Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sommelier leaves town; Farmers' Cabinet taking over Blue Bear

Melissa Monosoff, one of the region's most honored winos, has relocated to Dallas.

Sommelier leaves town; Farmers' Cabinet taking over Blue Bear

Melissa Monosoff, holder of a Master Sommelier Diploma. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)

Melissa Monosoff, one of the region's most honored wine experts, has relocated to that great wine region: Dallas, Texas. Working out of Savona in Gulph Mills, Monosoff won her master-sommelier credentials two years ago - becoming at the time the 15th female master sommelier in the world. "I got a great job - the kind I had been looking for as a director of education for an importing and distributing company," says Monosoff, part of the gang at the old Striped Bass. "So I get to learn a whole other side of the business and see what another state is like in the wine and beer world. I have a bunch of friends here and also my boyfriend lives here. So it's a win on all accounts."


Matt and Colleen Swartz and Matt Scheller of Center City's The Farmers' Cabinet (1113 Walnut St.) confirm speculation here and here that they're going around the corner to take over the short-lived Blue Bear Tavern (216 S. 11th St.). In case you've never heard of the Blue Bear, know that it used to be Doc Watson's and reopened last fall after an expensive, top-to-bottom renovation. Supposedly Swartz and Scheller are working on a Southern concept in the two-story building. Swartz/Scheller operations manager Will Pumphrey acknowledges that the tiki bar planned for the former Transit nightclub at Sixth and Spring Garden Streets is not going to happen.

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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