Spirit Cruises Summer 2019 Leaderboard

More Details Emerge on Townsend Wentz's New Restaurant on East Passyunk Ave.

Work appears to be getting underway this week at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave., the former site of short-lived Sophia’s and future location of Townsend Wentz’s forthcoming and still yet named venture. But exactly what’s happening behind those papered-over windows still remains a mystery.

As you will recall, Wentz is the Four Seasons and Lacroix alum who turned former shot-and-beer joint McCrossen’s Tavern into a critically well-received gastropub with a solid reputation for turning out fine dining-caliber cuisine without the fussy trappings of tuxedoed service and white tablecloths. No doubt his arrival on East Passyunk Avenue is generating excitement along the booming restaurant row.

To get a better sense of what’s coming, Drink Philly caught up with Lauren Harris who serves as Wentz’s right hand. What he did for the McCrossen’s menus, Harris matched at the bar with thoughtfully planned wine lists, regularly rotating taps and a clever cocktail program. Before that she served as assistant sommelier and beverage manager at Twenty21, director of education at Tria and sommelier at Astral in Australia. Her fiance Colin Leary, who also worked alongside Wentz at Twenty21 and McCrossen’s is signed on as part of the kitchen crew for the new restaurant.

"The dynamic of front of the house and back of the house working together in a restaurant is always delicate,” Harris told us was the reason she decided to join Wentz in opening the restaurant. “I think when you strike the right balance and you're simpatico with somebody, it's incredibly valuable and powerful. Tod and I see eye to eye on food, service, and beverage."

Harris’s first order of business will be building the new restaurant’s beverage program from the ground up, a task she says she’s incredibly excited to tackle.

“This will be everything I've ever wanted in a restaurant," she said. “This will be excellence.”

Downstairs, the restaurant will seat roughly a dozen at the bar, 10 at hightop tables and up to 25 more in the first floor dining room. The bar will feature 10 or so rotating wines available by the glass, three rotating craft and local beers on tap, a wine list with more than 50 bottles, and a “solid” cocktail program. Another dining room on the second floor will seat up to 30 more.

Via email, Wentz told us that he is “very excited to have Harris on board to develop the restaurant’s unique by-the-glass wine program and carefully curated beer list.” He added that his menu, which will offer a range of modern French plates flecked with Spanish and Italian influences, will be very “wine-driven.” He said the space itself will have a warmer, more welcoming vibe than its predecessors, and feature a “well-appointed but not formal” atmosphere.

As far as an opening date is concerned, Wentz is remaining mum. Stay tuned, we'll keep you posted as more details surface.

 


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Wine
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Cocktails to Go in Bars & Restaurants Legalized in PA During Lockdown: Here's Where to Get Them in Philadelphia

Cocktails to Go in Bars & Restaurants Legalized in PA During Lockdown: Here's Where to Get Them in Philadelphia

Bars & restaurants in PA can now sell cocktails-to-go. Here's where to find them in Philadelphia...read more ›

by Drink Philly May 21, 2020
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

Relief for the Bar, Restaurant, & Hospitality Industry in Philadelphia

Right now the hospitality industry is—to put it lightly—struggling. We created a resource directory for an...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 20, 2020
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
Where to Find Beer, Wine, & Liquor To Go in Philadelphia During the Pandemic

Where to Find Beer, Wine, & Liquor To Go in Philadelphia During the Pandemic

Bars and restaurants are officially closed (and offering take-out and delivery only), so your favorite bartend...read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2020
Suits & Sazeracs Returns for Second Year to Benefit Career Wardrobe, February 24

Suits & Sazeracs Returns for Second Year to Benefit Career Wardrobe, February 24

At this NOLA-style event benefiting Career Wardrobe, you'll be able to sample unique Sazerac-inspired cocktail...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 20, 2020
Drink Philly's Mad Hatter Whiskey Tea Party Returns to Stotesbury Mansion, Feb 29

Drink Philly's Mad Hatter Whiskey Tea Party Returns to Stotesbury Mansion, Feb 29

Drink Philly's Mad Hatter Whiskey Tea Party is back, and this year, it's sure to be bigger and better than eve...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 4, 2020
Inside Look: Campari's Stylish North American Headquarters in New York

Inside Look: Campari's Stylish North American Headquarters in New York

If you're a frequent Negroni drinker, always order Wild Turkey Bourbon in your old fashioneds, or prefer your ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 9, 2020
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

For this exciting installment of Behind the Bar, we had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Liana Oster, the head bartender at Dante in New Yo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 7, 2020
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close