Aldo Lamberti and family unveil a complete overhaul and redesign of Positano Coast, located at 212 Walnut Street, in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia. One of Philadelphia’s award-winning Italian and seafood restaurants and the Old City staple has now been renovated from top to bottom inside, with a renovation that spanned an entire pandemic and an ocean away in partnership with a world-renowned designer and the custom materials from Italy. Positano Coast opened 2005 with a fully immersive experience that took diners on a journey through the streets of a vacation tour through the streets of Positano, Italy. In 2019, Lamberti brought back world-renowned designer Pietro Del Vaglio Studio to change the concept to that of a local looking out from an Italian Villa to the best of everyday life in Positano. The designer and Italian carpenters came to America in 2019 and returned to Italy to get to work when the pandemic then hit. The gorgeous custom woods, designs and art pieces left the shores of Italy over a year and a half ago and wouldn’t see the light of day in Old City until 2021.
The renovations then were placed on hold as travel restrictions prevented the work from moving forward and the custom wood-workers and designers from returning to the United States. Now, in 2022, Aldo Lamberti and his family are proud to introduce one of their most stunning and ambitious projects ever with the new Positano Coast. Everything inside was thoughtfully and strategically redone from top to bottom from new ceilings and floors, custom art pieces, colorful new Italian furniture, custom woodwork framing out the look and authentic feel of an Italian villa, decorative new lighting, Italian sculptures, new room configurations, and new exhibits that pay homage to some of the early signature art and tiles that Positano was known for – now framed and preserved. Positano Coast over the pandemic saw thousands of new patrons of all ages and backgrounds flock to the Old City staple for some of the best vibe, brunch and outdoor dining in the region.
The renovations take things to an all new level inside. For the outside, work will begin shortly on phase two for painting, building work and more. Positano Coast’s extensive and well-done outdoor decks and sideway cafes will also open in coming weeks, to complement the work inside. Along with the renovations and new designs, look for new spring dishes to start to appear this week for both dinner and brunch, along with anentirely new spring cocktail menu.
Aldo Lamberti and family originally opened at 2nd and Walnut with Pizza Blitz by Lamberti in 1991, which then became Lamberti’s Cucina in 1997. In 2005, Aldo and his family changed the name and concept for the final time and opened Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti.
For the new restaurant, the family tapped the creative talents of Pietro Del Vaglio Studio. Together, Aldo and Pietro would create a new immersive experience with five elements, including art, ground-breaking photography, unique interior design, Italian cuisine and, of course, wine and spirits.
As the 15th anniversary of Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti approached, Lamberti again reached out to Pietro for a refresh and update that expand on the idea of a vacation tour through Positano, Italy, but take it to a brand new level.
Pietro travelled to the United States from Italy in 2019, and brought with him Paolo Sesti and his woodworkers from MobilSesti of Pozzuoli. Together, they would design a new Positano Coast, take measurements and prepare for the major renovations. By late 2019 and into 2020, handmade wood designs, lighting and other elements were ordered and packed on a ship set sail for America. Those items would leave the shores of Italy and not see the light of day inside the actual restaurant until almost a year and a half later. Just as the final preparations to renovate began, the pandemic swept across the globe. The restaurant was forced to shut-down, and all work had to cease. The craftsman from Italy would be stuck in their country and not be able to return to Philadelphia until fall of 2021.
In the meantime, the Lamberti family focused on surviving the pandemic. Their story is one of reinvention and innovation. For Caffe Aldo, they got creative and expanded their elaborate outdoor dining space. They also were the first restaurant to employ thermal body technology to take body temperatures of guests as they walked through the front doors. They created a small marketplace at the front of the restaurant and they began to offer take-out and heat/serve packages. Over at Positano Coast, they built two stunning outdoor streeteries and they leveraged their already beautiful outdoor cafe and patio space. They created an oasis in the city with lush greens, blooming plants, Italian furniture, state of the art heating lamps, beer garden lighting and other embellishments. Positano also began to offer take out and heat/serve options. Aldo and family also opened Lamberti Pizza and Market, which blended together the family’s vision for a fast casual pizza place with a unique and quality grab and go marketplace.
As travel and other restrictions began to lift, the time had come for renovations to get back on track in fall of 2021. The craftsman and carpenters from Italy would get clearance to return to the United States, and renovations would continue through the present day. Interior renovations are approximately 95% complete, and work will soon begin on the outdoor space with new paint, new signage and a new logo. Come spring, 2nd and Walnut will again transport guests to the Amalfi Coast, but in new and different ways.
The original idea for Positano Coast was to bring guests on a vacation tour of Italy with décor, pictures and artwork that paired with the food and drink menus. For the new design, Pietro built upon his original idea but he has changed up the vantage point from the internal to the external, with a play on the idea of someone looking from their villa out to the streets of Positano.
Look for warmer tones, beautiful wood designs, gorgeous chandeliers, colorful new furniture, new wallpaper and tilework, new photography and artwork, the addition of sculptures, new floors, a new entrance lounge, and other exciting changes. The colors of the chairs were chosen for a different aspect to represent the fruits and colors of the Positano region. The black and white photos of Ravello are vintage to create a sense of nostalgia that someone brings with them after a vacation. Interior design went through a minimalist period, and now after the pandemic, things have changed from chromatic rigidity to color, rightness and more form. Some classic tiles were kept and set in glass as a reminder of Positano Coast’s storied history. New tiles were chosen (handmade in Vietri) and designed in a more contemporary fashion. The addition of new chandeliers would bring a vintage 1950s vibe but with contemporary materials. Stay tuned for a full rundown of details and design notes in the final press release, coming the week of the event.
According to Pietro, the design was created from a different point of view, from the internal to the external. It is like someone in a villa in Positano looking out. An example of such a villa would be Villa Cimbroni in Ravello (where the ideas of the statues came from). Warmer materials were added, like the wood paneling (reminds one of the wooden beams in a house), wallpaper, and the black and white photos – that give a sense of a dining rooms of Mediterranean houses The colors of the chairs were chosen for a different aspect to represent the fruits and colors of the positano region (the chairs and tables are also Italian). The chairs are reminiscent of grapes, lemons, colors of typical fruits that are edible. The black and white photos are vintage and create a sense of nostalgia that someone brings with them after a vacation – a memory that eventually starts to fade – becomes a long lost memory. The photos displayed are vintage photos of Ravello. The re-design is definitely warmer in tone and creates a bit of a more intimate vibe in the restaurant.
* 9,400 square feet in total
* Sit down events inside can be 250 people
* Standing room/buy out inside up to 300-325
* Square footage by room:
Meridiana Room = 815 sq ft
Sirenuse: 430 sq ft
Sopra room: 1150 sq ft
* Seat count by area -Sirenuse – 40 people, Positano Room 60 people, Meridiana – 60 people
Lounge – 50 people, Hallway – 16 people, Veranda – 30 people
* Square footage outside – and breakdown by sidewalk and each deck and seat count for each area
Dock street Deck – 2000 sq ft- 110 seats
Walnut Street Deck 900 sqft – 50 seats
* Any A/V for private events? We have a microphone and speaker available
NEW MENU ITEMS
Positano Coast is proud to introduce new spring dishes to time with their grand unveiling, including dishes like below (with others to come):
PERUVIAN SCALLOPS AU GRATIN 21
crab imperial, lemon butter
CHILLED LOBSTER 20
avocado, mango, mustard vinaigrette
potato dumplings, cream of zucchini, lemon zest
LOBSTER RAVIOLI 28
carrots, zucchini, squash, corn, lemon
GRILLED CALAMARI 18
frisée, tomato, lemon
PROSCIUTTO FLATBREAD 19
buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, pesto
CRISPY SKIN ORATA 27
carrots, leeks, caper berry-tomato vinaigrette
VEAL CHOP PARMIGIANA 46
fresh mozzarella, marinara
CHICKEN MILANESE 25
herb-crusted, frisée, arugula, tomatoes, lemon