A new restaurant is headed to Frazer, PA: a second iteration of the wildly popular Stove & Tap in Lansdale. This new location, which will be about 35 miles southwest of the original (and just 8 miles north of West Chester), will bring the same rustic American dining and great bar atmosphere, and will certainly be a favorite new gathering spot for locals.
Located at 215 Lancaster Ave. (in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center) in Frazer, the new Stove & Tap will be a community restaurant and bar with menus that focus on local ingredients. Guests can expect scratch-made American classics and seasonal, chef-driven dishes, including favorites from the original Stove & Tap, like brisket, burgers, cedar-planked salmon, fried chicken and pot pie. The bar will serve up craft cocktails made with fresh juices and house-made mixes, American wines and a well-curated list of craft beer. The 7,500-square-foot space, which was secured by restaurant real estate rock stars James Pinckney and Tess Scott of ZMCRE, was renovated under architect Joe Lombardi and interior design firm Boulange Designs (which also designed The Bercy). The aesthetic will be “rustic Americana” with plenty of reclaimed wood and metal and vintage wallpaper.
A 20-seat bar and small lounge will provide space for casual drinks and snacks, and a larger dining room will be a comfy, intimate spot to enjoy meals. Outside, there is a second, U-shaped bar and a 50-seat patio featuring two fire pits. For those wondering: There will indeed be a large taxidermy bear, just like the famous bear in the Lansdale location.
We had the chance to chat with Justin Weathers, the restaurateur behind not only Stove & Tap, but other successful concepts like The Bercy in Ardmore and Al Pastor in Exton, to learn more about this exciting new development.
PA Eats: Why Frazer for this new Stove & Tap location?
Justin Weathers: Frazer is a busy community that intersects a lot of different neighborhoods in the area. The building location has great proximity to business and visibility from Lancaster. The Stove & Tap concept is all about embracing those neighborhoods and giving everyone a great meeting place to unwind and have fun. When we scout a restaurant, it is a combination of the space itself, what exists in the area, and the access that different neighborhoods will have to the restaurant. For Stove & Tap in Frazer, we were really happy about the opportunity to build a big outdoor bar and patio.
Are there specific challenges to opening a second location of an existing concept vs. a brand-new concept?
There are actually less challenges than opening a new concept. We have three years of feedback and data on what has worked and not worked in Lansdale. This gives us the upper hand on having spent those years doing our tweaking and learning what our guests want. A new concept is rarely, if ever, a home run. You are constantly adjusting what you might have thought would be great and it just misses. Stove & Tap has had its success because of the atmosphere and great food. We built the restaurant to accommodate large parties, whether it is family time, teams, or business groups. It wasn’t a hard decision.
What can people expect, aesthetically and from the food and bar menus? Will it be very similar to the existing Stove & Tap, or have some of its own identity?
The menu will be about 60% of the Stove & Tap classics. Due to the zoning and because the space is an old Carrabba’s, we are able to do more wood-fired grilling and oven work. The cuisine embraces the cuisine of America. I was raised in the South, so there is some inflection of that, like Nashville hot chicken and shrimp and grits. Chef Joe Monnich gives each dish a special spin and makes it fun and delicious. Every item is made from scratch. The bar will have an exciting craft cocktail program, and all American beers, and wines with extra emphasis on locality.
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Running a restaurant is so much work, how do you manage overseeing a whole family of restaurants? Do you see your group continuing to grow, as it has been over the last few years?
While Joe and I are very hands-on, it is all about our people. We empower them to own the restaurants and drive quality and hospitality. Happy people serve happy guests. Our General Manager Rich Fell has an amazing background of working for Momofuku and the Starr group. He will be running the ship. We continue to grow because there are such great people. The other reason for growth is that there is a change in the expectations of the suburban market. Our guests are not going to sit back and accept processed food out of a freezer any more. People are more aware of the love and energy that restaurants are putting into their food.
Congrats to Weathers, Monnich and their team! Look for the new Stove & Tap this spring (our sources predict a May opening).
The new Stove & Tap will be located at 215 W. Lancaster Ave. in Frazer.
- Photos: Kory Aversa