Last month, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story about West Chester’s downtown efforts. According to John O’Brien, executive director of the Business Development District, since the coronavirus descended in March only one downtown restaurant has closed – Starbucks and that closure had been in the works. Not only have closures been limited, West Chester has managed to open three new restaurants downtown.
Now as the world sweats the restaurant business, West Chester is potentially looking at five more restaurants/breweries on its horizon. One is already here, another is coming soon, and two to three more could be open by spring. So, loosen up those pants and get ready to try someplace new (and of course, continue to support all your old favorites.)
If you have any insider tips about any of these establishments you would like to share, send me an email or leave a comment.
Stove & Tap
“Covid put us on a long hold, but construction is moving along beautifully,” Stove & Tap owner Justin Weathers posted to the Facebook group West Chester Community in October in anticipation of an early December opening.
While early December may now be optimistic, I recently spoke with Justin and they are close to opening. He reported beer taps were just installed and they are now waiting on those all important Chester County Health Department inspections.
Expect a casual American menu that changes with the season, and 100 percent from scratch cooking. If you are new to Stove & Tap start with the burger. “It’s to die for,” Justin says. Also recommended: the chicken pot pie, Nashville hot chicken and a nice craft cocktail to wash it all down.
They will launch with in-person dining but early days will be dinner-only, reservation-only at least until they get a handle of guest flow. Can’t get a reservation? You can always grab that burger to go.
This will be the third location for the popular Landsdale eatery, the second opened in Malvern late last year.
Want the latest? Their West Chester Facebook page is now live.
The signature restaurant in the base of 44 West, Sedona Taphouse is currently finalizing their outdoor signage. While originally slated to open this fall, it looks like they are now targeting 2021 at the earliest.
In a recent interview with Paul Risk Construction, owners Dave Trout and Pete Shivery shared that West Chester was the top spot on their restaurant location wishlist and after some delay that wish should soon come true.
At 140 seats in the dining room plus 20 at the bar, this will have to be one of the Borough’s larger establishments. Sedona Taphouse is a franchise with about 15 locations across the eastern half of the United States. Expect hand cut steaks, seafood and 50 beers on tap. You can read more about their anticipated arrival here.
Wrong Crowd Brewing
Wrong Crowd Brewing is now open on Hannum Avenue. What started as a nano-brewery, now has its first physical location on the Borough’s westside. While I’ve not had a chance to try it yet, I reached out to Drunks of West Chester (DOWC) for an expert opinion.
“They definitely have the coolest venue in West Chester,” DOWC said in a message. The newly renovated warehouse-style space was formerly home to a MMA-style gym. “The beer was solid, not near Levante yet in terms of IPA selection but they had a nice selection of sours and stouts.”
While, you’ll come here for the beer — DOWC recommends Snake Charmer IPA and Walt’s P.I.T.A Coffee Pils – “It tastes dangerously like a Starbucks cold brew,” — know there are some noteworthy snacks on hand to soak up the alcohol – including pilsner brined wings and house made pizzas.
Keep up with all the latest on their Facebook page including a new flights option that will let you try multiple beers at once.
Greystone Oyster Bar
I’m also keeping an eye out for the beautifully renovated Greystone Oyster Bar. It will be located at 7 North Church Street, just down from Yori’s Bakery. While, I think it will still be months – I’ve tried reaching out several times to the owners but no response – before we see this establishment open for business, it will be nice to have an oyster house back in town.
Cirillo’s Artesian Pizza
It looks like the Borough may have its first official restaurant casualty of the pandemic. Where there once was Spicy Pig Cafe, there is now Cirillo’s Artisan Pizza. The new pizza option, which prides itself on creative combinations like, cream cheese, bacon and jalapenos or pear, arugula and goat cheese, opened just after the Thanksgiving holiday.
While there’s not a lot to go on just yet, overall the comments are positive. “Holy crap it is delicious!” one convert posted on Instagram.
If you want to stay up on the latest and hear their pitch for pickle pizza, follow them on Instagram.
A mysterious new restaurant is coming to 110 E. Gay Street, this is the former home of DeStarrs Restaurant and Bar. The owners recently petitioned the West Chester Historic Architecture Review Board (HARB) for renovation approvals.
Want some more places you can try now? Even despite the pandemcSeveral new restaurants opened this year. Plus, West Chester’s favorite breakfast places and a collection of sure bets for the next time you’re in town.
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