STINA BYO BRINGS RESTAURANT WITH A SOCIAL MISSION TO SOUTH PHILADELPHIA’S NEWBOLD AND WEST PASSYUNK NEIGHBORHOODS

Executive Chef Bobby Saritsoglou and Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou create labor of love
Stina set to open doors this Friday, May 31st at 5:00pm at 1705 Snyder Avenue

Executive Chef Bobby Saritsoglou and Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou announced the grand opening of Stina at 1705 Snyder Avenue this Friday, May 31st at 5:00pm. Nestled in between Newbold and West Passyunk neighborhoods, Stina will bring great food and great causes together as it aims to be a restaurant with a social mission. Stina, named by Chef after the love of his life Christina, will be a passion project that celebrates his passion for cooking and food, and her life-long work of helping others. In the kitchen, look for a tasting tour of the Mediterranean, with small plates, salads, sandwiches, home-made pastas and wood-fired pizzas. In the dining room, look for 24 seats for dining, or space for up to 50 for special events. While they dine, guests can enjoy an Instagram ready, highly curated collection of vintage photos, paintings, mirrors, frames, doors, window panels and tchotchkes that took 10+ years to collect. Opening hours are this Friday and Saturday, from 5:00pm to 11:00pm. Regular hours starting next week will include lunch and dinner service, Tuesday through Thursday, from 11:00am to 10:00pm, and Friday and Saturday, from 11:00am to 11:00pm. Lunch service will feature slices at the counter, and dinner service features full pies. Down the road, Stina will explore opening additional days of the week and brunch service. Stina will give back to the community each month by donating a portion of daily sales to local charities, plus host a monthly fundraising night for the charity of the month. For reservations and more information, visit Stina on Resy or call 215-337-3455. Watch for delivery to begin later in June.

“Stina is my love letter to my wife, and is our celebration of food and community,” said Chef Saritsoglou. “This is my first restaurant on my own – and Stina is also our first time working together. We spent years designing a restaurant concept that brings together our core values. This isn’t just a business, but it is an extension of our home and our life. We can’t wait to play host for the first time when we open this week – and invite you all inside.”

Stina, a casual BYO with 900 square foot of interior space, will operate with two guiding principles. First, Stina will offer delicious brick oven pizza and Mediterranean fare made from the finest and freshest locally sourced produce at an affordable price. Second, Stina will aim to serve the surrounding community beyond the bounds of the restaurant.  As residents of Newbold for over a decade, the husband and wife duo plan to donate a portion of its sales on a monthly basis to many local charities, community projects and school programs.

“We want to serve good food and at the same time serve the local community around us – this is important to who we are and our beliefs – and the two go hand in hand,” said Saritsoglou.

FROM THE KITCHEN

For the menu, Chef found inspiration from the countries and cuisines of the Mediterranean. Look for wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta, salads, sandwiches, small plates, desserts, house-made breads, desserts and many vegetable offerings. While the menu will feature Chef’s version of familiar favorites, look for him to push the boundaries and elevate the casual cuisine through local sourcing, seasonal selections and inventive rotating specials.

At the centerpiece of the open-facing kitchen, look for a 4,000 lb. Morello Forni wood-fired oven, shipped directly from Genoa, Italy. The oven was so large the front of the facade was removed for the installation. Chef labored for more than a year in picking the oven just to ensure it was an exact match for his vision in the kitchen. When fully fired up, the oven can cook a pizza in two minutes at 700 degrees.

Chef added, “The wood-fired oven will be the heart of our operation, from pizza to bread to roasted meats and vegetables all gently kissed by smoke. This will be our only cooking implement so it will be our work horse.”

When asked what sets Stina apart from a standard corner pizzeria, Chef replied, “While we have delicious wood-fired pies, we are a full service kitchen creating pasta, breads, small plates and dishes from scratch. Slices will available only for lunch. Nightly dinner service will be an experience that includes fully composed dishes from my team and exceptional hospitality against the beautiful backdrop Christina created.”

Chef added, “Stop by for a casual lunch with your co-workers and enjoy a slice and a sandwich, or come by for a full dinner with your date or family. Either way, we want everyone to feel comfortable and be welcome.”

For the complete menu, visit www.stinapizzeria.com or download Resy.com.

HOSPITALITY

Christina and Bobby live a few blocks away and they designed the restaurant to be a home away from home for themselves. The dining room and its unique interior is also a way for the couple to invite Philadelphia into their “home” and to experience a slice of their world.

COMMUNITY HUB AND GIVING BACK

Stina will bring to the neighborhood fresh, hand-made food at an affordable price. Each month, a portion of sales will be directly given back to the neighborhood, plus Stina will host monthly charity nights. The couple will also be good stewards of the up-and-coming block through planting trees and flowers, keeping the sidewalks clean, and having a presence in a long abandoned space being brought back to life.

Neighborhood groups can use the space on Mondays and available mornings and afternoons- give neighborhood groups a home to meet – as well as space for meetings and events before/after lunch.

VIBE AND DESIGN

Stina features layout design by Landmark Architecture, with interior design  presented by Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou.

Stina’s dining room features a casual eclectic vibe that is an extension of their personal on- the-fringe style in their home’s living room and kitchen. Together, the couple has been sourcing from local flea markets, thrift stores and vintage shops for hidden gems that will give Stina its unique flair. While the restaurant is definitely ready for Instagram, the interior elements are both big and small, and are highly curated to tell unique story threads throughout.

The largest design elements are the base of the dining room, created from 25 reclaimed and repurposed doors, along with 15 window and window panes. Chef had a vision over ten years ago with a dining room created out of doors, and he has been collecting them ever since. In fact, he has several he hasn’t used that will be potentially worked into the interior over the years.

Gracing the high walls up to the tall ceilings, look for a collection of hundreds of photos, frames, paintings, conversation pieces and tchotchkes. Kallas-Saritsoglous collected some items going back over the decades, with others coming from an extensive search that started two years ago. Some pieces were in rough shape and she gave them new life as part of various installations inside, and others can trace back to her own walls at home.

“Walls are like canvas for me,” she said. “I’ve spent my entire life curating collections of vintage and thrift items. I’ve spent a majority of my life inside Philly AIDS Thrift where I daily find the joy and beauty in discarded and donated objects. This is my biggest piece of art and I’m proud to show off the story we created. I want people to have a unique, inspiring and challenging space for community and conversation. While people will remember the food, first and foremost, I want them to also remember the space and the fuller experience they are walking away with.”

For a look at the full collection of vintage and recycled items finding new life on the walls of Stina, here is a partial list – with more items to be added down the road. Take note of the fun, quirky and interesting goodies that are waiting to be discovered:

* Photos and framed art – 40
* Vintage and antiqued mirrors – 30
* Preserved butterflies – 13
* Additional gold and wooden frames – 11
* Vintage stars – 4
* Farm tools – 3
* Pizza paddles – 3
* Tambourines – 2
* Vintage freezer door – 1
* Bambi – 1
* Marionette – 1
* Circus clowns – 1
* Old fashioned school bell – 1
* Vintage telephone – 1
* Vintage clothes hanger – 1
* Mannequin – 1
* and a porcelain cupie doll

Special items of note include photos and mementos of trains from Reading and the PA Railroad, as Kallas-Saritsoglou grew up across from the railroad in Reading, PA.

BUILDING AND SPACE

Stina’s space was best known for decades as a local neighborhood candy shop. Most recently, the location was a cupcake shop and a clothing store.

Chef found the location when he was searching for a potential restaurant space. He was on his way home and noticed the vacant property. While it didn’t look like much in its former condition, Chef Bobby and Christina went back to visit and saw the potential of the space and the block. They not only saw the home of their new restaurant, but a centrally located space west of Broad where they could bring together neighbors over a shared love of food. The space was a win-win on all fronts. They secured the lease in August of 2017 and began work on the building in September 2017.

“The space needed a lot of TLC. However, we fell in love with it and its potential – plus it is so close to home. It is a unique size and shape – and the layout is just what we were looking for. The sidewalk is a good size and our imaginations went wild. We met the neighboring businesses, and it all just felt right,” said Chef. “The block Stina is on looks like a Main Street on the verge of coming back to its prime. There is a lot of stores but not many places to eat around West Passyunk. The restaurants and brewing companies are moving in and we want to be part of that energy. It also is on the fringe, which we love, and close enough to our favorite chefs and stores on Broad Street and East Passyunk.”

NEIGHBORHOOD

Stina is located on the edge of Newbold and West Passyunk – both up-and-coming food and drink neighborhoods located in South Philadelphia. The area surrounding the restaurant showcases diversity at its finest, with many different cultures melding together.

“What excites us about the neighborhood is the wonderful diversity that already exists, people from the Middle East, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Italy as well as our neighbors on either side of us from Asia and West Africa,” said Chef.  “Stina is in the middle of so much culture, neighborhood character and history. We are thrilled to join new and old businesses around us, like Miss Rachel’s Pantry, the International Gourmet Market, ARS Brewery, Cafe Naan, La Mula Terca, and Thirsty Souls, which have been life-giving to some of these forgotten blocks. We arfe excited to be part of this rebirth.”

OPENING HOURS

Stina will formally open this Friday, May 31, 2019 at 5:00pm. Hours this weekend are Friday and Saturday, from 5:00pm to 11:00pm. Hours after opening weekend are Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00am to 10:00pm, and Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 11:00pm.

Stina will open next week for lunch and dinner service, with take-out and dine-in. Delivery will begin through Caviar and other options staring in mid to late June. Look for delivery information, expanded hours, menu specials and more at Stina’s website.

Slices will only be available during lunch service. Dinner will feature full pies.

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