Hello, Milo

New vegetarian market and cafe planned for Spring 2018. 

Update 3/30/18:

First envisioned as an Italian cafe and urban market last year, Chef Craig has changed focus for his new restaurant to bring vegetarian/vegan food to the Falls. According to a recent Eater Philly article, Milo will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus takeaway items like sandwiches, tacos, noodle dishes, and salads featuring tempeh, seitan, tofu, and his own dairy-free nut-based cheese.

The new Conrad space will have room for 30+ seats and a display case of yummy grab ‘n go items. Weekend brunch is also on the schedule. Slated to open mid-April, stay tuned for reviews…

Meanwhile, follow Milo Restaurant for updates and check out the local buzz from neighbors on EF Rants.

TOP OF THE FALLS (JUNE 9th): this summer’s hottest ticket now features veggie/vegan bites by chef Craig! Paired beautifully with craft beers from Love City Brewing, with live entertainment and rooftop views from Falls Center. One very special, all inclusive night under the stars. Register here, while tix last.

Original article (10/25/2017):

So we’re having a little reshuffling of storefronts on East Falls’ 2nd business corridor. “Artist Haus” salon owner Mackenzie Day & her husband Tim purchased the Epicure Café building across the street when Tom & Arlene retired last summer. They hope to subdivide the floorplan, with the salon occupying about half the space towards Division Street. The other part with the sunny windows on Conrad? A French bistro has expressed interest, as well as a yoga studio.

Meanwhile, Tom & Arlene sold a lot of their restaurant equipment to chef Craig Wilson, of the popular Gigi’s (Italian) and Maya J (tapas) restaurants in Manayunk. Both spots recently closed – chef Craig admits it was time to move out of that area. When he saw Mackenzie’s space opening up, he grabbed it.

“Manayunk is all kids – that’s great if you want to make tacos and serve beer till 2 am every night, ‘ he explained, “But we just had a baby. East Falls is so family-oriented, and has a real community feel.” Chef Craig sees a need for healthy, homey meals made with organic, locally-sourced ingredients. He’s planning a new restaurant called “Milo” with a substantial menu of prepared items available for carry-out.

Breakfast & lunch 7 days a week. Open for dinner Thurs, Fri and Saturday nights — the menu will change depending on what’s seasonal (and what chef Craig feels like cooking). Big, bold Italian pasta dishes, and small Mediterranean-style plates too. Vegan/vegetarian options, too. Basically, he’ll pull the menu favorites from both of his old restaurants, including their much-Yelped garlic bread with hot Italian peppers.

“We’ll be doing a lot of induction cooking, “ chef Craig told us, “and also will use steam and convection heat for lighter, healthier dishes.” Induction cooking uses magnets for precise heat control with much less fuel than traditional methods. “I’m getting away from greasy kitchens, this is a nice clean way to cook.” No open flames, and no big noisy exhaust fans, either.

Craig’s hoping to open Milo by the first week of February. If all goes well, he’s already got his eye on the space nextdoor where he could easily expand. “East Falls is growing,” he said, “We’re hoping to build a cornerstone market/restaurant that’ll serve the neighbors for a long, long time.”

PS: Nextdoor to Milo, the former Conrad Market will become a cell phone repair spot.

6 Comments

  • Valor Boyer

    I worked for Chef Craig a little over a year. To this day he still owes me over $600, and I’m not the only one. He closed shop very abruptly, stopped communication with many employees and left them high and dry with bills to pay and families to support. I once considered him a friend, but he does bad business and doesn’t have the moral fortitude to maintain a successful restaurant. He’s not a man of his word. Don’t work for him unless you can survive off bounced checks and empty apologies. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

  • Erin cartwright

    I can back up Val. Still owed hundreds. Do not support his life’s work built on lies. This man was FORCED to close his other restaurants by the labor department and although this fabricated story is quite touching, it’s fictional. Oh! And I’m still owed a w2 for the “taxes” taken out of my checks. Please reach out if you have any questions. I’d be happy to answer ☺️

  • Michael bright

    This guy is a horrible man, and the worst reataurant owner/businessman I’ve ever met. The story above is 100% accurate, and is shared by all of his former employees. His businesses were investigated by the department of labor and eventually shut down by the city’s department of revenue. He is the true definition of a deadbeat. He left everyone high and dry, and continues to lie and manipulate everyone he comes in contact with. He does not deserve to open another business, where he can continue to use and abuse his friends, family, neighbors, and employees.

  • FRANK RIZZO

    Calling out a bad business owner who’s ripped me off personally! I was a server at Gigis and my tips were always an issue. They held onto my credit card tips and then when it was time to be paid there was always an issue – meaning tips were short. Getting paid was such a hassle! Checks bounced or were post-dated. It’s like he & his wife only cared about themselves. I’m surprised they haven’t been sued.

  • Carolyn Fillmore

    Thanks to commenters for sharing their experiences. I do believe, however, in the power of second chances. If chef Wilson is willing to invest in East Falls, I’d like to think we can offer him the opportunity to redeem himself if that’s what’s needed here. Perhaps take the opportunity to stop by when he opens? Let us know if we can help.

    Another thing that’s needed here: dining options! Especially vegetarian/vegan. Looking forward to being one of Milo’s first customers. Thank you again for your input. (PS I also think using fake names takes a lot of weight out of people’s accusations, ahem “Frank” and “Tony”.)

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