A Philadelphia chef with a local pasta pop-up and ties to popular Lebanese restaurant Suraya is opening an Italian American restaurant in Fishtown in 2023.
James Nardone will debut Elma at 431 E. Girard Ave. this spring. According to a social media post by MPN Realty, the commercial real estate firm that helped broker the deal, the concept is named after Nardone’s grandmother. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring Nardone’s handmade pasta and an Italian American inspired menu.
Nardone declined to comment on the restaurant’s opening or provide further details.
Elma is currently under construction, according to MPN. The property was previously home to Slice, a Trenton-style pizzeria with two existing locations in the Italian Market and Washington Township, New Jersey. Its Fishtown location opened in 2016 as the pizzeria’s fourth outpost and first one using organic ingredients.
When it opened as Slice, the space had about 450 square feet for a dining room and could seat up to 22 people inside and 10 customers outside.
Elma will join Kalaya Thai Kitchen and LMNO as some of Fishtown’s latest restaurants.
In addition to his work at his pop-up Nardone Pasta Co., Nardone has also served as a sous chef at Suraya.
Nardone Pasta Co. was named Best of Philly’s 2021 Best Pasta Pop-Up. In a post on Instagram, Nardone said goodbye to the brand but hinted at a few more pop-ups to come.
“I seriously feel major blessings and am privileged to be a part of the Philly culinary community,” Nardone said in the post.
MPN’s Alexandra Charen represented Nardone on the lease while colleague Joe Scarpone represented the landlord.