Fairmount landmarks Bridgid's and Rembrandt's coming back

Banner outside of the former Rembrandt’s advertises it as Frankie Ann’s Grill.

Camera icon MICHAEL KLEIN/ Staff
Restaurateur Jose Vargas at Bridgids at 24th and Meredith Streets in Fairmount.

Two Fairmount landmarks are on their way back.

Reopening May 16 is Bridgid’s at 24th and Meredith Streets, under new owner Jose Vargas. Chris Ryan, who opened it 29 years ago, closed it in February and sold the bricks to a partnership.

Vargas says he will maintain the name and the general neighborhood-bar ambiance. You may remember how Bridgid’s was renowned, back in the day, for its Belgian beer selection and Belgian food from chef Michel Notredame. Nowadays, Vargas points out, everybody has a great beer selection.

Vargas owns a few restaurants in Jenkintown, including a bistro called Leila’s (211 York Rd.), the tiny Forcella (310 Old York Rd.), and a quirky brewpub with a microscopic one-half-barrel brewhouse called Leila’s Liquid Project (307 York Rd).

Vargas says Bridgid’s will pour Leila’s beers in addition to the regular tap list.

His opening menu, which seems Euro-American in focus, is here. Entree prices are squarely in the $20s.

It will be open nightly.

Camera icon MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
Rembrandt’s at 23rd and Aspen Streets in Fairmount.

The area also will be seeing the comeback of Rembrandt’s, the vast restaurant-bar at 23rd and Aspen Streets that closed last July after 32 years.

New building owner Jack McDavid — the founder of Jack’s Firehouse and now a savvy real estate owner in Fairmount — has leased it out to a new operator, who is keeping the new name a secret until its June 7 opening.

The operator is naming it after his wife and does not want to spoil the surprise now, said general manager Tom Hannafin.

He said the Restaurant Formerly Known as Rembrandt’s has been spruced up. With beer as a focus, it will double its taps complement to 24 and will have an English pub menu by chef Dylan Hart — all aimed at the neighborhood.

Update: So much for the surprise. A banner went up Thursday, May 17 advertising the new name as Frankie Ann’s Bar & Grill.

Camera icon MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
Bridgid’s at 24th and Meredith Streets in Fairmount.