News this afternoon of developer Eric Blumenfeld’s acquisition of the historic, and very derelict Divine Lorraine Hotel, a building that the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia has listed on its Endangered Properties List since 2010, has quickly devolved into something of a Mexican standoff between this town’s biggest restauranteurs. Well maybe not so much of a standoff, but Marc Vetri, Stephen Starr and Jose Garces all stand as possible contenders for an anchor restaurant that the North Broad Street developer has said he wants to build within the long-dormant hotel. But who will it be? Garces expressed interest back in August.
But the Insider’s saying today that Marc Vetri, whose Osteria and Alla Spina are both housed under Blumenfeld-owned roofs, has had conversations with the developer about a possible deal. But nothing’s been signed. Then there’s the curious case of Stephen Starr, who’s remained pretty quiet on the matter. But he too is a Blumenfeld tenant with Route 6. Naturally that puts his pony in this race, too. Exactly which restaurant titan takes the challenge remains a mystery for now. But no matter which one steps forward, the outcome is going to be huge.