One of the city's top restaurateurs Marc Vetri talks rebirth from the stoop of Vetri Cucina

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Marc Vetri has been one of the city's top restaurateurs for more than twenty years, and he's getting raw, and real about his recipe for recovery.

Vetri was a finalist for Outstanding Chef for this year's James Beard Awards, which he is no stranger to.

He has shared his emotions through this experience, from initial shock and sadness, to how he's re-imaging everything he worked his whole life for.

"It's a good view, It's a really good view from my stoop," said Vetri.

After speaking with Action News, Vetri discussed the day he temporarily closed the dining room, back in March.


"I really needed like the week to just mourn," said Vetri. " I was a wreck the whole week."

The stoop has long been a symbol of Vetri's signature restaurant Vetri Cucina, which he opened in 1998.

When asked if he ever imagined he'd be doing takeout there, Vetri said, "I would have been like, no way."

But Vetri couldn't stand the sight of that empty stoop, or closing Fiorella, his brand new pasta bar in Bella Vista, which opened on Valentine's Day.

"It was the most amazing month," he said. "Ah, that place."

Vetri started takeout at Fiorella right away.

"The response has been amazing," said Vetri. "The first week was sold out in like a minute."

A few weeks ago, Vetri added takeout at Vetri, which brought his regulars back to the stoop.

"They said, 'You have no idea how happy you're making us,'" Vetri said. "That just made me feel really amazing."

Anticipating new rules in dining rooms, Vetri is already moving tables around inside his restaurant to make space.

"I had to go from, 'Woe is me' and 'This is awful' to 'Hey man, this is like a rebirth.'"

As the city comes alive again, Vetri says he will be soaking it all in from the stoop. "I'll be out here every day watching."

Vetri also says he's considering live virtual cooking classes and other new ways of doing things as he reinvents his businesses.
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