-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Marlo and Jason Dilks, owners of SliCE and P’unk Burger, announce the grand opening of Nipotina at 2238 S. 21st Street on Thursday, April 13th at 9:00am. Nipotina, which means granddaughter in Italian, is an ode to Marlo’s grandmother and family – and their family’s take on famous Italian and South Philly sandwiches.
The extensive menu features nearly three dozen selections of delicious handhelds – including their version of cheesesteaks (both beef and chicken), chicken cutlets, meatball sandwiches, hoagies, Italian specialties and more. The menu features vegan offerings including a vegan cheesesteaks, vegan cutlets and vegan breakfast sandwiches. Sandwiches use bread from Liscio’s Italian Bakery – which is located near SliCE Washington Township. All sandwiches and handhelds can be made on gluten-free bread. Sides for pairing will include side salad, house made fried mozzarella, steak cut onion rings, tator tots, fried pickle chips and thin cut Idaho fries (sea salt and truffle oil).
Beverages will include an extensive collection of unique flavors and brands – with a focus on natural sugars. Look for Harney and Sons Butterfly Lemonade, Culture Pop Orange Mango Chili, Main Root varieties, Boylon’s, Hank’s, Minor Figures Coffee and Crosscut Coffee. Future offerings will include the addition of fresh juices, desserts and sweets, summertime treats and collaborations with local restaurants and purveyors. Nipotina will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, with hours Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00am to 7:00pm to start.
Grand opening festivities will run from Thursday, April 13th to Sunday, April 16th. On opening day, April 13th, the first 50 patrons will enjoy a free breakfast sandwich giveaway from 9:00am to 11:00am, first come first served. On Friday, Nipotina will offer free fries with the first 50 lunch and dinner orders, first come first served. On Saturday and Sunday, patrons will enjoy a free drink (excludes coffees) with any sandwich purchase.
“Nipotina is inspired by my childhood and growing up in South Philadelphia,” said Marlo. “I wanted to share my family’s story and present a menu inspired by the cooking from my Italian grandmothers. The smell, the flavor, the memories, the love in the kitchen each and every day. I wanted to return to those days with a menu and a vibe that everyone who comes in the door can feel like family.”
Nipotina is located just two blocks away from the street where Marlo grew up – and just blocks away from the grocery store and luncheonette her Dad operated as a child. For this new concept, Marlo not only wanted to open in the neighborhood that means so much to her, but she wanted to invest and be part of its future – so they have also purchased the building. Marlo also wanted to be near Passyunk Avenue where her family owns and has operated several businesses – including P’unk Burger and A Star is Born. Marlo’s mom still lives in the neighborhood – and is only a block away!
The idea for the new restaurant – from the design to the menus to the location – it is all a tribute to Marlo’s family – who go back decades in the Philadelphia restaurant scene. Sandwiches are made the way Marlo’s grandmother would have made them – with favorites from Marlo’s childhood mixed with new twists on Philadelphia favorites designed by Marlo and Jason, and as taste tested by their family that includes SEVEN aspiring foodie daughters that range from four years old to twenty-two years old.
For the space, look for 1,000 square feet inside the dining room and counter area with 125 square feet of space for outdoor dining. In total look for 20+ seats at two tops, a four top, a lunch bar and a large oversized community table for 6-8 guests. Outside, look for a unique area that seats casual barstool seating but facing out at the street so you can enjoy your sandwich casually while taking in the sidewalk scene around you – with more tables to be added later in springtime.
For vibes, look for a modern and clean aesthetic with throw back colors and warm woods – with touches of nostalgia throughout including family photos and artwork. As a blast from the past, Marlo proudly displays the Marlo’s Kitchen sign from her dad’s luncheonette from back in the day – and there are original signs from her Dad’s Italian Club. Club Little Louie was also located only two blocks away and locals in the neighborhood may recognize the vintage additions. All colors, woods, artwork were meant to produce a warm, comforting and welcome feeling as patrons walk in – making everyone feel like they are “home” and “family.”
For the menu vision, the Dilks want to offer old world classics with modern twists and surprises – including an extensive selection of South Philly inspired vegan offerings. Each sandwich is meant to bring patrons back to the old days in South Philly when Marlo grew up just blocks away. The focus is on authenticity – and being inspired by growing up with Italian grandmothers that were making meatballs and frying cutlets early in the morning.
She added, “Fried red peppers used to be the accompaniment to everything. Sharp provolone was the only cheese we had on a ‘roll’ sandwich. There are so many traditions and recipes that our family shared generation to generation. I miss those times and wanted to bring the memories back for my family and all of you. These are recipes I hope my seven daughters will be making for their kids years from now when I get to be that Italian grandmother.”
The menu of handhelds features about three dozen offerings with a focus on chicken cutlets, chicken and beer cheesesteaks, breakfast sandwiches, Italian specialties and hoagies, salads, vegan offerings, sides, drinks and deli meats. The original idea for Nipotina started with Marlo’s love of cutlets – and then the idea expanded from there.
She said, “I wanted to focus on cutlets and sandwiches the way I grew up eating them. Plus add some with a unique twist that I think are lacking in the area. This also let us share our family’s story in an even greater more in-depth way than P’unk and Slice and also let us get indulgent with these unique offerings – my own twist on some of the city’s most well known sandwiches – done our way. My favorite sandwich is The Nipotina – Chicken cutlet, fried Genoa salami, fried red peppers, chipotle mayo.- but there’s so many others that are right behind it.”
Dine-in is available inside and outside, along with pick-up and take-out. Delivery is offered through the Nipotina website or by calling, with a launch on major delivery apps later this spring. For more information and to place your order call 484-355-5410 or visit NipotinaPhilly.com. Follow on social media at @nipotinaphilly.