We’d like to tell you that Jim and Kristina Burke—-the culinary couple behind the Bella Vista restaurant James—-are moving their restaurant to a larger space in order to accommodate all their accolades and awards, but, sadly, this is not the case. When we spoke with Jim about his restaurant on Eighth Street, he had a slight gloom in his voice as he told us they are moving on once their lease expires in the beginning of June. “There certainly is some sadness in leaving this space,” says Jim, “because we are very proud of it and what we’ve accomplished here.” What they accomplished, if you haven’t heard or savored already, is bringing a haute-cuisine menu built around seasonal ingredients to Philadelphia: something that Jim and his team of chefs do very, very well.

The reincarnation of James has not been put fully into motion just yet. “We have been looking in Rittenhouse area as well as Fitler Square and Midtown Village,” says Jim. “Any new location will have a huge influence on the concept, so it’s impossible to say what a new venture might be.” The only aspect that Burke was willing to allude to was that he wants to take a step back from fine dining,a move we are sure will bring more curious and thankful eaters to this phenomenal chef’s table. “We are well aware of the market shifting to less formal dining and we’d be remiss to ignore that,” says Jim about his sea change.

Although we are mourning the certain demise of James, the one thing we can be sure of is that Jim and his wife will bring their exceptional tastes and attitudes towards whatever they take on next. “James is an absolute personal expression of how Kristina and I feel about food, wine, service and our staff,” says Burke. “Still, we are all very excited about whatever the next step may be.” And so are we.