• Adam Sandler, DanDan Fan
There’s a special addition to the menu at DanDan Suburban Square…the “Happy Madison” chicken wonton soup is a tribute to none other than Adam Sandler, who became somewhat of a regular while filming his new movie Hustle nearby.
• Main Line Perks
Two new coffee shops are brewing on the Main Line. In Paoli, Jian Zhou has opened Cup of Dreams, a specialty coffee and bubble tea café. Espresso drinks are made from the café’s signature eight-bean blend, and bubble tea flavorings include mango, tapioca pearl and strawberry. Pastries from LeBus, smoothies, slushies and micro-brew teas round out the menu. The café offers a mix of table and lounge chair seating, plus a private meeting room available for rent. Another perk? All T/E teachers and staff receive a special discount (Zhou’s daughter is a senior at Conestoga).
In Ardmore, The Story Coffee & Bookstore has opened at 45 E. Lancaster Avenue. Fully funded and operated by Calvary Chapel of Delaware County, a non-denominational church that meets just a few doors down, The Story aims to give the Ardmore community a place to sip coffee, make connections and share stories of course. All proceeds benefit local nonprofits who help those struggling with difficult chapters in their lives, such as the Helping Hand Rescue Mission and Delaware County Against Human Trafficking. Full of foraged, donated and refurbished materials, The Story’s moody, old-world interior was curated by Calvary Chapel congregant Andrea Cummins-Disbro of Lost Orchid Interiors. (The space was previously a VFW hall.) The café features the usual lineup of espresso drinks, teas, drip coffee and pastries, along with a selection of new and used books for sale. In addition to table, coffee bar and sofa seating indoors, The Story boasts a small back patio for warm weather days.
• Yogis Pick Six
YogaSix is placing its mat on the Main Line, in the Five Below shopping center on East Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. With nearly 500 locations nationwide, the fast-growing chain is on a mission to make yoga accessible, energizing and fun for all, whether you prefer your practice fast and furious or gentle and slow. Each YogaSix location offers six different class types, including yoga 101, heated, slow flow, power, restorative (ideal for runners and cyclists) and sculpt (an intense cross-training workout that incorporates dumbbells, bands and body weight exercises). The arrival of YogaSix reflects an industry-wide shift to boutique fitness studios, which are slowly replacing big-box gyms and health clubs. Only time will tell how the franchise fares against local favorites Bulldog Yoga in Villanova and Verge in Wayne.
• Lark (Finally) Opens Its Doors
Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated Philadelphia-area restaurant debuts of 2021, Lark has finally opened after a two-year Covid-related delay, in Ironworks at Pencoyd Landing, the eat-play-stay riverfront development in Bala Cynwyd. This is the second restaurant for James Beard finalist and Top Chef winner Nick Elmi and restauranteur Fia Berish, who also co-own The Landing Kitchen next door. While The Landing Kitchen caters to the lunch and brunch crowd, Lark offers a more upscale, refined dining experience, along with expansive Schuylkill River views. The rooftop restaurant features a carefully curated menu of coastal Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes like squid ink chitarra with lobster, handmade goat cheese gnocchi and roasted dorade with smoked eggplant. Cocktails are also big draw, including a selection of “zero proof” drinks made with fresh fruit and spices. An indoor dining space is available when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, and the Lark Library is ideal for large parties and special events.
• Serena & Lily Coming to Haverford?
Rumor has it that luxury home goods retailer Serena & Lily—a designer favorite known for its breezy, coastal California style—is opening a location in Haverford. No official signage yet but the company is currently advertising for an assistant store leader in its “Main Line Design Shop.” Fingers crossed!
• The Refectory Rises Again
After a two-year shutdown, The Refectory at Villanova University has officially reopened. Following a splashy debut in the fall of 2019, The Refectory shut down just a few months later when COVID struck. During the shutdown, the restaurant severed ties with operators Greg Dodge and Zavino Hospitality Group of the now-shuttered Tredici Enoteca. A new operating team has picked up where Dodge left off, consisting of Ken Kearns of 118 North in Wayne, Chris Perella of Ardmore Music Hall and 118 North, chef Biff Gottehrer of Ripplewood and general manager Steve Khuu, formerly of Tredici Enoteca. (Got all that?) Located at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues, the 150-seat restaurant, bar and private events space serves American comfort cuisine with an elevated, refined twist. The menu runs the gamut, from small snacks to seafood towers to house-made breads and pastas. At the grand, horseshoe-shaped bar, guests can enjoy a selection of craft cocktails, wine, beers on tap and mocktails. Furnishings and décor reflect the university’s rich heritage. Brunch service launches November 13.
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