Lou Bird's, the new cafe and bar from the owners of Center City's Happy Rooster, opens tonight at 500 South 20th Street, the space which was once home to Meritage.
In its place: a restaurant and bar from restaurant and bar veterans Norris and Debbie Jordan, who've completely removed and renovated any semblance of Meritage's nine-year-tenure, adding reclaimed woods, exposed brick, and a rearranged dining room to the space across the street from Pub & Kitchen.
In the kitchen, Garces Group-vet Natalie Maronski designed a three-course menu of neighborhood-friendly New American eats — comfort food, but elevated and more involved (think pierogis stuffed with duck confit topped with lardo, or strip steak with a kimchi chimichurri).
Cocktails at the bar are all $12, and their draft beer list caps out at $8 for La Chouffe, which, after East Passyunk's P.O.P.E, designates Lou Bird's as the second bar in Philadelphia approved to serve the Belgian ale on tap. Wines by the bottle hover around the $45-$55 range, and glasses are no more expensive than $13.
The restaurant runs seven days a week, 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m. Bar hours are till 2 a.m. every day.