The Chadds Ford Tavern is back

Anne Eunson, left, Jim Murphy and Lisa Vonderstuck celebrate the grand reopening of The Chadds Ford Tavern Friday night.

It was a packed house at The Chadds Ford Tavern Friday night for the longtime watering hole’s grand reopening. It was standing room only in the bar area and most of the regular tables on the other side were taken. Those that were open were held for people with reservations.

Several patrons, such as Jim Murphy of Tri-County Pest Control, and Lisa Vonderstuck of Brandywine View Antiques, were thrilled.

They each said it was like a homecoming.

"I’m in my old seat that I love. I can see who’s coming in the door. I’m so happy it’s back," said Murphy who started going to the tavern in 1980.

Vonderstuck welcomed the reopening, exclaiming that "The old watering hole is back. It’s the way it used to be. It felt really good to open that door and see they kept the history."

Part of that keeping history, she said, includes the sign on the front door that reads: "Through these doors have walked some of the most talented people in the world."

Among others, the sign refers to the likes of Andrew Wyeth and George A. "Frolic" Weymouth.

The Tavern had been closed for several years after former owner Tommy Drane sold the restaurant. There were two different owners who tried to keep it running but failed. Late last year, Phil Ferro and partners Chet and Raj Patel — brothers who own the Brandywine River Hotel — decided to make a go of it.

Ferro has 24 years of experience in the food industry and already operates three Delaware County restaurants: TNT, Red Iron American Pub and the Crimson Lounge. But he's eager to make his image of The Chadds Ford Tavern succeed.

"I'm here to stay," he said.

Hours of operation were originally planned to be 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. However, General Manager Jay Schecter said in March that they would start with only dinner hours and expand to lunch later.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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