October 07, 2022
The closing of Devil's Den this month marks the end of a 14 year-run for the South Philadelphia gastropub, but soon the smell of sizzling bacon will be emanating from the storefront on South 11th Street.
Bake'N Bacon, the food truck started by Justin Coleman in 2019, will get its first brick-and-mortar restaurant this winter inside the 2,500-square-foot space. The genesis of his business stemmed from a dream.
Coleman, 37, is a Cape May native who grew up in a household that prized family recipes and creativity in the kitchen. In 2016, while Coleman was living in New Jersey and working at a restaurant, his younger brother died. In a dream, Coleman said he was visited by his brother, who talked about the two of them opening a food truck and uttered the words "bacon bacon bacon," as if summoning a genie.
When Coleman woke up, he jotted down what he could remember and soon began his mission to open a food truck.
The mobile business has developed a following in the Philadelphia area, persevering beyond the difficult early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coleman traveled the region in his first truck, sharing the always-marketable gift of bacon at a time when many restaurants were stuck in limbo.
There are now multiple Bake'N Bacon trucks that will continue to serve the tri-state area after the restaurant opens.
When Coleman learned that Devil's Den owner Erin Wallace would be closing her bar, he jumped at the opportunity to purchase the property. As part of the storefront's transition, Coleman has offered jobs to current Devil's Den staff who wish to remain.
"This was a no-brainer to purchase this property and have it as my first restaurant," Coleman said. "The property is in an already established neighborhood that is booming, now more than ever. The locals in this community are committed to supporting the businesses around them and vice versa. This location is the perfect turn-key hub for the Bake'N brand to share its incredible menu with the entire Philadelphia market and Greater Philadelphia region."
As one might expect, bacon will be the common denominator from the kitchen at Coleman's restaurant. Menu teasers include the Bacon Pesto Chicken Sandwich and Bacon Mac Sandwich, while some of Coleman's favorite dishes are his Bacon Brisket Sandwich and Savory Brisket Waffle.
A secret family recipe for dense pound cake will be paired with a bacon-infused caramel sauce, and for those with more of a sweet tooth, chocolate-covered bacon will be on the menu.
Bake'N Bacon will have a full liquor license and a cocktail menu specially designed to be paired with bacon dishes.
"Everything goes better with bacon," Coleman said. "Big picture, I want to open a bacon-themed restaurant that is known as one of the hottest new, hip spots to eat. Bake'N Bacon is Black-owned, and I want to bring Black excellence to fruition, giving a memorable experience and vibe with great food and amazing drinks. I see this place as being a chill spot to take selfies, post videos, be yourself, and have a great time."
The space will include indoor seating for about 75 people and an outdoor space that can accommodate 20-24 people. In the future, Coleman said he hopes to expand the restaurant with additional dining rooms and party spaces.
Look for Bake'N Bacon to open some time in December or January, with a brick interior and a neon sign inside that reads, "Home of the Bacon-goodness."
On weekdays, the restaurant will host a happy hour followed by dinner and late-night service. On weekends, it will open for brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night service. The anticipated hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 5-10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.