Comforts are coming
If all goes to plan, next week will bring the opening of Bar Hygge (1720 Fairmount Ave., 215-765-2274), a brewpub by Earth Bread + Brewery's Tom Baker and Peggy Zwerver in a partnership with Stew and Julie Keener of Baggataway Tavern in West Conshohocken.
Bar Hygge - pronounced "HYOO-guh" and taken from a Danish expression roughly translated as "cozy camaraderie" - is set up for comfort: a spacious wooden bar, plush anteroom, banquette, and high-top seating.
Chef Chris Galbraith's menu is split between "boards" - assorted app-size dishes (meat, cheese, vegetables) that can be built into a sharing platter - and more conventional dishes. Nothing too outlandish: roast chicken breast, braised short rib, herbed spaetzle resembling mac and cheese, and a grass-fed beef burger. No flatbread pizza, EB+B's specialty.
At the 10-barrel brewhouse, branded as Brewery Techne, Baker makes six original beers and the bar pours four "guest" beers and four wines on tap.
It will be open nightly, adding Sunday brunch in a month.
His lease coming up, chef Patrice Rames will close Bistro St. Tropez, in the Marketplace Design Center for nearly 29 years, after service Feb. 27. Rames says he is looking actively for a new space. He says he will extend the restaurant week menus through the closing. Meanwhile, he's busy. He's a first-time father at age 55, as he and his wife, Aria, welcomed twins six weeks ago.
New in Manayunk
The cozy Maya.J, opening Friday in Manayunk at 4371 Main St. (267-297-8961), is a homecoming for chef Craig Wilson, who worked on the strip years ago before heading to New York. Partnered with school chum Eric Weinstein, a psychologist, Wilson executes a locally sourced, small-plate menu inspired by such spots as India, Mexico, Thailand, Greece, and Morocco. Bar has cocktails, six beers on tap, and wines. It's open from 4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday; lunch and brunch will start in the spring. The location was Chabaa Thai, which expects to reopen in the spring at 4255 Main St.
Joe Carpenter, who has a seasonal Wild Burrito shop in Wildwood Crest, has opened a BYOB in his native South Philadelphia at 2015 E. Moyamensing Ave. (215-336-9453) in Pennsport. He sells customizable Mission-style burritos. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The space briefly occupied by the New York City outpost of PYT is available for lease after three months. The burger bar, which started at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties more than six years ago, closed in the fall. Owner Tommy Up could not be reached for comment.
The Foodery - the beer emporium with locations in Washington Square West, Northern Liberties, and Roxborough - is taking a former dollar store at 325 Bridge St., Phoenixville. The spacious store is to open in June.
More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike