Philly Apparently Hates Poutine
Both Shoo Fry's flagship location in Rittenhouse and Smoke's Poutinerie on South Street have closed.
For a little while there, it looked like Philly was in the midst of a poutine boom.
We had not one but two Shoo Fry locations, a take on the iconic Quebecois dish on the menu board at Fox & Son in Reading Terminal, and an outpost of Canadian chain Smoke’s Poutinerie on South Street — not to mention gastropubs offering variations on the dish.
But it’s harder to sell fries, cheese curds, and gravy than Shoo Fry owner Matt Baiada thought: Their second location in Fishtown shuttered late last year, and today, he announced that the Rittenhouse flagship has also closed.
While Philadelphians enthusiastically scarf gooey cheesesteaks and unquestioningly embrace scrapple, fries topped with gravy and cheese curds are apparently a bridge too far.
“We just didn’t sell enough poutine,” said Baiada.
Smoke’s is gone, too. After a phone call went unanswered, a visit to the chain’s first Northeast outpost — it has U.S. locations in Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan — confirmed that it recently closed after just under a year in business.
For now, poutine lovers can get their fix at the Blind Pig in Northern Liberties, which makes a quality, classic version of the dish. Fox & Son, which wisely didn’t base their entire business model on poutine but on a wide variety of fried foods, is another source — you can even buy fresh Birchrun Hills Farm cheddar curds there to take home and make your own.