M Restaurant, at the boutique Morris House Hotel across from Pennsylvania Hospital, will close after dinner service Sunday, Feb. 16 after 15 years.

But, said co-owner Gene LeFevre, Kensington-based Feast Your Eyes will assume control of the catering events now on the books.

The 17-room hotel, set in a circa-1787 brick house at 225 S. Eighth St., also will remain open “exactly as it is,” he said.

It’s a homecoming for Feast Your Eyes’ Lynn Buono and Skip Schwarzman, who handled catering at the hotel years ago before hotel management took it over. For a spell a few years ago, chef Joncarl Lachman had managed the restaurant.

Several factors helped steer the decision by LeFevre and his wife, Deborah Boardman LeFevre, and business partners Tracey and Michael DiPaolo, who bought the property in 2000 and opened to guests in 2002. Earlier this month, their event planner got a job offer elsewhere and their executive chef said he had grown tired of his long commute. Then the partners assessed the business climate, especially the keen competition for a la carte dining.

Catered events, which also use the property’s tree-lined courtyard, will have access to the restaurant space, he said.

Any M gift certificates will be honored by the hotel after this weekend, he said.

The tables of M Restaurant are in the bluestone courtyard of the Morris House Hotel on Eighth Street south of Walnut. Torches are lit after dark, and the dining area is shaded by genteel magnolias and towering holly. There are urns of petunias at the perimeter, and a skirt of boxwood.
AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer
The tables of M Restaurant are in the bluestone courtyard of the Morris House Hotel on Eighth Street south of Walnut. Torches are lit after dark, and the dining area is shaded by genteel magnolias and towering holly. There are urns of petunias at the perimeter, and a skirt of boxwood.
The courtyard at M Restaurant is one of the largest al fresco dining areas in Center City.
TIM TAI
The courtyard at M Restaurant is one of the largest al fresco dining areas in Center City.