October 05, 2023
High Street has reopened its doors in Center City, marking a new era for the eatery that closed and pivoted to takeout during the pandemic.
The full-service restaurant and bar — founded by James Beard award-winning restaurateur Ellen Yin — is located at the corner of Ninth and Chestnut streets in the Franklin Residences apartment building. The updated High Street, which opened Wednesday, also includes a bakery that produces bread for the restaurant and offers grab-and-go food options.
High Street, part of Yin's High Street Hospitality Group portfolio, was formerly located on Market Street in Old City before steep rent increases led to its relocation to Center City in 2020. Like many restaurants, High Street was forced to close down during the pandemic. Yin shifted to takeout, catering and delivery but created plans to eventually make the restaurant in-person again.
The new-and-improved High Street has 38 restaurant seats and a 14-seat bar, which has cocktails created by Harry Jamison, general manager of a.kitchen+bar in Rittenhouse Square.
“The addition of the 14-seat bar is all-new for the High Street concept," Yin said in a release. "On the food side, guests will notice a more succinct menu that, in my opinion, reflects how most people want to eat — snacky, family-style, comforting plates.”
High Street's menu is led by Christina McKeough, who's been with the company since 2019. Highlights include the hand-rolled pici pasta with littleneck clams; steak tartare toast with marrow; lamb meatballs with celeriac tzatziki; and a rye cannoli with chocolate chai cream. High Street also will offer a "leave it to us" option, where guests are given a four-course family-style meal chosen by the chefs.
The restaurant's interior was designed by Yin's longtime collaborators at Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design, who also worked on High Street's Old City location. Along with 12-foot ceilings and full-length windows, the decor includes dark-stained church pews, painted wood paneling and maps of Philadelphia from various points in history.
A 35-seat event space and bar called The Back Room — reminiscent of the private dining room that sat behind the original High Street location — is also new and is accessible from an exclusive entrance at 834 Chestnut St.
High Street Hospitality Group, founded by Yin and Eli Kulp, operates multiple restaurants in the city, including Fork (306 Market St.) and a.kitchen+bar (135 S. 18th St.). Yin is a five-time James Beard nominee for outstanding restauranteur, and she earned the prize at the 2023 awards ceremony.
Prior to its pandemic closure, Old City's High Street had been nationally recognized by publications like Bon Appétit and Travel + Leisure, which named the eatery among the best new restaurants in the world in 2015.
High Street (101 S. 9th St.) is open Tuesday-Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 5-9:30 p.m. High Street Bakery is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.