The Biggest Main Line Area Restaurants That Opened and Closed in 2019
It was another robust year for dining. Here’s a look back, plus a preview of what’s to come in 2020.
Adobe Stock Photo.
Philadelphia’s western suburbs continue to be abuzz with restaurant news. From the much-anticipated openings of favorites like Brick and Brew and Stove & Tap, to the closing of stalwarts like Dilworthtown Inn, 2019 was a big year in dining. Here’s a look at some of the biggest and most recent openings, plus all the restaurants we said goodbye to—and a look at what to expect in the new year.
Opened in 2019
With names like Chicago Dawg, Texas Tommy, Maharaja Dawg and the hometown-inspired D-Town Destroyer (kielbasa, spicy brown mustard, house slaw and pickled red onions), it’s no wonder this shop has taken off.
84 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (484) 364-3111.
Southern Chester County is upping the beer ante thanks to this small batch five-barrel microbrewery which also offers good eats (think fried mushshrooms and sammies) and music, all in a cool, cavernous historic bank building.
122 Pennsylvania Ave., Avondale, (484) 915-2195.
Brick and Brew’s third location opened in in late spring, offering guests elevated pub fare (you’d be hard pressed to find better wings anywhere) and a stellar craft cocktail. The whimsical interior fits perfectly into Malvern’s burgeoning dining scene. Read more about the Malvern outpost here.
400 E. King St., Malvern, (484) 320-8688.
Bringing a taste of its Philadelphia roots to the suburbs, the family owned BYOB crafts a seasonal selection of seafood, poultry and pork. Look for housemade pasta and namesake burrata with a drizzle of fig balsamic.
26 E. Eagle Road, Havertown, (610) 808-9933.
Expanding into the center of Kennett Square (where it originally began), this expansion of the Glen Mills BYOB features authentic culinary delicacies of western Mediterranean nations like Morocco, Spain, France, Malta, Italy and Tunisia. Plus, this outpost has a full service bar. Read our review of the Glen Mills location here.
127 E. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 444-5050.
Vegan comfort food includes mini ‘krab’ cakes, wings, cheesesteak and mac and cheese at this Conshohocken restaurant. Did we mention there are vegan brownies and ice cream?
401 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (610) 828-8900.
The former satellite location of Paradocx wine in the Market at Liberty Place is now a pub bar. Here, patrons can listen to live music on weekends while sipping imaginative craft cocktails and local brews.
148 W. State St., Kennett Square, (484) 734-2411.
It’s meatball mania at this former pizza joint. Indulge in meatballs by themselves, on a sandwich, or as a baked skillet dish at this spot just steps from West Chester University.
30 S. High St., West Chester, (484) 394-8400.
Located in the Paoli Village Shops, owner Alan Su (Nom Nom Ramen) serves up sophisticated versions of bao buns, rice, ramen and poké bowls in the former Skinny Pizza spot.
35 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (610) 232-2608.
The 10th location of this popular local café is now serving breakfast (omelettes, bennies and waffles) and lunch (salads, sandwiches, wraps and burgers) until 4 p.m. every weekday and until 3 p.m. on weekends in Berwyn.
120 W. Swedesford Road, Berwyn, (610) 687-1610.
Greg Dodge of Zavino Hospitality Group (Enoteca Tredici in Bryn Mawr) brings an upscale American grill and wine bar to the Villanova campus for lunch and dinner. Indulge in flatbreads, salads, sandwiches, sushi, dry-aged steaks and desserts in a classic club-like atmosphere.
862 E. Lancaster Ave., Radnor, (610) 519-5786.
Powerhouse duo Justin Weathers and Joe Monnich have given us another iteration of their popular Lansdale restaurant, complete with great brews, craft cocktails and wine. Be sure to try the po’boy, gooey mac and cheese and signature wings. Read more about Stove & Tap here.
245 Lancaster Ave., Malvern, (484) 450-8890.
Taking over the former Perch Cafe and Mrs. Mike’s on the west end of the borough, this recently opened café offers breakfast and lunch dishes with a focus on made-to-order omelettes.
653 Downingtown Pike, West Chester, (610) 222-6200.
This Phoenixville newcomer partnered with local favorite Root Down Brewing to pour sudsy beers to pair with its Southern-style snacks of pulled pork deviled eggs, smoked “sammiches” and mouth-watering ribs and housemade sauces.
425 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-1363.
Greg Dodge had a busy year. His other concept, Zagafen, dishes up an all-Kosher menu with a focus on elevated pizzas and other Italian-inspired fare. There’s a full bar with fun cocktails, beer pours and wine at this Merion Station restaurant, which features soothing white-washed brick walls, wooden slats and large windows that create a modern rustic vibe.
370 Montgomery Ave., Merion Station, (610) 667-7777.
Closed in 2019
Blue Pear and Dilworthtown Inn
Both of these historic restaurants and longtime favorites to the south of West Chester have been closed since the death of owner James Barnes in April, but special prix fixe pairing dinners are still occasionally avaialble at The InnKeepers Kitchen.
This tiny drive-in-inspired coffee and smoothie spot poured its last latte in Downingtown this year.
Owners Khadijah Bush and executive chef Aziza Young’s elevated Southern-inspired cuisine wasn’t enough to keep their BYOB going in its off-the-beaten spot path in Ardmore. They closed up shop this fall.
Lotus Farm to Table
Opened 10 years ago by Courtney Rozsas in Media, the restaurant as we know it is closing at the end of the year. But the news isn’t all bad—l ngtime chef Ryan Sulikowski will open a new concept with a new name and menu in its place in early 2020.
The sophisticated BYOB from Andrew Deery ended its 15 year reign in Phoenixville.
From the Paladar Restaurant Group (which has a restaurant in King of Prussia), this Cuban-themed build-your-own taco experience is coming to Malvern’s The Grove soon.
10 Liberty Blvd., Malvern, (216) 591-1625.
Ever expanding, this local giant will open Iron Hill Brewery and Taphouse in summer 2020. The new site will hold a 10,000-square-foot brewery complete with canning. It will also feature a 4,500-square-foot taproom, with about 150 seats.
240-278 Eagleview Blvd., Exton.
Following its expansion into Berwyn this year, Nudy’s will open another new location, this time in Conshohocken. The café takes over the former Light Parker Furniture Building and is expected to open in early 2020.
This California wine tasting room and retail bottle shop from Chester County natives Kieran Robinson and Kristie Sheppard Robinson will be opening in early 2020 between Dane Decor and Estrella Tacos Y Mas in Downingtown.
206 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown
Taking over the former Paramour at the Wayne Hotel, this restaurant redo from Marty Grims of Fearless Restaurants (Autograph Brasserie, White Dog Café) is expected to open in early 2020. Expect Italian cuisine in a classic lounge-style atmosphere.
139 Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 687-5000.
West Chester’s Social is looking to branch out to Downingtown in the Frank’s Pub and Grill location. Look for a Southern-inspired scratch kitchen and bar down the line.
541 W. Lancaster Pk., Downingtown
The former Landmark building in West Chester has found a new tenant in the center of the borough thanks to the growing S&T brand, which just debuted its Malvern outpost. If things go to plan, look for a spring 2020 opening.
The much-anticipated addition to Marty Grims’ White Dog Cafes is expected to open its fourth location in the Shoppes at Brinton Lake at the beginning of 2020. The signature dog-inspired décor will be the backdrop for local, seasonal, organic, sustainable menus.
981 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, (484) 842-1757.