Way back in early 2011, this ornate Chestnut Street steakhouse in a former bank declared bankruptcy. Despite some management shakeups, the high-ceilinged dining room continued to serve huge cuts of meat and pricey seafood to the business crowd, until just this week.
Foobooz first reported on the closed doors, noting the company was not allowed to renew its liquor license thanks to $225,000 owed in back taxes. And what good is a steakhouse without booze? The Insider comes back with news that owner Joe Grasso is fighting in court for a chance to reopen the historic spot. Stay tuned for the next episode of As the Union Falls.
The Butcher and the Brewer
An even wackier soap-opera-esque storyline gets its next chapter as this 11th Street tavern will also close, with last service on Saturday. The new concept opened just 50 days ago in what was for six months The Boilermaker (prior to that the space was - also for six months - Blue Bear Tavern, and for many years before, Doc Watson’s).
Owners Matt and Colleen Swartz attribute the shutdown to the “unforeseen sale of the building,” but have also overseen a string of abrupt closures in recent years (Cabinet Artisanal Brewery, Fork and Barrel, Tap and Table), so the shutter comes as no surprise. Their other Walnut Street restaurant, The Farmers’ Cabinet, appears to be continuing operations.
On the heels of a harsh one-bell review from Inquirer critic Craig LaBan, in addition to lackluster attendance, chef Sam Jacobson and partner Stephen Wagner are closing their Lansdowne combo market/dining room in order to reconceptualize. Top-rated BYO Sycamore is just down the street and is still going strong, so there’s hope for what pops up in the NoBL space next. (Jazz fans, take note: though officially closed, tonight there's a special $35 prix fixe tasting meal with live music, starting at 7 PM.)