Frankford Hall, Stephen Starr's interpretation of a German beer garden, has risen in Fishtown (1210 Frankford Ave., 215-634-3338).
Under Stokes Architecture, workers banged out the brick interior of an industrial building to create casual rooms and added a large gravel courtyard for outdoor seating on picnic benches. Garage doors separate the inside and outside. There are two Ping-Pong tables and three bars.
Food is ordered from a walk-up counter, and German beers will wash down the wursts (including brats, weisswurst, krakauer, kasekrainer, and knockwurst). Two more substantial dishes (roasted chicken and Jager Schnitzel) are on the menu; it's open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays, noon to 2 a.m. weekends. Photos and menu are at www.philly.com/frankford.
Appalachian Brewing Co., founded in 1997 in Harrisburg and now including locations in Camp Hill and Gettysburg, has taken over the Henninger's space in Collegeville Station (50 W. Third Ave., Collegeville, 484-973-6064). Barnlike quarters will include brewing, due to start in July. Menu ($18 and under) includes burgers, pizza, panini, shepherd's pie, and Mile High Meatloaf, served on Texas toast and topped with mashed potatoes. It's open daily for lunch and dinner.
Chenango, attached to Northern Liberties' private Arrow Swim Club (1031 Germantown Ave., 215-606-7402), features an American menu in its indoor-outdoor setting. It's open daily from 5 p.m. and serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends.
It's a long story (with a Byzantine legal subplot), but Fat Jack's - one of the region's longer-running barbecue operations - is in growth mode. Founder Glenn Gross has set up in a Far Northeast strip mall behind a Dunkin' Donuts off Red Lion Road and Roosevelt Boulevard (10090 Roosevelt Blvd., 215-613-7091, www.fatjacks.net). From the smoker parked outside comes a geographic melting pot of BBQ (Texas, Memphis, Carolina), plus such rarer dishes as Brunswick stew, fried pickle chips, and barbecue pork belly. It's open for lunch and dinner daily. There's still a location in Vineland, N.J.
The Chart House will open next Thursday at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, as the casino known as Trump Marina changes hands.
Jolly Weldon of Jolly's Dueling Piano Bar, now at the Academy House (1420 Locust St.), was found not guilty last week of threatening Timothy Smith Sr., his onetime business partner's father, outside the bar's former location on Chestnut Street. The case fell apart after Weldon's attorney, Michael Engle, pointed out that Smith had waited a month to report his allegations to police.