The Boilermaker Sneaks In To Replace Blue Bear Tavern

 Talk about a fast turn-around.

The Blue Bear Tavern–which formerly lived at 216 S. 11th Street–was only dark for something like 9 days before the team from Farmers’ Cabinet got it (quietly) re-opened on Saturday as a craft beer/comfort food/medieval-gothic candle-lit shot-and-a-beer joint serving hot dogs and a menu of custom boilermakers. Which does not sound at all like a concept thrown together at 3am by a bunch of wasted line cooks hanging out behind a Wawa huffing oven cleaner, right?


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Little Birdy Spots “Good Beer” Delivery to Former Blue Bear Tavern

Blue Bear Tavern - Photo by HughE Dillon

Matt and Colleen Swartz and Matt Scheller of Farmers’ Cabinet have confirmed that they are indeed taking over Blue Bear Tavern on 10th Street and are converting it into a Southern concept.

Just moments a go, a tipster let us know that the Blue Bear location was getting a delivery of “good beer.” So it would seem that they’re bent on opening their new concept quickly.

Farmers’ Cabinet taking over Blue Bear [The Insider]

Photo by HughE Dillon 

Blue Bear Tavern Closed (Again) but What’s Next?


HughE Dillon reports that 12th Street’s Blue Bear Tavern is out of commission again. The bar which replaced the legendary and sometimes notorious Doc Watson’s seemed to struggle from the beginning and was closed for part of February before having a “grand reopening.” Eater is rumor-mongering that the team behind Farmers’ Cabinet is scoping the place out. Us, we hear a shamrocked conglomerate is looking at the space.

Closed Eateries [Philly Chit Chat]
Rumor Mongering: Farmer’s Cabinet Crew Taking Over Blue Bear Tavern; Tiki Bar Deal Dead [Eater]


Blue Bear Tavern Finally Opens

Blue Bear Tavern finally opened its doors last Friday. The former Doc Watson’s is in soft opening mode with an introductory menu. The  team which includes Xavier Mariezcurrena (Union Trust), Tony Aiazzi and Executive Chef Billy Bilbo are going to be soliciting feedback from the neighborhood in preparation of a full menu and grand opening on October 14th.

Chef Gilbo who was slated to be the opening chef at American Oak before that project died on the vine, is preparing a menu of American classics at Blue Bear.

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Quick Bites

The Food Trust will be starting a periodic night market in Philadelphia in September. Details will be available later this week. [Meal Ticket]

Distrito chef de cuisine and long-time Jose Garces employee Tim Spinner is striking out on his own with Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington. [The Insider]

Memphis Taproom’s Jesse Kimball has been consulting over at Local 44. The West Philadelphia bar has overhauled its menu and will be rolling out weekend brunch on Saturday, September 4th. [Local 44]

PJ Whelihan’s is expanding again, this time taking over the former Primavera Pizza Kitchen in Downingtown. [The Insider]

Meal Ticket has a look at the late-summer menu for East Passyunk’s Fond. Hello harpoon-caught swordfish with marinated heirloom tomato and cucumber tzatziki. [Meal Ticket]

When the former Doc Watson’s reopens later this year it will be known as Blue Bear Tavern. [The Insider]