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The Renaissance Hotel’s Chez Ben Will Reopen as a New All-American Cafe

All-day cafe Franklin Social is opening in Old City this June

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Franklin Social / Official

The Old City’s Renaissance Hotel is shuttering its French bistro, Chez Ben, to re-open as an all-day American cafe.

Franklin Social will open on Wednesday, June 12 at the corner of 4th and Chestnut Streets. With the cafe’s debut comes the arrival of outdoor seating on a newly-built street patio and a cocktail bar dubbed the Franklin Lounge.

Michele DiPietro, the cafe’s General Manager, told Philly Eater her team was inspired to revamp the space as a way to “pay homage Benjamin Franklin” and to their “location in the heart of historic Philadelphia.” The Chez Ben team also kept Ben Franklin in mind throughout the restaurant’s year-long stint, but did so with a French bistro twist.

Franklin Social, on the other hand, will serve American-style dishes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, the menus for which are spearheaded by Chef Patrick D’Amico and will primarily use fresh, seasonal local produce. While each menu is vast, noteworthy selections include brussels sprouts topped with maple vinaigrette, a roasted chicken breast stuffed with gruyère cheese and prosciutto, and Hawaiian barbecue chicken drum sticks.

DiPietro said her staff are “excited to introduce a menu that we feel reflects classic dishes but with inventive new seasonal and local ties.”

In addition to table service, the cafe will also sell grab-and-go fresh juices, pastries from from Narberth-based French bakery Au Fournil, and coffee from local roaster La Colombe at a coffee and juice counter.

She hopes the all-day cafe and lounge will become “the go-to local spot for after-work cocktails, a first date, Saturday brunch, a Sunday evening nightcap, and everything in between.”

Chez Ben opened in March of 2018 under the culinary leadership of chef Paras Shah, who ended up leaving just two months later to develop another restaurant outside of Philly. Now, a little over a year later, there’s no specific word as to why the team is parting ways with their French concept, other than that “the time was right,” DiPietro told Philly Eater.

STATUS: Franklin Social cafe is slated to open on Wednesday, June 12 at 401 Chestnut Street. The cafe will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. On Saturdays and Sundays, the cafe will serve brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in addition to their regular service.

Chez Ben

400 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Visit Website

La Colombe Torrefaction

1335 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (267) 479-1600 Visit Website