Nearly two years in the making, Goose Island Brewhouse will open Friday in Fishtown, where it will take over a former dry-ice plant at 1002 Canal St., across from Revolutions, Punch Line, Philadelphia Distilling, and Mad Rex.
Goose Island, which traces its roots to Chicago, is now owned by beer behemoth A-B InBev.
Cool setup. Unlike most brewpubs, the brewing equipment is not behind glass. Patrons must walk past it on their way to the tables in the vast, industrial-looking dining rooms. There also are a large lawn and a patio.
Management team is all local: General manager Shannon Smith spent years at Victory Brewing. Chef Brennan Miller was last at Harvest Seasonal Grill. Brewmaster Tim Caron came from Tuckahoe Brewing in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
Miller's scratch kitchen uses local purveyors. Menu includes snacks, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and plates; top freight is $19 for dry-aged hanger steak served with smashed red potatoes, roasted beets, carrots, and béarnaise butter.
Bar setup includes 28 draft lines and two cask engines. Goose Island promises a full complement of all its beers (including ones never seen outside Chicago before), and one-of-a-kind draft-only beers made by Caron.
Two landmark restaurant spaces are in play in Fairmount, and in Brewerytown, a massive bar is looking for a new operator.
Chis Ryan ended his 29-year run as owner of Bridgid's at 24th and Meredith Streets in Fairmount, as he has sold to local investors including Joseph Spina and restaurateur Jack McDavid. The restaurant is closed for now, though buyers are hoping to pick up new operators who would keep the Bridgid's name. Under long-ago operator Michel Notredame, Bridgid's won acclaim as a Belgian-beer destination.
The same investors, by the way, as well as Loonstyn Properties, are looking for an operator at Rembrandt's at 23rd and Aspen Streets, which closed last July. A planned deal involving chef Peter McAndrews to revive his shuttered Modo Mio did not come to pass; he's now chef at Monsu, his Italian restaurant in the Italian Market.
In Brewerytown, meanwhile, Dana Spain is seeking an operator for the very much still-operating Brewerytown Taproom at 31st and Master Streets, which opened last year in a former Acme Market warehouse as Flying Fish Crafthouse.
When Flying Fish did not renew its management contract, Spain started a search for an operator. The taproom, which has 191 seats inside and 60 outside in its 7,500 square feet of space, is a key deal, she said. That is, the new operator could simply walk in.
"I'm a restaurant investor," Spain said. "Not an operator. I need someone who knows the restaurant business — that would not be me." Spain is represented by Josh Weiss at MSC Retail.