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An upsclae restaurant is planned for Sansom Common's Inn at Penn. The new Penn Bookstore and three neighboring retailers are up and running, with a fourth coming soon. Now University officials are focused on the next and final phase of the $120 million Sansom Common. The major aspects of that phase will be the 250-room Inn at Penn and the hotel's restaurant, which University officials recently christened Grand's Bar and Grill. Although plans for the 190,000-square-foot hotel and the restaurant are still in the early stages, University officials have made some preliminary decisions regarding menu and location. The restaurant will have a large, "upscale" menu, according to Larry Moneta, associate vice president for campus services. The bar part of the 3,700-square-foot restaurant will be located on the ground floor of Sansom Common, with its own entrance near the intersection of 37th and Walnut streets. The restaurant will be located above the bar on the second floor. This phase of Sansom Common will also include two retailers and another restaurant in addition to the hotel and Grand's. It is scheduled to be completed next fall. The hotel and the restaurant will be operated by Doubletree Hotels Corp., which runs hotels at such universities as Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech. In two to three months, officials from Doubletree will come to Penn to begin formalizing the specifics of the hotel and Grand's, according to Moneta. "We will rely on [the Doubletree officials] to provide us with the expertise to put the restaurant, as well as the hotel, into operation," Moneta said. However, while Doubletree will operate the hotel and restaurant, Moneta said the University will retain ultimate control over all decisions. The name for the restaurant comes from an old restaurant that operated in the area near Sansom Common many years ago, according to Moneta. "We want to connect this project to the community in every way we can," Moneta said. In addition to the restaurant, the Inn at Penn will also include a ballroom, four meeting rooms, a health club and a gift shop. Sansom Common currently houses the Penn Bookstore, Xando coffeehouse and bar, Urban Outfitters clothing and Parfumerie Douglas cosmetics. The last store of the first, $80 million phase of the project, the upscale sporting goods store Eastern Mountain Sports, is scheduled to open within the next two weeks.

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