Developer Jim Brandenburger is confident he can bring a restaurant back to Riverton in the space recently vacated by District 611—just not the same one.
"I think the odds are very good that a restaurant like it will reopen (in that space)," he said Monday, a week after the founders of District 611 announced the Broad Street eatery would be closing its doors after six months in business.
According to Brandenburger, the restaurant struggled because it offered a "first-class" experience, which came with "first-class expenses," and the establishment simply wasn't doing enough business to sustain itself.
"The concept would have been really successful if we had had more daytime traffic," he said. "We couldn't survive on just Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
Brandenburger said he's currently reviewing his options, with an eye on reconcepting the restaurant, while keeping some of its key features—in particular the wood-fired pizza oven.
"I'd like to think that's going to be a focal point and a large part of the menu," he said, while noting that the menu would be different from District 611's.
"We'd like to reconcept (the restaurant) so it has a broader appeal," said Brandenburger.
He did not have a timetable for when the reconcepting/reopening might occur, but said he hoped to have a plan in place by the end of the week.
The original team behind District 611—which included Stephen Starr alumni Brian Baglin, Catherine Piotrowski and chef David Perini—will not be involved in the new restaurant, according to Brandenburger.
In a letter to customers on the restaurant's website, the owners indicated they were looking to reopen in a new location.
"As far as the District 611 concept goes, we are currently in search of a new location that will be more conducive to the large-scale operation that we’ve built," the statement reads. "We’re hoping to find a town that has that same community-minded vibe as Riverton, only with a high volume of potential customer traffic and the option to pursue a liquor license. We’ve begun looking into a few areas in the Greater Philadelphia region and are hoping that some additional options begin to surface once we announce our plans."