Michael McNally and Terry Berch McNally have set May 18 as their finale at London Grill, which helped lead Fairmount into a destination-dining neighborhood over the last three decades.
The next day will be set aside as what Terry McNally calls a “final farewell for all our staff, friends, family, amd customers.” But it will be open May 19 for drinking and takeout food only.
The McNallys also want to make it worthwhile for employees to stick around for the next three weeks by offering bonuses.
Jack McDavid and Joe Spina, two investors from the neighborhood, have bought the landmark at 2301 Fairmount Ave. and its name. They also bought the Paris Wine Bar next door. McDavid, himself a restaurateur, said they were considering several potential operators. They want someone who would be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Terry McNally said her own plans as well as those of her former husband, the chef, were uncertain, though she said she wanted to help restaurateurs with marketing and public relations.
The McNallys notified staffers April 25 that they understood if they needed to leave before the closing date, “but please keep us informed so we can have our last days as drama-free as possible. We will be giving closing bonuses for those of you who can stay till the end.”
Given the booming restaurant economy, it’s likely that employees will have little trouble securing new jobs.
The corner property has been the site of a bar-restaurant since 1843, when a pair of Russian immigrants opened the Golden Lager Saloon. It later was McMenamin’s (no relation to the one in Mount Airy) and then, from 1968, a tavern called London.