Jose Garces' Distrito Lands at Moorestown Mall in 2014

PREIT officially announced that the Iron Chef would be joining James Beard Award-winner Marc Vetri to form a "dream team" at the mall next year.

Chef Jose Garces' Distrito is coming to the Moorestown Mall in 2014. Credit: Rob Scott
Chef Jose Garces' Distrito is coming to the Moorestown Mall in 2014. Credit: Rob Scott

The Moorestown Mall has made it official: Iron Chef Jose Garces will join friend and fellow award-winning chef Marc Vetri at the mall next year.

Patch broke the story last week of the Garces' signing after it was announced on a quarterly earnings call, and PREIT formally announced the news Friday.

According to a joint release from PREIT and Garces Restaurant Group, the 7,500-square-foot Moorestown Distrito “will feature contemporary interpretations of regional Mexican favorites, coupled with distinctive colorful furnishings and a cool, modern ambiance. Distrito will introduce the previously ‘dry’ town’s only premium tequila bar.”

The release states that Distrito will open in 2014—following the pre-holiday 2013 opening of Vetri’s Osteria and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill—but did not specify when. 

Joe Aristone, senior vice president of PREIT, said Distrito will be located on the Route 38 side of the mall by Boscov's, right next-door to Osteria.

Landing both Vetri and Garces—who have previously never opened in a suburban market; Moorestown is Vetri’s first venture outside Philadelphia—is something of a coup for the mall. 

Aristone called both chefs "trendsetters ... That's a dream team. These guys are visionaries."

In the release, PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino stated that through the acquisition of Osteria and Distrito, PREIT is living up to its word.

“PREIT is delivering on our promise to Moorestown residents of transforming Moorestown Mall into a differentiated shopping experience offering unparalleled suburban dining and entertainment alongside great retail,” he said.

Garces is also quoted in the release, saying, “We look forward to introducing South Jersey to Distrito’s unique blend of modern Mexican fare in a fun and festive environment. Distrito is a warm and welcoming restaurant, whether you come by for a drink and a light bite or want to celebrate with friends.”

PREIT has one more unclaimed liquor license, out of the four it purchased from the township for $1 million apiece. The corporation has said it plans to open four restaurants using all of the licenses.

Aristone said there is "a tremendous amount of interest" in the fourth license, but did not provide further details.

"We're being very methodical about who we're going to put in there," he said. 

The Regal Premium Experience Theater is also slated to open in late fall, along with the Corner Bakery (formerly Pizzicato).

Stay with Moorestown Patch for more details on this story as they become available. 

To find out more about Distrito or to check out the menu, visit the restaurant website.

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Ace August 03, 2013 at 07:40 AM
Could Steve Starr be next?


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