Butcher Bar Is Coming To Chestnut Street

The restaurant family behind Varga Bar, Mercato and Valanni is coming to Rittenhouse Square.

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan living around Rittenhouse Square, times are pretty good. You’ve got V Street and HipCityVeg, Bar BomBon, Govinda’s and Agno Grill. Options abound, and just about every restaurant that isn’t a straight-up temple to vegetables and the creative use of soy offers brilliant, well-considered vegetarian dishes all over their menus.

So you know what this neighborhood needs? A butcher shop.

Well, more like an ode to the streetcorner butcher shops of old, but still. The Anni Family (who already own and operate some of the most recognizable addresses in Washington Square West) are looking at August for the opening of their expansion into the Rittenhouse neighborhood with Butcher Bar.

They’re calling it “a playful celebration of meat lovers and comfort foods” and putting together a protein-heavy menu full of homemade meatballs and sausages–plus decorating the two-story space at 2034 Chestnut with antique butcher’s scales, meat cleavers, old photographs of streetcorner butchers and hanging meat hooks in case anyone anywhere was unclear about exactly what kind of restaurant this is going to be.

Interesting choices in interior decor aside, they’ll have longtime Anni family loyalists Evan Turney and John Strain overseeing things in the kitchen and putting the big, wood-fired grills to good use. The menu will offer four different kinds of house-made meatballs and sausages (many of them infused with beer from Yards), steaks and rotisserie chickens, plus coal-roasted potatoes, grilled carrots and scratch-made sides. Some examples of the dishes they’re working on include:

  • Sloppy Joe Poutine, with wagyu beef, pepperjack cheese and house-cut fries
  • Yards IPA Sausage, made with Yards IPA and served with warm potato salad
  • The Italian Meatball, made with pork, veal, beef and stuffed with Fontina cheese, tomato, fresh basil and Pecorino Romano
  • The Hipster, a vegetarian meatball, featuring chickpea, summer corn, peppers, cheddar, alfalfa sprouts, romesco and avocado crème fraiche
  • Butcher Dog, with house ketchup, dill pickle relish, spicy brown mustard on sesame seed bun
  • Butcher Salad, wood-grilled peaches, basil, burrata, white balsamic herb vinaigrette

The cocktail menu is going to be whiskey focused. There’ll be 16 draft lines and two cask engines for the beer nerds, plus 6 wines of draught with selections based on the USDA meat grading system: Select, Choice and Prime, which I think is kind of cool. They’re about a month out from opening right now, and come fall, there’s also a courtyard that they’ll have ready with additional seating.

I kinda can’t wait.

Butcher Bar [f8b8z]