August 02, 2018
Iron Hill Brewery has been a craft beer juggernaut for more than two decades, earning national and global awards for its unique brews and upscale casual restaurants in the Delaware Valley.
For the first time since opening the first restaurant in Newark, Delaware, in 1996, the story of expansion will finally have an outpost in Center City Philadelphia.
Set to open in September, Iron Hill Brewery will be a fixture of the East Market development that's transforming Market and Chestnut Streets alongside the construction of Fashion District Philadelphia, PREIT's reimagining of The Gallery at Market East. The two projects together will turn the corridor from 9th to 12th Streets into a fashion, dining and entertainment destination over the next few years.
"Traditionally, we've always opened our restaurants in suburban locations, main streets where we felt the community might be underserved for what we do" said Warren Sewell, regional manager at Iron Hill. "This is sort of a first step toward opening an anchor location in a high volume metropolitan area. The good thing about us is people know our brand in the Philadelphia area."
Locality figures to be a point of emphasis at the East Market location, where samples of a "Foles Gold" brew signaled a beer list and menu that will celebrate the culture of Philadelphia.
Head Brewer Ben Schamburg joked that the New England-style IPA "Strawberry Hop Fluff" will be crossed off on the menu and renamed as a Philadelphia-style IPA.
With approximately 45 outdoor seats curving around the side of the restaurant, chairman Kevin Finn said the Philadelphia location will fit right into the revival of East Market Street.
"We're excited to have a presence in Center City and bring some of the employees who have been with us for years into this environment," Finn said. "Most of our locations are in downtown areas, but having a home in Center City will be another step in our journey. It's something we've talked about doing for many years"
Head chef Josh Jastrzembski, who helped opened the location in Huntingdon Valley, said he's looking forward to pushing boundaries with the upscale palette in Philadelphia. He'll be in charge of the restaurant's feature sheets.
Both Jastrzbmbski and Finn agreed the most important part of the Iron Hill experience is encouraging guests to try new pairings, change up their style and learn more about the brewing process.
"We've had people come in to Iron Hill only drinking light beer, and then when they come back again they're beer connoisseurs," said Finn.
"We are currently on target," said Sewell. "Our general contractors are motivated and we expect to open on time."