The Brothers Zaken have been planning and building a mini-hotel near South Street, on the corner of Fifth and Bainbridge, for almost a decade. Now, that the Zaken Realty Trust of Philadelphia’s boutique hotel is nearly finished at the old Paul & Sons paper company building, their high-ceilinged, brick heavy, first-floor looks as if it will start operating even sooner, as the Emmy Squared Pizza space is completed, doing hires and hosting tastings.
The Emmy Squared concept already has two locations in New York City and Brooklyn with a third to follow shortly on the Upper East Side, as well as two pizzeria sandwich shops in Nashville.
If the Philly Emmy Squared is anything like the Williamsburg one is, the focus will be on oversized sandwiches stuffed into a pretzel bun like its signature “Le Big Matt” hamburger with double-stack Pat Lafrieda grass-fed beef patties, American cheese, greens, pickles, Sammy Sauce and waffle fries, share plate items such as a Nashville Hot Chicken Wedge (with ‘Bama white sauce) and Japanese Eggplant Parm with Burrata and Calabrian chilies. And, of course, there’s its extensive pizza menu of which, I hear, the simple “Vodka” (Mozzarella, house-made vodka sauce, basil, pecorino) is a charmer. Plus, Emmy Squared specializes in a Digestif drink menu that includes Chateau Ksara Arak, Green Chartreuse, and Lustao Solera Sherry – exquisite for what looks like an elegant bar space toward the front of the corner property.
All of the menu items are under $25. No word as yet if there are Philly specialty items. Emmy Squared at 632 South 5th Street, opens this Friday, October, 11th.