Fourth & Cross opened its doors on June 15, 2015, though it really felt as though they were open in Pennsport long before then. The little luncheonette (on 4th and Cross Streets) won the hearts of its neighbors, who soon became regulars, and over the next few months, the restaurant drew in a booming brunch crowd. Adam Erace loved the burger, and business has been just fine, but after nearly five months of service, owner Andrew Michaels took a step back and thought "we can do better".
Michaels stands behind the product he put out initially, as he should, it was a good one. "Do you know why the burger is so good? Because Breakaway Farms makes a superior product. I encouraged people to keep the burger as simple as possible, because a burger without good meat and a bunch of toppings is just a sandwich." And at first, he admits, he was on the right path doing just that: putting out food that was better than what you'd expect out of a neighborhood cafe. And although he received an excellent initial response, he ended up getting caught up in customer feedback, which led to a lack of sincerity in his product. So Michaels is closing the restaurant for two weeks, to take his restaurant back. "Because in the end, all you want to do is give people something sincere."
This is in no way a shift in concept. Fourth & Cross will remain Fourth & Cross, a Pennsport diner focusing on Mid-Atlantic regional cuisine, utilizing local produce and purveyors. The team's just honing in on the product they want to supply. "We have to concentrate on our core-strengths, so people can come, have a fabulous meal served to them by dedicated restaurant people." The restaurant will focus their efforts on creating a destination-point dinner experience, which shouldn't be too hard considering Fourth & Cross's chef, Julianne Wesley, has many years working behind the line, but most notably for Moosewood Collective up in Ithaca, NY. And not to worry, they'll still offer their outstanding breakfast, lunch, and brunch (on weekends) menus.
So for the next two weeks, if you're in the 'hood, peep into Fourth & Cross and give Michaels and his team a wave. He and his manager, William Brady, will be in there, training their staff, and chef Wesley will be developing her menus, preparing for Fourth & Cross's imminent re-entrance into the Philly market (look for them at the Bacon & Beer festival). And in no time, you'll be back in those red-vinyl stools, chowing down on that burger and ripping into some pancakes, this time with a fonder heart after a Fourth & Cross absence.