Last night, on a humid, but not raining, Tuesday night, Avram Hornik and his Four Corners Hospitality team opened their brand new, designed-for-the-great-outdoors and Code Yellow-into-Green Mexican restaurant, Juno. Knowing what FCM Hospitality already had on their side of the restaurant-bar-night (and day) life ledger – Morgan’s Pier, Harper’s Garden, Rosy’s Taco Bar – this Spring Garden Street/Spring Arts area spot made sense, yet, managed to be a unique development for Hornik who – as he has done with all of his spaces – acted as Juno’s designer. “He spent every minute hearing, moving elements around – Avram is meticulous about design, as much as he is with Juno’s menu, drinks and its entertainment,” said Juno General Manager, Joshua Philips. That means a DJ at Juno (perfect for his across-the-street neighbors at Union Transfer who want a break from live punk rock), as well as fresh greenery, boldly colorful furnishings and a six-foot-long, LED sign reading ‘smile like you mean it.’
The woodsy but elegant outdoor space was “socially-distanced packed” (that’s my new patented phrase), with its 200 seats pared down to under 100 patrons, all happily munching all that Veracruz-born Chef Miguel Angel Hernandez Mota (known for his tacos, ceviches and nachos from Rosy’s in Rittenhouse) put before them.
Here, at Juno, Mota gets an “opportunity to shine” and show off his longtime classics and traditions of a Mexican meal, as well as put together new items (“I know fusion is not a bad word,” said Phillips with a laugh) touched by Mexican and American flare. ”The food might be slightly similar to what Mota does at Rosy’s, yet different in terms of the atmosphere they’re served in.
“Juno has been in the works for some time, and – due to factors beyond our control – we had to move our opening, from May 1 to now,” said Philips. “But Avram has pioneered the art of serving and entertaining guests outdoors for a number of years. When conditions began to permit that this summer, he jumped on that opportunity with his establish businesses first, then Juno moved to the forefront. We’re excited for the opportunity of taking care of guests, and helping everyone feel just a little bit more normal once again.”
Juno is located at 1033 Spring Garden Street, at the old Llama Tooth spot. Everything opens Friday, July 10, at 4 p.m.