This should be a busy spring in Ardmore as two projects — one a French restaurant that could become the Parc of the Main Line and the other a two-story cocktail bar — get closer to opening.
Due in early April, in the grandly designed former bank building that last housed Primavera Pizza Kitchen at Lancaster Avenue and Station Road, is The Bercy.
It will be a biggie: a 240-seater that could become the Parc of the Main Line — a scene with its internally lit 60-foot U-shaped bar with 40 seats and an open mezzanine flanked by 20-foot windows. It’s also being intended as family-friendly in pricing.
Partners Justin Weathers and Joe Monnich are billing The Bercy — named after the neighborhood in the 12th Arrondissement of Paris — as a modern take on the classic French brasserie. It will operate at dinner only at the outset, with lunch, weekday breakfast, and weekend brunch added shortly thereafter.
Weathers and Monnich, partners in Stove & Tap in Lansdale and Al Pastor in Exton, met at Starr Restaurants as part of the opening team at Parc, on Rittenhouse Square. Monnich was executive chef of Parc and The Dandelion and previously held positions with Jean-Georges, Lacroix, and Susanna Foo. Weathers’ management roles with Starr included Parc, The Dandelion, and Continental Mid-town. Austin Schafer, a Garces alum most recently at Amada, will be chef de cuisine.
They’re going for approachable, classically inspired brasserie cuisine, including wood-fired rotisserie, fresh pastas, and steakhouse-style cuts, as well as extensive gluten-free and vegan options. The bar will extend into an open raw bar. They’re planning a modern take on classic French cocktails, as well as an international beers on tap and by the bottle and an assortment of French ciders.
They’ve charged Balongue Design with making the space feel elegant and casually chic, with the inspiration of a grand hotel.
Just down the block, where Fellini was at 29 E. Lancaster Ave., developer Peter Martin says he is about three weeks from opening Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft, what he describes as a two-story, throwback-Americana gastro-bar with outdoor garden seating out back.
Martin says he’s modeling The Ripp after several bars he’s scouted, including the Keefer in Vancouver, Canada, and has adopted the name both from the Grateful Dead song “Ripple” as well as a long-ago dive bar near his childhood home in Elkins Park.
Small word, too. Chef/partner Benjamin “Biff” Gottehrer was a sous chef at The Dandelion, El Vez, JG Domestic, and the opening chef at Stove & Tap.