Almost four months after it shut its doors to undergo a renovation, Bella Vista bar Royal Tavern reopens Monday, November 25, at 4 p.m. The neighborhood favorite, from the same group that owns a list of popular Philly spots including Cantina Los Caballitos, Khyber Pass Pub, and Nick Elmi’s Royal Boucherie, first opened in 2002.
When Royal Tavern went dark in August, Suzanne O’Brien, director of operations for the restaurant group, said the building (937 E. Passyunk Avenue) needed a lot of work but it “has served us well for the last 17 years as a neighborhood bar and we plan to continue that tradition.” Part of the renovations involved completely redoing the basement kitchen, she said, along with updating the street-level dining room and bar area.
The exterior was spruced up too, with a new sign and a coat of blue paint replacing the red facade.
Royal Tavern serves gastropub fare like a thick burger with bacon and smoked Gouda, a grilled pork belly sandwich, and mussels, with several very good vegan and vegetarian options. Here is the new menu.
For the next couple days, it’s open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. It closes on Thanksgiving, then reopens Friday, November 29, at 11 a.m.
Along with the restaurants listed above, Royal Tavern’s Stephen Simons and David Frank run Royal Sushi and Izakaya, Cantina Dos Segundos, and Triangle Tavern.