Gilmore’s… Adieu

There’s been a lot of hubbub about the closing of Gilmore’s in West Chester this week. The restaurant was once considered the class of the western suburbs by many diners, so its closing is probably the Main Line equivalent of Le Bec Fin closing (and yes, Peter Gilmore worked at LBF for many years). The thing that so many others seem to be afraid to say, however, is that it was past due. Gilmore’s was a dinosaur from another era, and was no longer a relevant player in the local restaurant scene.

Reading between the lines of Peter Gilmore’s comments after the news came out, it’s obvious that the restaurant’s financial results back up this assertion. Though they had a reputation for being a tough reservation, sellouts were far less common over the past few years. Gilmore tried gimmicks like adding small plates, and offering a discounted mid-week prix fix menu to get more people in the door, but nothing could save the business.

Continue reading Gilmore’s… Adieu

Local Cheese: Spatola’s Pizza, Melt Down

The Peace a Pizza in Wayne has been replaced by Melt Down Grilled Cheese, a chain concept opened by the owners of… wait for it… Peace a Pizza. There’s already a location in North Wales, and they sold sandwiches at some Eagles games this past season. Check out their menu and more info on their website.

Missing your chain pizza? Well, Spatola’s Pizza, another mini-chain that got its start in Bucks County, is coming to Paoli. There’s a sign up in the shopping center that houses Radio Shack and the original Dunkin Donuts (you know, the one you never go in), but no date is specified. The same family also owns Spizzico Pizza in Wayne. Though they have several locations going, the Spatola’s website is still “under construction”… but if you’re dying for a preview, the Landsdale store does have one.

Garrett Hill Ale House, Rosemont

 

 

Update 2.13: As commenter CJ notes below, Garrett Hill Ale House is now under new management, and the menus are very different than originally reported. Great tap list includes a wide variety of local and national craft beers, plus some interesting sample flights and an impressive bottle list. Food is upscale and innovative pub grub such as duck confit sliders and braised rabbit cavatelli. Sounds delicious!

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The Kebob Factory in Garrett Hill is no longer, and will be replaced by Garrett Hill Ale House starting Friday, March 23rd, 2012.

Readers may recall the 2011 controversy surrounding Factory owner Bharat Luthra, who supposedly cut down as many as 45 trees on the former Villa Strafford property without permission or a replacement plan for the sound buffer and runoff aid they provided.

One wonders if the potential fine of $2K per tree might have had any influence on the closing of Kebob Factory, though reports that it was always empty probably have more to do with it. While we never would root against the success of an independent business, we won’t be shedding any tears for a man with such disregard for the community he serves.

[outdated info] As for the Ale House,  they’ll offer straightforward American bar food, including “tot”chos (yep, tater tot nachos), sandwiches mostly made of hand-carved meats, and “house specialty” ribs… nothing too exciting. For booze, their all-American list includes 20 taps (with a disappointing half being macros – do you really need Bud Light, Coors Light AND Miller Lite on draft?). Full menu, including a decent list of hard liquors and an awful wine selection. [end outdated info]

Garrett Hill Ale House
157 Garrett Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
610.519.0500
http://www.garretthillalehouse.com
Hours:
MONDAY THRU SATURDAY 11:30a.m.-2a.m.
SUNDAY Brunch @ the Alehouse 10a.m.-3p.m. BEGINS APRIL 1ST!

Restaurant News Roundup

Wow… lots of restaurant news as the year comes to an end. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Ella’s American Bistro has opened in Devon Square (Acme Shopping Center in Strafford)
  • McKenzie’s Brew Pub is now open in Berwyn (where Charlie Brown’s used to be, near Barnes & Noble)
  • Jake’s Wayback Burgers is open in Strafford (near the Farmers Market), and 5 Guys Wayne (in the old Acme shopping center) should be opening shortly
  • So Fun! Frozen Yogurt has also opened next to 5 Guys in Wayne
  • The bar at Restaurant Alba is now fully operational
  • Pattymac’s in Berwyn is now EmJ’s (under new ownership), and is also serving dinner on Thu and Fri.
  • Saxby’s in Paoli is closing this week.
  • Flavor in Wayne closed this fall.

Bala’s Avril Closed

After two years on Bala Ave., Avril has closed up shop. I can’t say I’m all that surprised — thought the space showed a lot of promise when we attended the grand opening, when I popped in recently I could tell that the life had been sucked out of the place. Best of luck to owners April Lisante & Christian Gatti.

According to Philly.com, a “seafood restaurant with a South Philly pedigree” will soon fill the space.