A restaurant group wants to open two restaurants at the 19th-century Hale Building at Juniper and Chestnut Streets, which has been shrouded in scaffolding during two years of restoration and renovations.
Dubai-based McGettigan Hospitality Group — which has 19 bars and 11 hotels around the world — won conditional support from the Washington Square West Civic Association last night.
McGettigan plans to open a branch of its Warehouse Bar & Kitchen, a sports bar, on the Chestnut Street frontage as well as an all-day cafe on the Sansom Street side called The Hale.
The company will take 12,000 square feet next door to Blick Art Supply, across from Fogo de Chao, and across the intersection from Macy's. The Hale's Chestnut Street facade bore the name of a Valu-Plus store for many years.
Juniper and Chestnut, incidentally, is crackling with energy, as construction is well underway for a spring opening of Tradesman's, a barbecue restaurant, on the southeast corner where the Greenhouse market was. Teddy Sourias and partners also operate BRU Craft & Wurst and U-Bahn next door.
Developer Brickstone Realty bought the long-vacant Hale Building in 2015 and has it set up as a mixed-use project. The Hale, built in the late 1800s, was designed by Willis G. Hale, who also designed the Divine Lorraine on North Broad Street. At the time of the sale, Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron wrote that it was "about time someone recognized the building's Addams Family charm."
Officials with Brickstone did not return a message seeking information.
McGettigan traces its roots to 1964, when CEO Dennis McGettigan's father, Jim McGettigan, opened his first pub in Dublin, Ireland. In 1969, the family opened the Baggot Inn, where Tracey Chapman launched her career. The company's bar holdings are in Ireland and the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and in Midtown Manhattan.
In its presentation, McGettigan representatives said Warehouse, with an industrial feel, would be a high-end, low-key, comfortable neighborhood bar. They also emphasized that they want to support local sports teams as well as bring awareness to causes and charity initiatives.
The Hale, divided from Warehouse by a mezzanine level, is intended as a hub and gathering space for professionals, open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. By day, they said, it would offer a relaxed atmosphere where people can come and meet and engage and work. In the late afternoon and evening, it will become a post-work drinks spot. There will be no live music — only background music — and no TVs.