The operators of the Loews Philadelphia went far beyond the mere idea of swapping out restaurants as part of a renovation of the hotel at 12th and Market Streets.
Designers cut a front entrance to Market Street and created a new lobby lounge out of part of the former SoleFood restaurant.
This handsome new space has a large-screen TV and a bar that backs into the new restaurant, Bank & Bourbon (1200 Market St., 215-231-7300), which opens officially on Wednesday, April 9.
Bank & Bourbon - the "bank" refers to the building's past as PSFS and the "bourbon" refers to an ambitious spirits program - is a contemporary, tastefully done showplace for chef Tom Harkins, whose America menu is built on locally sourcing. From the open kitchen, Harkins produces his own charcuterie, too.
Menus are here.
B&B also has the services of a bourbon master, Brian Bevilacqua, whose barrel-aging program allows customers to blend and age their own bourbons; there's a tasting room tucked behind a hidden door.
The project is also a homecoming for general manager Alex Amato, a childhood buddy of Harkins'. He most recently was general manager of VOLT in Frederick, Md. During demo and construction, the team prepped on the Loews' 33d floor at a temporary restaurant, Level 33.
It's open from breakfast through late night daily.