New Restaurant Report: Week of July 30–Aug. 3

Restaurants come and restaurants go. But, lately, it seems like the new restaurant openings just keep coming! Here’s what’s going on this week in the restaurant world across Pennsylvania:

Bryn Mawr

Cerise, formerly a BYOB in Bryn Mawr, is reinventing itself as a “craft steakhouse.”

Chef Ben Thomas is re-shaping the menu away from seasonal French plates and toward prime steaks, sourced from farms and ranches committed to the highest quality. Think: 12-ounce English-cut short rib, cooked sous vide for 48 hours, then seared off and grass-fed 8-ounce California Brandt prime filet mignon. Sides and starters include classic favorites, like kale Caesar, Greek potatoes gratin, and chicken liver mousse.  Cerise will still be a BYOB, and the restaurant will recommend wines for pairings via its website. The new concept opens Friday, August 24. Reservations are now open through Yelp Reservations. 1011 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 527-4400.

West Chester

Waffle Chicken, a straightforward chicken and waffle joint, is coming to West Chester on Monday, August 6. Menu highlights include a selection of Southern fried chicken sandwiches on brioche, and sweet-and-savory chicken and waffle plates, like The Lancaster Waffle, topped with gravy. 1257 West Chester Pike, West Chester; (610) 719-9900.
Tropical Homemade Ice Cream, sibling to the celebrated La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream in Kennett Square, is becoming Qué Rico, a “Homemade Ice Cream and Latin Grill” and taking over the former 39 West Bistro space. No date announced yet for opening. 39 West Gay St., West Chester.
Perch, a new breakfast and lunch cafe, is slated to open soon in the former Mrs. Mikes space. Look for extensive renovations and improvements to the building, including a new front porch. 653 Downingtown Pike, West Chester.
Though we were sad to report the closing of Box Car Brewing last March, we’re excited to see a new tenant arriving in its space! Appalachian Brewing Company is expanding its ever-growing Pennsylvania empire with a new brewpub in downtown West Chester. The location is currently hiring, which is a good sign that doors will open soon. 142 E. Market St., West Chester.

Chester County

Stickman Brews recently announced that it is opening Stickman Brews’ third taproom in Chester Springs in the shuttered Vinny’s location. Look for its opening in early fall 2018. 861 Kimberton Rd., Chester Springs.

Philadelphia

Helm Rittenhouse, the new outpost of the much-applauded BYOB in Fishtown, opens in Rittenhouse this weekend in the former Aldine space. South Helm, the team’s location at Front and Morris, will temporarily close. 1901 Chestnut St., 2nd floor, Philadelphia.

Tradesman’s, is a new American BBQ, whiskey and beer hall, from the same folks behind Philly favorites BRU Craft & Wurst, Cinder Copper & Lace, U-Bahn, Finn McCool’s Ale House, Tinsel and Uptown Beer Garden. Located in the historic Tradesman’s Trust Building at the corner of Chestnut and Juniper, the multi-level restaurant, bar and entertainment complex will feature over 6,000 square feet of space, including 200 seats, indoor and outdoor seating, multiple levels, two grand main bars and a large private-event space. Tradesman’s opens to the public on Thursday, August 9. 322 Chestnut St., Philadelphia; (215) 800-1079.

[Pt. 1 of 2] Five years ago we had an off-the-wall idea for a restaurant called Rooster Soup Company.  The unused parts from Federal Donuts chickens would be repurposed into soup, which would become the backbone (pun intended) of Rooster’s menu.  And, by the way, 100% of Rooster Soup’s profit would go towards funding the mission of our partner, Broad Street Hospitality Collaborative. Broad Street is an amazing place where Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens receive food, vital social services and the kind of radical hospitality that inspired this whole idea in the first place. Thanks to the support of over 1,500 Kickstarter backers, along with some private donations, a bank loan and a bunch of our own money, we opened the restaurant in January 2017. We did some things right and we did some things wrong. We adjusted as we went. When it was cold out, the restaurant was humming and we even made a little money. We managed to donate $16,000 to Broad Street during our first year, enough to cover the cost of about 7,000 meals. When it was warm out, the picture wasn’t as rosy.  For some people, even thinking about soup on a hot day is enough to make them sweat.  And even though soup was only a small part of our menu, it seemed to be keeping people away. Normally, when a restaurant is losing money, you don’t hear the owners talking about it in public.  But Rooster is different.

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Rooster Soup Company, the charitable concept from Cook N Solo, has rebranded to become The Rooster, an elevated Jewish deli. The change was announced via Instagram, and the menu switch is already complete, with plenty of sandwiches like a turkey club, smoked whitefish bagel and a vegetarian beet reuben. Don’t worry — matzo ball soup is still on the menu. 1526 Sansom St., Philadelphia; (215) 454-6939.

Pittsburgh

Lorelei, a gorgeous, airy new cocktail bar from the team behind Hidden Harbor and The Independent opened last week in East Liberty. Creative drinks, beers and snacks await! 124 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh.

Spring Hill Brewing is now open on the North Side! The joint project of local music personalities, Greg Kamerdze and Mike Seamans, this 2-barrel Belgian-inspired brewhouse and taproom is operating out of the old Workingmen’s Beneficial Union Hall. 1958 Varley St., Pittsburgh.

  • Feature photo: Jay Breslin
  • Tropical Ice Cream photo: Leigh Green
  • Appalachian Brewing photo: Harrisburg Beer Week