Another day, it seems, another "better-burger" shop.
New in the frying pan is Grub Burger Bar, a rising chain out of College Station, Texas.
Its first area location opened recently at 159 York Rd. in Willow Grove (215-800-0699), next to a Wawa and an outpost of Zoës Kitchen in a new development at York and Easton Roads. (A Montgomery Mall location is on tap for mid-2015.)
Grub works the high-ceiling, industrial-look atmosphere.
It is fast-casual - that is, order at the counter and find seating, or get the order to go. You can also sit and eat at the full bar, whose signature frozen drinks include a $4 margarita and shakes.
Grub bakes its rolls hourly (and brings in gluten-free buns) and grinds its blend of chuck and brisket daily for a wild assortment of burgers; there also are patties made from ground turkey breast, ground chicken, chickpeas/eggplant, hand-chopped Alaskan salmon, and ahi tuna, plus salads.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, till 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
A second story
Debbie Grady was reading the paper at her Pottstown farm about two years ago when she learned that Triumph Brewing was pulling out of Old City.
Her son-in-law John Wible, meanwhile, was quite serious about his homebrewing.
Next thing she knew, she says, she was on the line to Wible and old friend Ken Merriman, a restaurant manager, telling them: "Triumph's on the market and I want to buy it."
Thus launched the second stories of a farmer, a homebrewer, and a restaurateur, who are behind the rustic 2nd Story Brewing Co. (117 Chestnut St., 267-314-5770), a brewery and brewpub. The brewhouse is on the second story of the building, which they stripped down to the brick walls.
Chef Rebecca Krebs, whose previous stop was Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach, Del., offers a simple menu: six starters (including her own pretzels and charcuterie), flatbreads, two soups, four sandwiches, a burger, five entrees, and four desserts.
Wible's beers come from his 15-bbl system visible from the upstairs and downstairs bars.
Grady seems as unlikely as anyone to be entering the restaurant/bar business at age 59. She was a stay-at-home mom who raised six children.
Hours will be 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. initially. Plan is to run 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday.
Spuntino, the Doylestown Neapolitan-style pizzeria, is making a play for Northern Liberties. Salvatore and Robert Carollo hope to open next spring in a new building being erected at Second Street and Fairmount Avenue.
Tria has hired chef Karen Nicolas, who was named one of Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs 2012 for her work at Equinox in Washington. She most recently was executive chef at what was Citron & Rose in Lower Merion, and also worked locally at the former Simon Pearce in the Brandywine Valley. Nicolas oversees all Tria kitchens, including Tria Fitler Square, replacing Dmitri's at 23d and Pine Streets in early 2015.
More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike.