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We schlepped it up to quaint Fox Chase yesterday afternoon to grab some photos of Hop Angel Brauhaus
(7980 Oxford Ave.), the just-opened revamp of the Blue Ox Brauhaus
from Mike "Scoats" Scotese
and Patrick McGinley
of the Grey Lodge Pub
. The partners acquired the business from Tekla Grund
, whose clan had run a brauhaus at this location for decades before turning over to new owners, who converted it into a bistro, several years ago. (The site's lineage as a bar, however, dates back centuries.
Scoats and McGinley intended on relaunching the bar as a traditional Teutonic watering hole from the beginning after all, "the architecture demands it," as McGinley says. The 80-seat space's dark wood rafters and ceilings, vintage light fixtures and intricate wood carvings really do give it that barrel-chested, basement-bar-scene-in-Inglourious Basterds
feel the partners cleaned the interior up drastically and made some aesthetic/layout tweaks to open up the room for a flow of lively customers.
The beer program here, Scoats says, won't be quite as elaborate as it is as Mayfair's Grey Lodge this is a German drinkery, yes, but it's also a Philadelphia bar, so expect to see Oktoberfest and otherwise Deutsch-inspired beers from local breweries on the 12-tap system, in addition to traditional German beers, at any given time. (Knowing these guys, though, they'll definitely offer some solid out-of-town American craft choices, as well.) The food is skewing traditional, too chef Matthew Hartnett
, most recently of Center City's Slate
(and the sickkkk short rib-stuffed burger
), is overseeing a huge menu that centers on all your known-and-loved German meats and sausages (schnitzels, sauerbraten, wursts, roasted pork shoulder, etc.). Scoats adds, though, that Hartnett does extremely well with Alsatian-style food, so don't be surprised if flammekueche or other traditional dishes from the region start appearing on the menu in the coming months.
Here are Hartnett's lunch menu
and dinner menu
in PDF format. Pictured above are two prime beef burgers off the chef's bar/late-night menu
one comes topped with King Ludwig beer cheese, while the other is stuffed with pickled shallots and oozy Butterkase; both come with crispy fries and a side of curried ketchup. The Hop Angel is still is soft-open mode, so they're starting by offering the dinner menu (5-10 p.m.) and late-night bar eats (till midnight, and till 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday), with lunch launching soon.