The Butcher and The Brewer Is Closing

The Butcher and The Brewer will be closing after business on Saturday, November 17th. The successor to the Boilermaker was only open since October 28th. The Boilermaker had replaced the Blue Bear Tavern in March of this year.

A press release from the company says a “recent and unforseen sale of the building” is the reason for the The Butcher and The Brewer’s closure. Staff will reportedly be “absorbed into other ventures” which includes Farmers’ Cabinet.

This is far from the first bit of drama from the Farmers’ Cabinet crew. Shortly after Farmers’ Cabinet opened Matt Swartz and company suddenly closed Fork and Barrel in East Falls as well  Tap and Table in Emmaus. Farmers’ Cabinet has seen more of its share of front and back of the house shakeups, not to mention its Virginia brewery.

The press release hints that the concept may pop up somewhere else but you never know.

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  • Victor Fiorillo

    I’m starting a collection to raise $1,000,000 to give to the Swartzes under the condition that they leave the state and never return, even to visit.

  • Russell Jones

    I’m wondering if my gift certificate from Fork & Barrel/Tap & Table/Boilermaker/Butcher & Brewer will be honored at, well… the Wendy’s at the corner of 11th & Walnut I suppose?

  • Mike

    With 3 vastly different concepts in the last year, who knows what’s going on with that business owner.

    Butcher and Brewer was fun, but crazy expensive.

  • Slick

    @Victor. After they pay landlords, purveyors, employees, lawyers, etc that will leave them with $38.00 in gas money. That would send them to DE or NJ but they ruined a places in both of those states too. Besides that, he can’t leave the state. How are the Feds gonna prosecute him for check fraud (again???) if he isn’t in PA? Maybe VA is the answer. Oh wait, he can’t got there either.

    So the staff will be absorbed by other venture(s)? That sounds familiar. (How’d that work out for the Fork N Barrel peeps?). The INSANE thing about this is Swartz is probably looking at other potential properties as we speak whilst employees still can’t get paid on time.

    “But stop in to try the new drink menu. It’s going to be amazing. We reduced bounced paychecks down with freshly squeezed human tears, just a touch of stripped glitter, and serve it with just a dash of shame and broken promises. Over a big rock. In appropriate glassware. For $20. 35 minutes after you order it.”

  • Andrew

    I’m not some insider or embittered (probably rightfully so)ex server, but how does this guy keep doing this? Virtually everything he touches is a financial failure. How does he keep securing leases? How does he keep securing vendors? Either all the stuff I read about him isnt true or wildly exaggerated, or there are alot of stupid people in the city who keep falling for this guy’s scam. I think its probably a mixture of both.

  • Bryan

    Ha ha ha. I took the under. I win. Farmers Cabinet is also operating without a liquor license, like this place was. It wasn’t from the building being sold.

  • Michael G

    No liquor license at Farmer’s Cabinet? Wow you needed to drink 6 10% beers to wash down their shitty food. It will be closed in a month. The LCB doesn’t like it when you don’t pay your taxes. You can switch vendors you stiff but you can’t not pay the State. They will revoke your license.

  • ImHungry

    HAHAHAH, only 3 months and it FAILED?!! Does this guy realize that he’s a joke yet? What are him and Scheller II going to do? Karma is a bitch fellas…I hope the FCab crew (whats left of them) will take this FINAL hint, pack their things, and go. I heard that they’ve recently had another group of people pack up and leave, but I’m not sure. Wouldn’t be surprised either.

  • ImHungry

    @Michael How can places operate without a liquor license? How long is it going to take for this man to get what has been coming to him? Lord knows he isn’t paying anyone off when he can’t even pay his employees!

  • K

    I was just there last night and was treated so well by the bartenders upstairs. I’m going to miss them in their flannel shirts and St. James shots.

  • Christian Vanneque

    Bring back debtor’s prisons and you won’t see shenanigans like this going on.

  • Heloise

    Yeah, I don’t get it either. How are these owners allowed (legally speaking) to keep fucking over their vendors and employees in this way? Why do they still seem to think of themselves as people who know how to run restaurants? It seems almost pathological to me, on their part.

    Best of luck to the hard-working kitchen, bar, and FOH staff who in my experience as a customer really know their shit and were nothing but great. Too bad they didn’t have the support of the restaurant’s seemingly incompetent owners.

  • Jellybean

    Matt Schwartz is the scum of the earth. Maybe if he wasn’t so damn shaddy and actually paid his employees…

  • HalfRight

    Matt and Colleen Swartz, and anyone who choses to work for them, are a disgrace and an affront to honorable business persons everyone. ESADS (eat s… and die Swartz’s)

  • Psychochef

    What happened at the B&B, is simple math. The Jeff wanted to increase its hospital’s sprawl, so bought leases in the block. I’m guessing that the B&Bs was an easy get. As to HalfRight’s assertion that the employees are also an affront,– see the comment by Heloise. The Opening Team of the B&B was one of the best and tightest I ever had the pleasure to know, and I sincerely hope that all of them land on their feet. Thank you, Heloise, whoever you are….I enjoyed serving you.

  • High Five

    Nice work Grainery Co. 2.0! This is exactly what dick-swinging and inexperience buys you! What a waste of money your consulting and re-hashed inner circle was! I’m just sorry your staff cant pay their bills so you could pay loud mouthed hacks for failed concepts! Fools liars and cowards all around.

  • question

    Why has Robert luccio taken his name off farmers cabinet liquor license? The Bella vista disclosure?

  • Rae

    As a former Tap and Table employee who warned Philly of these people- hate to say I told you so.

  • HotDogBunUpdate


  • HotDogBunUpdate

    EXCLUSIVE UPDATE : woops, so excited

    Open Today as Tiki BaBs ! A tiki bar and Bed and Breakfast in one ! Who needs a liquor license? Ain’t stopping the Cabinet and won’t stop BaBs !

    The hot dogs remain outstanding, don’t worry, I got this !

    Knock twice, show you don’t have a badge and say “Wonderbread Hot Dog Buns” to gain entry.

  • HotMinute

    I worked there for a hot minute. Paycheck bounced so I left. Been in the business long enough to not ignore THAT giant red flag. Shame of it is, the food was great and the staff was awesome. Even after being there only a couple weeks, still keep in touch with a bunch of them. They will land on their feet….just blows they have to do it over the holidays. I just don’t get that guy. He defies all good business sense and logic. There is a special place in hell for people like him. One can only hope.

  • question

    Psychochef the fact you still lie for them shows you are scum like them

  • the truth

    Haha Matt n colleen. What’s next? Looks like closing time is coming soon for thd swartzs. Guess that swartzmobile will crash and burn soon…..question colleen…973,000 since january and counting…thats a lot of money u will owe the irs….x 12years. What ashame that ur wonderful husband matt has set u up to take the fall…. I dont think orange works for either of u. Ask for soap on a rope for christmas this year. Love cousin ang

  • ImHungry

    I’m hoping that the exclusive news post was a joke, I couldn’t possibly stomach these fools opening another bound to fail establishment! How is the cabinet still standing?!!! Good thing (for them) there are people called “out-of-towners” who have no idea they’re giving money to criminals. I will say, however, it is quite entertaining watching the drama unfold!

  • Steve

    I’m wondering where Jennifer Choplin is in all of these posts after defending the new place when everyone warned her it was destined to fail.

  • Jacques Strappe

    Doctor Watsons used to have one of the best French Onion soups in town.

  • ImHungry

    I do feel bad for the staff, especially any of the newer ones that joined! How we’re they supposed to know Swartz and Scheller II were going to take them for a ride? Jenn Choplin was just simply defending her honor, which you can’t blame her for. I’m sure she’s singing a different tune now, but again I don’t blame her!

  • Huh

    Imhungry: “How we’re they supposed to know Swartz and Scheller II were going to take them for a ride? ”

    Are you joking? Ever heard of google or researching an employer before joining them? Everyone in town knows the Swartz story.

    How were they NOT to know they were being taken for a ride is the question. The usual answer in this case from my observations were most of these employees had been fired from other places with good reason. Seems they had no other choice than to hitchhike on the Swartzmobile for a short crash course. Now they’ll be flipping burgers or asking if you want fries with that order.

  • tc

    ha ha, less than 1 month? Do banks actually lend these people money?

  • The FOH and BOH staff at B&B are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and they will be friends for life. I’m proud of what we accomplished there in the short time we were open and I don’t regret a single moment; it was a valuable learning experience for all of us. I’m also grateful for the love and support of so many media and chef friends in the city. I’ll be just fine. ;-)

  • KC

    Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming.
    Utterly ridiculous on Swartz’s part to open up a new business when at can’t even pay the employees of his existing restaurant. And now F-Cab will be “absorbing” the B&B employees? You can’t even pay the employees you have now, how do you plan on paying even more workers?!!!
    I know for a fact that the paychecks at F-Cab have been regularly bouncing since last winter.
    And of course, we all know about the numerous purveyors who have been ripped off by Swartz & gang.

    Re: Andrew’s comment: Sorry to say that the stuff you’d read is not “a mixture of both” and unfortunately, what you have heard about Swartz is by no means wildly exaggerated. It is all true, and then some. I have actually had comments of mine deleted because on the outside, some of the things I’ve said about Swartz no doubt may seem completely unbelievable and too crazy to be true. But believe you me, I don’t have to lie about the man, his scumbaggery knows no bounds and he has done some terrible, terrible things.

    Psychochef: Hard to believe that B&B’s closing is “simple math.” Sure, Swartz may have fed his employees that spiel but most people know to take what he says with a grain of salt. As an former employee of another Swartz-owned establishment, I have heard all the excuses by now. Every time a paycheck bounced, there was some colorful excuse that placed the blame on everyone except for Matt Swartz. Every time the paychecks weren’t there at all, it was the mailman’s fault or the printer broke or the bank messed up. Every time the tips weren’t looking quite right and actually far under what they were supposed to be, there was some reasonable (not really) explanation for why people were seemingly getting paid less than they had actually earned.

    I have gathered that Matt is still able to find people to work for him because they either:
    a.) did not Google him and took the job thinking it would be a normal restaurant gig, only to find out the hard way
    b.) they do realize that they likely won’t get valid paychecks and that the restaurant is at risk of spontaneously shutting down any day, but due to the economy/job market they decided to take the job anyway and live off their tips until they find something else.

    I tried to tough it out despite the problems with the paychecks and the tips solely because I have a family to support; I figured a little bit of money was better than nothing and I may as well stick around while I hunted for a new job and I’d quit the instant I find something else. However, the lies from Swartz got to be too much, the work environment got to be too hostile, the disrespect he showed towards others made me greatly resent/despise him and I ultimately realized that associating with slime like Swartz may actually be hurting my chances of finding a decent job. Thank God I got out when I did and thank God I was able to land a gig at an establishment that actually pays its employees and treats them with respect.

  • the truth

    Oif@Kc…would u PLEASE contact me at…please.

    Im sure everyone would find it shocking that matt and colleen cant pay theur staff despite the $953,000 they recently received in only 8 months. Yes its true i have proof…so all u unpayed employees need to report them to the irs, fbi, better business bureau, and the plcb. Their liquor license is also inactive. Anyone else who wants to share info contact me..i will see them go to prison where they belong. I just feel sorry for their children.

  • Psychochef

    @Question,…the fact that you SPEW what YOU know as ‘fact’, without first CHECKING facts, shows that the FACT is, you’re a windbag who likes the smell of your own brand of wind.

  • nomadic

    The twat gordo can’t keep a job anywhere and the tats are hideous

  • Worker

    Butcher & Brewer did not close, the building was bought out by Jefferson hospital. Regardless of how Swartz may be though of as “scum”, everyone on this thread looks like idiots screaming that a business went under in only a month when it was simply bought out. Really, businesses don’t go under in a month folks, not even in the restaurant industry. Also, I personally might not like Swartz, but I love Farmer’s Cabinet.

  • Obvious

    Commercial leases survive change of ownership of a building. That coupled with the fact the Swartz’s were unable to renew their liquor licenses at the time of the closure and the fact they have hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to vendors in lawsuits and the fact employee paychecks are not clearing make it obvious you are full of shite.

    This business failed and the owners are trying to use the excuses of a new property owner. Farmer’s Cabinet is closing next, the owner of that property already took his name off the liquor license because of all the legal troubles there. Guess he didn’t want to end up in Federal prison with Matt and Colleen as a result of the Virginia bootlegging to PA. The only people left working Scabinet are scumbags like Matt, I recognize them all and know their pasts are not pretty. Hopefully they get hauled in to when the inevitable raid comes.