As of last Thursday, Rittenhouse's new bistro, Lou Bird's, is open. The new endeavor by Norris and Debbie Jordan — owners of Center City's Happy Rooster — is filling the void left by Meritage when it closed at 500 S. 20th Street, just across the street from Pub & Kitchen. In its place: a New American, coursed-out menu by Garces-vet Natalie Maronski, a front-of-house staff led by Starr-vet Josh Jenkins, and a friendly-priced, well-rounded bar program.
Norris led the restaurant's design, building it out like a place he and his family would frequent ("Lou Bird", by the way, is a nickname for their nine-year-old daughter, Lexi). So he called upon local contractor John Bolla to help bring the restaurant to fruition. Bolla rearranged the entire room, adding new windows, moving the restrooms and ripping off the drywall to expose the building's original brick walls. He even nabbed some wood from the Divine Lorrain before its renovation.
Now, the new, red-hued dining room is five-days-old, so take a look around here, and hit it up on your own time every day starting at 5 p.m., or if you'd rather, during brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.