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Chef plans to take over Lotus Farm to Table in Media for his own restaurant

Owner Courtney Rozsas will close the restaurant on New Year’s Eve. Longtime chef Ryan Sulikowski will open his own restaurant after renovations.

At Lotus Farm to Table in Media, owner Courtney Rozsas and daughter Ophelia with chef Ryan Sulikowski.
At Lotus Farm to Table in Media, owner Courtney Rozsas and daughter Ophelia with chef Ryan Sulikowski.Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

Early word of a changeover in Media Borough:

Courtney Rozsas, who opened Lotus Farm to Table nearly 10 years ago, will close the restaurant on New Year’s Eve as her lease ends. In turn, Lotus’ longtime chef, Ryan Sulikowski, will open his own restaurant, with his wife, Brianne, in early 2020 after renovations.

Rozsas said she was seeking a different chapter in her life. She was 25 when she opened Lotus on State Street between Olive Street and Veterans Square. For three years, she also operated Farmer’s Road, a drive-through serving healthful food in Chadds Ford, and later also had a juice and snack bar inside Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa & Salon in Glen Mills. She explained that restaurant life is in her blood and hoped to return to the business someday.

Among the final specials at Lotus will be a 12 days of Christmas promotion, starting Dec. 10, that will feature different menu specials through the years. The restaurant never repeated a special.

Sulikowski, 32, who worked at Moro in Wilmington before joining Lotus seven years ago, said his new restaurant — whose name is not yet final — will shed its rustic look and destination approach in favor of what he called a “cleaner” aesthetic and a casual air. Menu will be predominately appetizers and small plates, as well as a la carte entrees, so that customers can build a meal as they please. “That’s the way my wife and I eat,” he said.

“The biggest challenge [for me] is that my name has been attached to Lotus for so long,” Sulikowski said. “I have to separate myself from Lotus.” He and Rozsas are also friendly which goes a long way “when you’re figuring out who you want to stand next to 14 hours a day.”

The restaurant will be suitable for “date nights and ‘hey, I don’t feel like cooking,’” he said.

He plans to lose the “farm to table” sobriquet but use the same local suppliers. It will be open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Saturday and for Sunday brunch. He also plans a Sunday dinner that his staff will be invited to as well as the general public.