U-Bahn: An underground lair in Center City

Bru is at 1318-20 Chestnut St., while U-BAHN will be beneath the "lease" sign at right.

This time last year, Teddy Sourias was prepping for the opening of BRU, his rollicking German-style bierhall at 1318 Chestnut St.

Now, he's going next door for his next project. But unlike BRU, you won't see U-Bahn from the street.

U-Bahn - as in the German underground metro - will be all subterranean when it opens in late spring at 1320 Chestnut. It's based on the idea of a new-age rathskeller.

As Sourias, who also owns Finn McCool's at 12th and Sansom, points out, there was a rathskellar named Soula’s at Broad and Chestnut Streets in the 19th century in the old Betz building, which was owned by John Frederick Betz, brew master and brother-in-law of brewer D.G. Yuengling.

Sourias has 3,300 square feet and 16-foot ceilings (plus original stone walls) to work with, so he is installing two bars, a new kitchen and additional oversized walk-in fridge (to remedy a shortcoming at BRU). Interior will incorporate reclaimed wood from local barns and custom tables from local tree slabs. For entertainment, he will install arcade game favorites such as Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Golden Tee and Mortal Kombat.

The space also will have a private area with audio/video/Skype integrated into the system for business meetings with home offices. 

Sourias said U-Bahn will offer a beer selection from breweries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Menu will be made up of local cured meats and cheeses used in specialty sandwiches, large and small charcuterie boards, panini and such plus such desserts as root beer floats with Yards root beer, Bassetts vanilla ice cream and Tastykake.