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Center City to get a case of the shakes and stir-fries with new self-serve restaurant

For those of you who walk down 16th St. in Center City, you may have noticed a change. In fact, Philadelphia's only Pita Pit location is no longer at 16th and Sansom. Yet, the space is not expected to stay empty for long, as a self-serve stir-fry, shake, and salad eatery called Honeygrow is planning on opening its first location in early- to mid-spring.

Honeygrow promises to be a unique dining option in a neighborhood that's filled with diverse restaurants. Justin Rosenberg, who along with David Robkin is responsible for Honeygrow, gloats that his restaurant will offer unique homemade sauces for the stir-fries, including Smoked Oyster, Indonesian Barbeque, and Citrus Wasabi. Along with the sauces, stir-fries will come with a choice of wheat, soba, or gluten-free noodles. Rosenberg also promises "local produce as much as possible." The stir-fries will cost between $8-$10.

Another unique aspect to Honeygrow will be the self-serve ordering and payment. Just like Wawa has self-serve ordering kiosks, Rosenberg has a similar idea in mind. To go a step further, the kiosks will be smart enough to know repeat customers and what they've ordered in the past. Finally, payment will also be handled by machine, which will accept credit and debit cards. Rosenberg is currently unsure how many employees will be hired, although they might be limited with the self-service.

The name "Honeygrow" is another reflection of just how unique the restaurant aims to be. "(We) wanted a name never used and alludes to only one thing- our concept," clarifies Rosenberg. "'Honey' speaks to the warmth, simplicity, and sweeter side of our menu," while "grow" denotes how fulfilling the entrepreneur hopes his restaurant will be.

Rosenberg and Robkin hope to open additional locations in the next couple of years. When it comes to growth, "the sky is the limit," says an ambitious Rosenberg. He quickly adds that Honeygrow will be focusing on just the Philadelphia-area for the time-being. The entrepreneurs' love of the city is evident in that they decided to open their first location right in the middle of the city's Central Business District.

Honeygrow will feature 35 seats, and be designed by local firm DAS Architects. The interior will be bred from New York City eateries Momofuku and Chop't, with a design that Rosenberg describes as "expressive, modern rustic." At the same time, the co-owner promises that his business will have a simple design that caters to customers who are on-the-go.     

Source: Justin Rosenberg, Honeygrow
Writer: Andy Sharpe
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