(a spiffed-up Iron Hill on Main Street in Newark, DE)
It's pronounced New-Ark...all these years, I'd never known. Eh well, whatever. So, I finally get to Iron Hill's New-Ark location and I'm told I'm pronouncing it wrong and that the locals in no way want to be affiliated with New-erk (as in, New Jersey). Guess I can't say I could blame them for that.
(the long dining room capped by the kitchen on the far end)
Ah, so what was I doing there you ask? Thanks for asking and keeping me honest. Iron Hill had recently completed a very expensive makeover on their original location, just on the doorstep to the State's University of Delaware. Hm, West Chester (university)...Lancaster (Franklin & Marshall College)...and Newark (U of D). Let's leave it at, 'things that make you go hmmm'.
(a Belgian Tripel awaits)
You're probably beginning to wonder if every paragraph will end in a distracting tangent. Maybe I'm still a bit crazed from yesterday's hazy, hot, and humid Broad Street Run chased by Sly Fox's Goat Races. In any case...
(it could be a framed picture, or actually award-winning brewer, Justin Sproul, in the Iron Hill brewhouse in Newark, DE)
Iron Hill invited a variety of media folk to Newark to show off their almost completely redone digs. Justin Sproul, brewer, showed where the renovations ended---at his brewhouse wall. These guys sure know how to undertake a project. According to the guys, they only had to close for roughly 4.5 days...that's four point five, not forty-five...(with almost round-the-clock work filling the time in between) to complete the demolition and remodeling.
Gone is the square, Cheers-like bar...the cramped dining...and the outdated feel. Since I had no baseline to compare the newly renovated restaurant against, all I was left with was the striking resemblance to the sharp corporate image that most of the locations and their respective ambiances fall in line with.
Looking now most like the Phoenixville location, the space still architecturally boasts long lines and great feelings of "space" like all other seven locations.
(l-r, Business Partners Mark Edelson, Kevin Davies, and Kevin Finn toast Newark's reopening)
The three owners (the Kevins and The Mark) were present to do a "first pour" of nitro-poured dry stout at the bar and then mingled with those from the press as well as other regulars that were beginning to file in for Happy Hour. Just a minor-league warm up for the Methuselahs that I hear are coming to Media for the Festival on the 15th...more to come on that later, for sure.
Last up on my Iron Hill octological tour: Lancaster...Paul, I promise it will occur before the summer ends.
(Lettuce Wraps, with chicken, got dinner off to a great start)
(a dinner special of Penne with Blackened Chicken, perfect pre-Broad Street Run "carbing" material)
(Happy messages on the dining room wall at Iron Hill)