After beloved neighborhood restaurant Bridget Foy’s was completely destroyed by a fire four years ago, it was unclear what would happen to the South Street comfort-food local. The two-alarm fire that raged through the restaurant in the early hours of a Wednesday morning in October 2017 damaged the business so thoroughly that the only salvageable part was the recognizable line of stars along the red brick exterior. Four years later, South Street revelers seeking comforting American pub fare and draft beers can rejoice: The family-owned restaurant will open its doors again for diners on Friday, February 12.
While Foy’s has been a familiar stalwart on South Street’s Headhouse Square for nearly 40 years, the Foy family took the devastation of the fire as an opportunity to redesign the interior in a way that stayed true to its iconic pub layout while embracing a lighter modern design. Oversized windows and a more spacious dining room give the new interior an airy feel while bright red accents and a tin ceiling are tributes to the restaurant’s original design. The biggest draw — Foy’s extensive patio space where, even before the pandemic, diners hung out in all manner of weather for brunch and beers — is open for up to 30 diners at a time. Indoor dining is at 25 percent capacity, with 25 guests allowed in the dining room and 12 in the bar area.
To survive the pandemic while construction was ongoing, Bridget Foy ran a pop-up under the original name East Philly Cafe with a comfort food menu executed by Cry Baby Pasta’s David Gilberg and Carla Goncalves. Gilberg and Goncalves will continue their work with Foy’s as it reopens with a menu that puts a new spin on some old pub classics. Crab hush puppies, piri piri wings, butternut squash lasagna, and Foy’s favorite burger — with meat now ground in-house — will keep diners on the outdoor patio warm and happy until full indoor dining returns.
Bridget Foy, the restaurant’s namesake who inherited the spot from her parents, Bernadette and John, said the return to business couldn’t have happened without community encouragement. “Losing the original Bridget Foy’s really helped us realize how beloved and missed we were,” Foy says in a release. “And we can’t wait to show our appreciation and see everyone again.”
Bridget Foy’s is located at 200 South Street; the restaurant opens for service on at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 12 ongoing hours are from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations can be made through Resy. Website.