CookNSolo hummus eatery Dizengoff to become full-service concept

Two Center City concepts to close for expansion of others, while Midtown Village beer garden becomes burger joint.

CookNSolo hummus eatery Dizengoff to become full-service concept

The Greater Philadelphia dining scene had a busy week, as several restaurants changed their focus and others were preparing to open. Michael Solomonov, Steve Cook and others announced their plans to close two of their Center City concepts to expand into other restaurants. Meanwhile, a beer garden located in Midtown Village rebranded itself as a burger restaurant offering one concoction at $700.

Gaucho's Prime, a Brazilian steakhouse in the suburbs near King of Prussia Mall, is targeting a June 8, 2008 opening of the more than 10,000 square-foot space.

What you should know about:

CookNSolo to close Abe Fisher and expand Merkaz, Dizengoff and Goldie

CookNSolo is the restaurant group founded by Michael Solomonov & Steve Cook. It has closed two of its Center City concepts - Abe Fisher & Merkaz - in order to expand Dizengoff & Goldie.

The restaurant group has announced that Abe Fisher will close in July. The adjacent hummus concept Dizengoff located at 1625 Sansom St. will expand into the vacant space and reopen in the fall.

The expansion will turn Dizengoff into a full service restaurant, offering lunch and dinner. The restaurant will feature a multi-window façade and can seat up to 85 people including 10 at the counter.

The restaurant will have a semi private dining room as well as an extended patio.

Dizengoff will offer its signature hummus with pita bread, pita sandwiches, mezze, crispy falafel-battered fish, cabbage, and amba & za'atar roasted chicken.

CookNSolo stated in the press release that 'after a run of nearly nine years, Abe Fisher -- which pays tribute to tradition, while embracing the notion that cuisine is always evolving -- will continue on another day, in another way.'

The restaurant group refused to comment on the changes.

CookNSolo has other plans as well. The group also plans to convert another of its concepts, Israeli Street Food Restaurant Merkaz, in the late summer into its fifth falafel shop Goldie. Merkaz at 1218 Sansom St. will close on Friday, June 4.

Dizengoff's lunch menu will feature the restaurant's best-selling dishes such as the Lamb Pita.

CookNSolo, the group that owns Federal Donuts, fried chicken chain Federal Donuts, and other Philadelphia favorites like Laser Wolf and Zahav, is also behind CookNSolo.

Drury Beer Garden becomes a burger joint

Midtown Village’s Drury Beer Garden rebranded itself as a Burger Joint and has added a $700 burger to its menu.

DBG, the concept that was once located at 1311 Sansom St. and is now called DBG, offers more than 15 signature hamburgers starting at $2.95. The highest priced burger is $700. Gold Standard Burger is the most expensive burger, with 8 ounces Japanese A5 ribeye wagyu and Wexford aged Irish cheese. It also includes Italian caviar, Italian truffle, Italian black truffles, and lobster meat flambeed in Louis XIII Cognac. The bottle retails at nearly $5,000. The burger comes on a Wildflour Bakery brioche bun and is covered with gold leaf. The burger is served with fries drizzled in 1500+ MGO Manuka Honey. This rare honey, which comes from New Zealand Maunka trees, retails at hundreds of dollars.

There are also more affordable options, such as the $2.95 Happy Hour Smash Burger and burgers, like the Classic. This burger is made of McCadam cheese, shredded lettuce tomato, pickles, and a special sauce, all on a seeded roll. DBG offers a tongue-in cheek Whiz Wit made with shaved beef ribeye, onions sauteed and Cooper American House whiz, all on a pretzel bun.

The outdoor beer garden of the concept will remain. However, it now has new features such as a 60-foot wall mural, upgraded seating, and a new bar.

DBG is owned and operated by George Tsiouris, Vasiliki Tsiouris Balis (who also own Craftsman Row Saloon located at 112 S. 8th St.).

George Tsiouris stated that "burgers are one the most popular food items in the world." We are thrilled to offer our guests a variety of creative, delicious and innovative options through our new menu concept.

The new DBG hours are: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 4 p.m. - 1 a.m.; Saturday, noon - 2 a.m.; and Sunday, noon -10 p.m.

Quick bites

Central Pizza at 335 E. Girard Ave., Fishtown is permanently closing. Cosmic Cafe and Cosmic foundation have opened Waterworks Cider and Beer Garden on the Schuylkill River. The beer garden is located at 1 Boathouse Row at the Old Mill House. It will feature a number of local food trucks and craft brewers including Forte's Fresh Burger Shop and Jamaican Ds. The beer garden is open on Thursdays and Fridays between 4 pm and 10 pm, Saturdays noon to 10pm and Sundays noon to 9pm.

If you missed it

Next month, the long-awaited Brazilian Steakhouse Gaucho's Prime will open at 220 N. Gulph Road King of Prussia. Anderson Winck hopes to have the restaurant open on June 8, which includes tableside service, a prix fixe menu and tableside service. Palmer Distilling Co. signed a lease for a new production facility located at 220 Krams Ave., Manayunk. The Liberty Gin distillery moved from its old space, just over a half-mile away, in November, and put Liberty Gin production on hold. Walter Palmer, the founder and distiller of the company, said that the company has already moved into the new space. It plans to resume production next week so the product can be shipped to distributors in early June.