Restaurateur George Paxos, whose Lehigh Valley restaurants include Blue, Melt, Torre, and the three-month-old Top Cut, has ventured south on I-476 into the Philadelphia suburbs with a stylish American grill called Firepoint (3739 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, 484-428-3093).
Firepoint, representing an investment well into the seven digits, sits on the edge of the new Shops at Ellis Preserve, which also features Zoes Kitchen, Mod Pizza, Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits, and Chipotle. Whole Foods and a Hilton Garden Inn are on the way, too.
Thursday, Nov. 3 is the debut of Firepoint, a roomy 250-seater, which has an open kitchen, glassed-in private dining room, and more-than-ample bar; 150 more can fit outside on an all-weather patio with a second bar.
A Starr alum, chef Hugh Moran, oversees a lunch menu including soups, salads, starters, burgers, sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, and main plates. Dinner expands on the theme with steaks, rotisserie chicken, pork, and seafood options.
It's open for lunch Monday to Saturday, Sunday for brunch, and dinner daily.
Paxos says he and his corporate chef/righthand man, Christopher Heath, had been looking for a restaurant location in the western suburbs since 2008, when he considered (and later rejected) a development in Malvern.
Paxos, 55, was born in Greece. When he was 2, his father died and his mother moved his family to Bethlehem's North Side to live with relatives who worked at the Steel.
Growing up, "I did everything in the restaurant - busing tables, cooking, whatever I had to do," he said. In addition, he had morning and evening paper routes. At 15, he said, his mother signed for him when he bought his first apartment building.
When he was 20, he bought the Candlelight Inn in Bethlehem, which in 2002 became Blue, a grill restaurant. Paxos' empire, which expanded to Melt in 2006 and Torre in 2014, also includes a real estate division (overseen by his daughter) and a food-distribution arm (overseen by his son).
Paxos and his wife, Tula, have been married for 31 years and have two grandchildren.