Lou Birds Opens at 20th and Lombard

Chef Natalie Maronski promises seasonal ingredients with traditional and modern techniques.

Lou Bird's opens at 20th and Lombard | Photo via Lou Bird's

Lou Bird’s opens at 20th and Lombard | Photo via Lou Bird’s

Once upon a time I was sitting outside of Varga Bar at 10th and Spruce, looking over at the packed sidewalks at Kanella and remarked this might be the most bumping corner in all of downtown Philadelphia without a place named Parc on it. I also remember thinking, now if something could turn up the voltage at 20th and Lombard across from Pub & Kitchen, then 10th and Spruce would have some competition.

Lou Bird's is named for the Jordans' daughter, Lexi.

Lou Bird’s is named for the Jordans’ daughter, Lexi.

Tonight, Thursday, August 25th, Pub & Kitchen gets some new company as Lou Bird’s opens at 500, South 20th Street, in the former home of Meritage. Norris and Debbie Jordan who own Happy Rooster have extensively rehabbed the 100 year-old building, an exercise that delayed the opening from spring to now. The interior was gutted, the roof, removed, restrooms were moved and a new kitchen was built. What results is an airier room with more windows and exposed brick. Some of the interior includes reclaimed items from the Divine Lorraine.

The Jordans have hired Natalie Maronski (former chef de cuisine of The Olde Bar and Volver) and Josh Jenkins (former manager of the Dandelion) as general manager. Maronski has developed a new-American menu that aims to be casual but elevated. Norris Jordan says, “we love café dining and wish the city had more options for it, so we are creating a new one. We look at The Rooster as a great bar that happens to have fantastic food-Lou Bird’s will have great restaurant that happens to have a fantastic, 20th Street facing bar.”

The restaurant will serve dinner nightly to 11 p.m. and the bar will be open till 2 a.m. nightly. Weekend brunch begins this weekend with service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In total, there are 74 seats, including the bar, dining room and sidewalk seating.

Lou Bird’s Opening Dinner Menu 


Lemon verbena, plum, pickled fresno, smoked fish sauce

Pork Belly
Toast, sorghum glaze, braised collard green puree, black eyed peas

Roasted potato and duck confit, whipped horseradish buttermilk, lardo

Baby Artichokes
Sunflower seed pesto, dried kalamata olive, lemon


Dill Vichyssoise
Burrata, toast, proscuitto

Smoked Rigatoni
Sungold tomatoes, corn, mizuna, pecorino

Rainbow Trout
Mushroom cream, sage, grilled leek

Peking Poussin
Buckwheat waffle, soy syrup, scallion

Baby Lettuces
Walnut, kumquat 


Milk fed pork loin
Peach pie, pancetta, pork jus

Striped bass
Fennel, farro, beets, onion

Duck Breast
Chestnut puree, blueberries, chicory duck jus, escarole

Whole wheat hand torn pasta, maitake, sorrel

American Wagyu Strip
Fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, kim-chimi

Highlights from Lou Bird’s Brunch Menu 

Lighter Fare

Pitted Fruits

Mixed greens, grilled peach vinaigrette

Yogurt Parfait

House granola, berries

Baby Artichokes

Sunflower seed pesto, dried kalamata olive, lemon

Dill Vischyssoise

Toast, prosciutto




House pork roll

Chicken sausage



Tomato Tart

Black pepper tart, tomato, burrata, egg


Peach, pancetta, lime creme fraiche

Salad lyonnaise

Frisse, mixed greens, duck confit, potato, smoked duck fat vinaigrette, poached eggs

Lobster and Grits

Anson mills grits, pickled kumquats, grilled scallions, bacon


Gruyere, leeks, mushroom cream, breakfast potatoes

Vanilla Pancake

Birch syrup, whipped cream

Smoked Salmon Benedict

Pumpernickel, beets, poached egg, hollandaise,

breakfast potatoes

Two Eggs

Choice of breakfast meat, breakfast potatoes

Lou Burger

Kim-chimi, pork roll, fried egg, breakfast potatoes

Toad in a hole

Collard green puree, pork belly, sorghum syrup, breakfast potatoes

Lou Bird’s [Foobooz]