"Deb and I love café dining and wish the city had more options for it, so we decided to create our own," said Norris Jordan, who, with his wife Debbie, will open Lou Bird's in the old Meritage space at 500 South 20th Street this Thursday, August 25.
The Jordans, who live in the neighborhood with their nine-year-old daughter, Lexi (her nickname is the name of the restaurant), also own Happy Rooster, a popular Center City hang at 16th and Sansom Streets. They like to quip that the Rooster is a great bar that just so happens to have great food, and Lou Bird's will be a great restaurant-first, the just so happens to have a great bar.
So they signed on Natalie Maronski, a Garces Group-vet who was most recently chef de cuisine at The Olde Bar and Volvér. Her menu (below) is New American through and through, bound by no regional specifics, influenced by delicacies 'round the globe, plus brunch on the weekends starting this Saturday, August 27).
Fans of the old Meritage might not recognize the space—the entire property was stripped down and rebuilt: the roof was replaced, the bathrooms moved, the kitchen has shiny, new equipment, and the drywall was removed to expose the building's original brick. Local contractor John Bolla even sourced wood reclaimed from the Divine Lorraine.
Peep the menus below, and head on over this Thursday to see it for yourself.