The restaurant space at 707 Chestnut St. that has been 707, Chifa, and Rosa Blanca in the recent past is seeing new life as Nico's, a diner-lounge open from morning till late night.
Veteran restaurateur Tim Bonnie – former owner of the late Johnny Mañana's East Falls – has assumed the remainder of Rosa Blanca's lease.
He's changed very little in Jose Garces' former space, keeping the aqua paint, round wire-enclosed ceiling fans, black-and-white tiles, curved counter, banquettes with their wooden shutters (adding jukeboxes), and the wrought-iron-framed booths in the back room.
Bonnie will use the small kitchen in the window for turn-out, as well as the huge kitchen in the back.
Nico's – named for his 20-year-old son – is very much a work in progress, as Bonnie explains.
In the early going, menu will be limited to breakfast sandwiches, omelets, French toast, pancakes, a roasted vegetable sandwich, a cheesesteak, and a burger.
Little by little, it will expand. Breakfast will run from 8 to 11 a.m. (and will be served all day), lunch will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dinner will run till 2 a.m. closing.
Bar list – still on the way – will include 12 beers, wines with an emphasis on Californians, and $5 cocktails.