The original Townsend on East Passyunk Avenue is coming back as a more casual version of its former French self. Chef Townsend “Tod” Wentz is reopening the elegant restaurant set in a two-story townhouse as a wine bar. It will be ready in time for Valentine’s Day, Philly Mag reports.
Wentz started his cooking career at the Fountain at the Four Seasons and Lacroix at the Rittenhouse hotel before later setting off for New York City. He returned to Philly in 2014 to open Townsend, a notable French restaurant with a hushed atmosphere in the first- and second-floor dining rooms and a livelier scene at the front bar.
The chef expanded his Philly presence, opening Spanish restaurant Oloroso, Italian BYOB A Mano, and American bar Pearl Tavern, before closing Townsend last summer and relocating it to Rittenhouse, in what was briefly Talk.
1623 East Passyunk Avenue sat empty for a bit while Wentz worked on his other projects. But he kept renting the space. And now it’s back as Townsend Wine Bar, still with French food and French wines, plus a fresh coat of paint, new floors, and new tables and chairs.
To start, it’s open for just three days, February 14 to 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., and then opens for real on February 24, which is also the start of East Passyunk Avenue Restaurant Week.