Eating America at Liberty Union

Today’s featured state is Alaska. Your appetizer will be Alaskan King crab legs with baked Alaskan salmon as your main.

Or maybe today’s featured state is Vermont. The featured dish? Mac-n-cheese with Vermont cheddar.

So goes the concept of Liberty Union Bar and Grill, the new upscale, vintage-rustic-Americana bar/restaurant coming to Chester Springs with a  mid-November opening at 325 Simpson Drive. The first solo effort from former longtime Blarney Stone GM Steven Schwenk, Liberty Union will seat close to 160 and offer staples of our homespun American cuisine, plus comfort foods from all 50 states. Each week will feature specials from a different state, in addition to the standard menu.

This past April, when the owner of the Blarney Stone was forced to lay off Schwenk (who says he managed the place in the owner’s absence for 14 years and built its reputation), the newly-unemployed restaurant lifer took the opportunity to further develop the concept he’d been playing with on his own time for nearly a decade.

“I think when you come in here and put it all together,” Schwenk said, “it will give you a sense of pride in America.”

With executive chef Mike Crenny (a former sous at KOP’s Legal Sea Foods, who himself has traveled some of the byways of this fair nation), Schwenk researched cities around the U.S., looking for their most popular (and historic) culinary dishes.

Schwenk wants to create a place that brings all the flavors of our fractious republic together and puts them on one menu. He will stay true to domestic U.S. drinking as well–including local favorites Victory and Stoudt’s–but will also cater to the international crowd by offering imported staples like Guinness.

The decor will be feature license plates from all 50 states (natch), and be rooted in red, white and blue hues. Classic Uncle Sam trinkets and vintage Route 66 paraphernalia, Cola signs, flags and tributes to American landmarks like Mt. Rushmore will adorn the walls.

The only question now? What Schwenk and Crenny will come up with for North Dakota week.