LOTS to be thankful for on the Main Line this month, from Nutella s’mores cinnamon buns and Main Line Monopoly to a breezy new French bakery and mocktails with a mission. Let’s give thanks, friends!
• Not Your Basic Bun
Thank goodness Vicky Lambert traded her lab coat for an apron! How else would we get our hands on her scrumptious lineup of homemade cinnamon buns? Co-owner of West Chester’s new City Buns, Lambert baked at home for years before quitting her chemistry lab job to open a bakery with boyfriend Tom Allen. With Lambert in the kitchen and Allen overseeing operations, City Buns infuses the standard ole’ cinnamon bun with intriguing flavor combinations like Earl Grey honey lavender, Nutella s’mores and cookie butter and jelly. Lambert makes all buns from scratch daily using fresh, premium ingredients. Drip coffee and nitro cold brew are available as well. When scouting potential locations, Lambert and Allen chose West Chester due to its warm, inviting atmosphere. (It’s also where the couple met.) The warm welcome was certainly apparent on opening day when their cinnamon buns sold out in two hours. Business continues to be brisk, and regulars know to get their orders in ASAP, especially for premium flavors.
City Buns is located at 34 S. High Street in West Chester. The bakery is open every day except Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM (or until the day’s batch sells out). Mobile ordering is available (and strongly encouraged!).
• Burglary at Boyds
Less than a month after its splashy suburban debut, Boyds contacted Radnor Police on October 17 after a man stole a large amount of merchandise from its new Wayne location. The suspect exited out a broken rear window, jumped into a red sedan and fled. No arrests have been made so far. The luxury retailer opened in the old Anthropologie in September after struggling with looting and staffing issues at its flagship Philadelphia store.
• Conshy Calling
Conshohocken’s first hotel in 22 years just opened, and it’s a stunner! Part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection, the 127-room Hotel West and Main was primarily built during the pandemic and houses two restaurants: the breezy 1874 Social on the lobby level and the swanky Hook and Ladder Sky Bar & Kitchen upstairs. Both are overseen by executive chef Zack Wannawong, formerly of The Boathouse in Richmond and The Olde Bar in Philadelphia.
1894 Social lobby bar and café makes use of the former Washington Hose and Steam Fire Engine Company, No. 1, originally built in 1874. Patrons are oohing and ahhing over the industrial-chic decor, which features exposed brick, roll-up firehouse doors and the original pole and firefighter lockers. 1874 Social offers a breakfast menu for now with lunch service coming soon.
For a more upscale experience, head upstairs to Hook and Ladder Sky Bar & Kitchen. Menu highlights include caviar, Wagyu beef carpaccio, pan-seared foie gras, lobster, oysters and Prime Certified Angus Beef. And there’s been LOTS of chatter about that $99 Fireman Burger—a Wagyu patty wrapped in edible gold(!) with butter-poached lobster tail, arugula, onion rings, truffle aioli, aged Cheddar bechamel sauce and freshly shaved truffle. Worth the ride over the river? We’ll let you decide.
Hotel West & Main is located at 46 Fayette Street in Conshohocken. 1874 Social hours are Monday – Friday, 6:30 AM – 10:30 AM and Saturday – Sunday, 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Hook and Ladder Sky Bar & Kitchen is open Wednesday – Friday, 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Saturday – Sunday, 5:00 PM –10:00 PM.
• A Main Line Monopoly
Plenty of prime Main Line real estate is up for grabs in the new MONOPOLY Main Line edition. Debuting just in time for the holidays, the game features squares of peak properties up and down the Main Line, from Bryn Mawr College to Chanticleer Gardens. Full disclosure: Several sponsored squares are sprinkled throughout the board, including Nick Filet, Cornerstone and Main Line Today. Produced by Top Trumps USA, the game costs $45 and can be purchased locally at Valley Forge Flowers; 21 Pips; Kids ‘n Kribs; Main Point Books; Gladwyne Pharmacy; Tepper Pharmacy; and select CVS, Giant Foods and Ace Hardware locations.
• Merci Maman
The old Ruby’s in Suburban Square is now the newest outpost of the charming French bakery franchise Maman (French for “mama”). The popular daytime café chain earned its claim to fame in 2017, when Oprah included its Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookie in her annual list of favorite things. (Maman’s chocolate chip cookie was named one of New York’s best by New York Magazine too.) Ardmore is Maman’s first Pennsylvania location.
All the usual café offerings are here, from baked goods and freshly brewed coffee to classic sandwiches and salads. Need a spot to host a bridal shower, birthday party, brand launch or photo shoot? The entire café is available for rent for groups of 75 or less.
Maman is located at 49 Anderson Avenue in Ardmore. Hours are 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM weekdays and 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM on weekends. The kitchen closes at 4:00 PM daily.
• Mocktails with a Mission
Yes, there are plenty of places to grab a good mocktail these days, but how many also offer a fully vegan menu, run a recovery-friendly workplace AND pay a living wage? Manayunk’s Volstead restaurant and bar is the latest addition to Robert and Arielle Ashford’s Unity franchise, which includes two yoga studios, a community center, a taqueria, a consulting firm and a software company. Like the couple’s other businesses, Volstead employs individuals in recovery and those returning from incarceration. The couple, both of whom are in recovery as well, has hired over 100 so far!
Volstead’s first-floor bar serves a range of interesting mocktails, non-alcoholic beer and 0.5% wines. The plant-based food menu includes a savory mushroom po’ boy, garlic Parmesan wings (made with seitan) and a tasty vegetable tempura. A portion of proceeds benefits community-based recovery support and reentry.
Volstead is located at 4371 Main Street in Manayunk. Hours vary daily; check the Web site for details.