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Rouge on Rittenhouse Square to close for renovation

Meg Rodgers, who designed the bistro for Neil Stein, has been commissioned to update the look.

Rouge, which opened in 1998 at 205 S. 18th St.
Rouge, which opened in 1998 at 205 S. 18th St.Read moreMichael Klein

Rouge, the bistro that ushered in outdoor dining on Rittenhouse Square 20 years ago, will close for remodeling and a chef change after business New Year’s Day.

Owner Rob Wasserman said he expected the work to take 45 to 60 days, as he hopes to reopen around Valentine’s Day.

Meg Rodgers of Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design, who designed the restaurant for founder Neil Stein, has been commissioned to handle the interior.

“It’s time to reimagine what Rouge should look like now," Wasserman said.

The rebooting will coincide with the departure after seven years of chef Samuel Noh, who will work with chef Michael Yeamans at nearby sister restaurants Audrey Claire and Twenty Manning Grill.

New chef will be the well-traveled Sean McPaul, whose career started 15 years ago at Stephen Starr’s Tangerine before a move to San Francisco (Bacar, Quince, Jardiniere), and a return to Philadelphia, where he opened Talula’s Garden for Starr. McPaul then opened Starr’s Upland in New York before leaving for Ludlow House. Next, he became chef for Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin at High Street on Hudson, their Manhattan sibling of High Street on Market in Old City.

Wasserman said McPaul’s new menu would include the signature Rouge burger. The Rouge kitchen staff will work with McPaul during the renovation, which will be limited to the dining room.