Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Comeback for the Blue Bell Inn

On Monday, April 7, after a full year of renovations that took it down to bare walls, the Blue Bell Inn (601 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 215-646-2010) will reopen.

Comeback for the Blue Bell Inn

The Blue Bell Inn has sat at the Montgomery County crossroads of Skippack and Penllyn-Blue Bell Pikes for 271 years.

For the last couple of decades, that historic vibe simply translated to “old,” giving rise to the sobriquet Blue Hair Inn.

In September 2012, the Lamprecht family sold it to Kevin Clib and Scott Dougherty of M2K Restaurant Group (which operates Bridget’s and KC’s Alley in Ambler) and developer Bruce Goodman. The buyers had planned to stay open during renovations, but they quickly realized that wouldn't work.

On Monday, April 7, after a full year of work that took the restaurant down to bare walls, the Blue Bell Inn (601 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 215-646-2010) will reopen.

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It’s at once sexy and contemporary (sleek woods, marble) and warm and rustic (the original stone foundation is visible). A 700-bottle, floor-to-ceiling wine tower is the wow in the main dining room.

The bar area, with its soaring ceiling and gas fireplace, is being primed for weeknight happy hours. The partners, who scoured the region for inspiration, added a raw bar similar to the one at Center City’s Oyster House. Operable garage doors leading to a new outdoor patio with waterfall and fire pit are similar to those at Stratus, the lounge at the Hotel Monaco.

Chef Peter Sherba (from Bridget's) is backed by chef de cuisine Carmen A. Cappello. Entrees (mostly from the mid-$20s to mid-$30s) are straight out of the steak/seafood house playbook.

But there’s no calves’ liver, a longtime specialty.

“I have a heart for older people, really,” Clib said. “But we’re not bringing it back, just like we’re not putting eight ounces of butter on everything.”

 

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

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