May 27, 2020
Philadelphia chef and restaurateur Marc Vetri will soon open an Italian restaurant in Japan, aiming for a debut next month as Japan progresses in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
The new restaurant, Mr. Maurice's Italian, will be located on the third floor of the Ace Hotel in Kyoto and will include a rooftop bar and a wood-fired pizza oven. Both the hotel and restaurant are expected to open on June 11.
In an Instagram post, Vetri described the restaurant as a cross between his original concepts Osteria and Amis.
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Weird times out there so I feel very fortunate to have this amazing opportunity with @acehotelkyoto to bring some great Italian food to Japan!!! Opening June 11th Mr Maurice’s Italian @mrmauricesitalian will be a mix of tradition/regional Italian and American red sauce! Cross between my original restaurants Osteria and Amis! Gonna be really fun!
Vetri explained to Eater Philly that the restaurant's name was inspired by his maternal grandfather, Maurice Rotenberg, who owned an Italian spot in Center City in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Ace Hotel also will include restaurants from Portland chef Naomi Pomeroy and Los Angeles chef Wes Avila.
Vetri has been named a 2020 finalist for the national James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. His Philadelphia restaurants remain closed during the COVID-19 crisis, but Vetri Cucina and Fiorella both are proving takeout service during the pandemic.
During the crisis, Vetri has been a vocal advocate for the #SavePhillyEats campaign, which raises money for local restaurants by offering unique experiences and gift cards to be redeemed at a later time.
"I think I speak for all local restaurateurs when I say we are grateful to be given an opportunity to generate revenue during this time," Vetri said. "The #SavePhillyEats resource is a great example of folks coming together in a crisis. The Philly restaurant scene we all love will survive this."