Is it possible we are once again inundated with the news of so many new West Chester dining establishments it is worthy of another roundup? Could it be the West Chester dining scene is growing even more robust during a year when many so establishments were forced to close their doors?
Well, yes, my friends, I believe we are and it is.
And even better, we are staring at all these delicious options on the brink of the spring dining season, a pending Gay Street closure and, I don’t want to jinx it but, hopefully the decline of COVID-19. It’s almost like it’s time to get excited again. Almost.
Whether you are eager to meet up with mankind or still just dreaming about it, here are six new drinking and dining options worthy of coming out for (when you’re ready).
“We’re are excited to join the vibrant downtown West Chester scene.”Dave Trout, owner Sedona Taphouse
Location: 44 W. Gay Street, Suite 1
What is it? Sedona Taphouse is a steakhouse franchise with 15 locations across the eastern half of the United States. 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, but was it bumped to number two after they located a prime spot in Phoenixville. Now after some delay the West Chester location is coming soon, like next week soon.
“We’re are excited to join the vibrant downtown West Chester scene,” owner Dave Trout said in an email.
Expect hand cut steaks, seafood and hundreds of craft beers, fine wines and plenty of room to spread out. At 5,350 square feet, this will have to be one of the Borough’s larger establishments.
What to try: Turn up the heat with their Desert Fire Jalapenos: Grilled jalapenos stuffed with four different cheeses, bacon wrapped, red peppers, chilled lime cilantro sauce, served over jicama or try the Thai Glazed Salmon: Organic, certified-sustainable, fresh caught Norwegian Salmon, sweet with a hint of heat.
Status: After much anticipation the grand opening is scheduled for Monday night. As part of the celebration all proceeds from opening night will be donated to the HEADstrong Foundation in support of the Charlotte Grace Fund, which provides financial assistance to families of children that are battling pediatric cancers.
If you are hoping to check it out get there early. For now, patrons will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis. “We will eventually take reservations for our dining room after we get our feet underneath us and a good rhythm of service,” David said.
Sedona’s operating hours will be (after Monday): 11am – 9pm, Monday – Wednesday; 11am – 10pm on Thursday; 11am – 11pm, Fridays and Saturdays; and 10:30am – 9pm on Sunday (with brunch from 10am – 2pm).
Greystone Oyster House
Location: 7 N. Church Street
What is it? After much anticipation (the sign in the window still says 2020) and a gorgeous reno, Greystone Oyster House is now open for business. Brought to you by the same culinary power couple behind Mercato, it’s probably not surprising the origins for the menu hark back to the Italian coast. According to the website Greystone distinguishes itself with the “freshest seafood possible alongside elevated cocktails and finely executed craft beer.”
What to try: A signature crafted cocktails next to a plate of fresh oysters or take a crack at a whole chilled lobster.
Status: Currently open for dinner Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: 348 W. Gay Street (Corner of Wayne and Market)
What is it? El Limon is a chain of Mexican taquerias started a little over ten years ago by two business partners from Buena Vista, Michoacan, Mexico. Their aim? Bring a real Mexican cuisine experience to the area at a fair price. Today there are nine locations including another one in West Chester on Wilmington Pike at the Shoppes of Dilworthtown Crossing. While I am not normally a fan of chain restaurants, I am a fan of taco Tuesdays and I would like to see a Mexican option stick around in this west end location. I am hoping the draw of an established name, and maybe some late night eats from a couple of new breweries, will help this one succeed where others have failed.
What to try: The shrimp or chorizo tacos.
Status: According to a sign outside, it opens today.
Artillery Brewing Company
Location: 333 Granite Alley (between Market Street and Hannum Avenue)
What is it? A new brewery with an interesting past for you to enjoy. Artillery was originally started as a 1-barrel nano brewery on a Battle of Brandywine adjacent farm just outside West Chester city limits roughly two years ago but quickly outgrew its space. Now it’s a new 10-barrel (plus one farm-based original) brewhouse with kitchen and taproom located at 333 Granite Alley just around the corner from The Master Baker.
First-time visitors to Artillery will open a set of glass doors with a giant silhouetted cannon and walk into a cocoon of American Revolutionary history. Expect historical decor and even an ode to the mess tent to house the taps and streamline the ordering.
What to try: Fog of War, or any of their battle inspired ales. This summer look for their “Battlefield Series” a portion of profits from which will go to preserving America’s past. “A form of historic beer activism,” as Artillery puts it.
Status: Open for business. Artillery is now open for onsite tastings as well as carry out. Coming soon: look for an outdoor beer garden by way of European-style alley space to the side of the taproom.
Location: 18 N. High Street
What is it? A Chinese-inspired chain of tea shops seeking to elevate the tea house experience in the U.S. According to their website, “Each loose leaf tea is brewed fresh to order in an espresso-like machine, which sets Tsaocaa apart from any other shops in America.” Choose from traditional eastern teas such as green, oolong, jasmine and black as well as a variety of bubble teas.
What to try: the Bubble Tea. Which is made differently than most bubble teas which use powdered milk to get the signature “bubbles.” At Tsaocaa once the tea is cool, it is mixed either with organic milk, almond milk, soy milk or coconut water and shaken until the bubbles rise to the top.
Status: Coming soon. But don’t worry if you have hankering for a mean cup of tea, don’t forget we have TranquiliTEA Temple, our lovely tea shop on N. Church Street.
Stove & Tap
Location: 158 W. Gay Street
What is it? Another brewpub. One might say we have enough of these already, so perhaps it’s a question of quality? To (mis)quote Darwin, May the strongest (freshest, best tasting) survive. And Stove & Tap seems to be up to the challenge promising “the freshest, local ingredients prepared to perfection.”
But don’t take their word for it, I didn’t. I reached out to our friends at West Chester Grub who had the pleasure of trying S&T for themselves. Here’s their review: “Owners Just and Joe are on point with every aspect of what diners in the DubC are seeking. Exciting and tasty cocktail menu, delicious array of beers on tap and the most amazing foods. One of our new favorite spots in town.” And they have been to a lot of spots.
What to try: According to West Chester Grub – “Do not dine without trying the Tap Nachos.” I think I can follow those directions and you can learn more about those nachos and the rest of West Chester Grub’s Stove & Tap experience here.
Status: Open since February.
Can you believe I almost left Stove & Tap off the list considering this two month old restaurant old news? Slow down, West Chester.
Want more dining ideas? Most of these restuarant babies are less than a year old and already making names for themselves.
New to the blog? Follow along for the latest from West Chester.