The team behind Radnor's 333 Belrose has ventured to a former paper mill on the banks of the Brandywine Creek with a steak house called Firecreek (20 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, 610-269-6000).
Opening is expected next week.
Developers Tom Deignan and Kevin Silverang, partnered with chef Carlo DeMarco and Robert Donaldson, hired designer Lauren Thomsen, who used some of the mill's stone, as well as cogs and wheels, in the contemporary decor, which features an open kitchen. An outdoor deck awaits warm weather. Firecreek is part of Deignan and Silverang's Paper Mill on the Brandywine, a mixed-use development.
Menu (starters $6 to $15, entrees $15 to $32) is mostly locally sourced, as is the beer list (Phoenixville's Sly Fox). Wine list will range from familiar (a Napa cabernet) to harder-to-find (an Oregon Marsanne).
Hours will be lunch and dinner daily.
In 2007, Bill Papatolis' landlord declined to renew the lease for his diner, Spring Garden Restaurant, as the entire building at Fourth and Spring Garden Streets was to become a supermarket. After 23 years, he shut down and gutted the place. More than a year later, he got a call: The supermarket was not as large as planned. How about coming back? The Spring Garden (400 Spring Garden St., 215-922-6254) reopened last week - all new everything, but with the same staff - delighting workers from the Social Security Administration office across the street. It's open from 5 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, till 2 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Aversa's Bakery in Blackwood, which supplies rolls to such eateries as Pat's King of Steaks, Copabanana and Iron Hill, will open a retail branch, including Italian prepared foods, at 9309 Ventnor Ave., Margate, in May.
Green Parrot Restaurant Pub, with an upscale-Irish theme, is looking to open soon at Goodnoe Corner, where Goodnoe's was (240 N. Sycamore St. in Newtown, Bucks County). Chef Rick Narasaki, formerly at Trump Plaza's EVO, will cook most dishes in a wood-fired oven.
The management at Maia in Villanova has bitten the bullet and closed the upstairs dining room, which in January had trimmed its operation to Thursdays through Saturdays for dinner. Management says the plan is to redo it into something more affordable. The concept was too similar to the bistro menu downstairs.
Gayle, chef Daniel Stern's Queen Village restaurant, has gone the BYOB route, putting its liquor license on the back burner. Associate Sue Mahoney tells me that many people have long thought that Gayle was a BYOB anyway; about two years ago, it began a BYOB-optional night on Thursdays. Gayle allows BYOB (with no corkage fee) while selling its remaining wines. When the inventory is depleted, the license will go into safekeeping for another project. Mahoney says plans for a lunchtime operation at the Cira Centre are on hold right now, pending talks with Brandywine Management. For two years, Stern ran Rae in that space until he announced its move this fall to the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. Mahoney says that construction at 2LP should begin soon and that a fall opening is expected.
Cheesecake Factory, known for humongous portions, has gone the other way by adding a small-plate menu of items priced under $6.95, including crispy fried cheese, stuffed mushrooms, and sweet corn fritters.
Jean Maurice Juge, one of the first chefs at Vickers in Exton, has returned to the fold as executive chef.