at the King of Prussia Town Center, where current tenants are already reporting early success since their openings.
The King of Prussia Town Center, developed by Maryland-based JBG Cos., over the past year has become a retail destination in the Montgomery County area with stores like Ulta, Nordstrom Rack and REI.
The center — which was put up for sale recently — also created, in the suburbs, a dining destination with a ” downtown” quality to it. Restaurants that have called the center home over the past year include Philadelphia’s honeygrow, and national players like Fogo de Chao and Naf Naf Grill.
JBG Cos. said it has signed on three more food and beverage-focused tenants to open at the 263,423-square-foot development: MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company, Choolaah Indian BBQ and Muse Paintbar.
MidiCi is slated for an early May opening; Choolaah and Muse Paintbar have not shared a timeframe yet. It will be each brand’s first-to-market locations in the region.
MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is a California-based brand with locations throughout the country, including Arizona, Utah, Texas, Florida and Maryland.
The pizza brand — which will take up 3,477 square feet of space — specializes in Neapolitan pizzas baked in traditional, hand-made Italian wood-fired ovens using ingredients imported from Italy.
MidiCi will have its Neapolitan pizza ovens delivered this week. The Italian hand-built ovens, ranging from 7,200-8,020 pounds, will travel more than 6,300 miles from Naples to California, and then another 2,700 miles from California to King of Prussia this week, according to JBG Cos.
Choolaah Indian BBQ, a concept by Pittsburgh-based Wholesome International, puts a spin on the “sanja chulha,” or community oven experience. It will take up 4,289 square feet of space.
The Choolaah brand uses custom-made tandoor clay ovens that fast-cooks orders at 600 degrees to “juicy perfection,” according to the company. There are two locations, in Fairfax, Virginia, and Orange Village, Ohio.
New York-based Muse Paintbar is a paint and wine bar concept that offers step-by-step painting instruction with a restaurant and bar. There are at least 22 locations across the United States. The King of Prussia outpost will be 2,507 square feet.
Founded in 2012, Muse creates a different experience at the Town Center — one that isn’t food or retail focused. The company also offers the space for private functions including bachelorette parties.
The Muse brand also joins other paint-and-sip concepts that have seen the Philadelphia region as a place of growth. Houston-based Pinot’s Palette will open at least 10 locations, including a few by a former Philadelphia Eagles player.
A few of the restaurants that have already opened up in the Town Center say business has surpassed expectations in this new development.
B.good, the health-focused fast-casual restaurant concept that opened in August last year in 2,400 square feet of space, has served over 21,000 customers in less than three months, far exceeding the company’s initial projections.
“I’ve been very pleased with our introduction to King of Prussia,” said Deb Lutz, owner of four regional b.good locations. “Being the fourth tenant in the space, we weren’t sure what to expect, but the traffic has exceeded our expectations by more than 20 percent.”
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, a Latin-inspired concept that opened last September in 6,500 square of space, also reported its sales were above projections for the first quarter of operation.
Owner Andy Himmel attributed the performance to the region’s growth and the development and community response to the Town Center.
“While long-term success is the ultimate goal, I am confident that based on the continued growth and high volume of traffic to the restaurant, the King of Prussia location will be one of our most successful locations,” Himmel said.
The CEO of local healthy fast-casual concept honeygrow, which opened back in October in 2,400 square feet of space, said the location is also doing “better than anticipated.”
“With the continued growth of the project, both from a commercial and residential standpoint, we look forward to getting ready to meet anticipated demand,” Justin Rosenberg said.
The King of Prussia Town Center is one part of the Village at Valley Forge, a 130-acre master planned community overseen by Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Realen Properties.
JBG strategically chose the type of restaurants opening at the Town Center. The restaurants would help create “the downtown for Upper Merion,” similar to what Center City has become for Philadelphia.
“We identified early on that King of Prussia was in need of an experiential outdoor center that would serve as a community gathering place and worked hard to make this vision come to life,” said Tom Sebastian, senior vice president of development at JBG.
“As we continue to fill the center with high-quality tenants, introduce unique and exciting programming, and the 2,675 surrounding residential units begin to open, we expect to see a significant increase in the volume of pedestrian traffic,” Sebastian said.