Townsend doing bar preview this weekend; full opening Thursday

You can get a little preview this weekend of the “wine-driven food” coming to Townsend, the eponymous restaurant from chef Townsend Wentz that is replacing the former Sophia’s at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave.


General manager Lauren Harris tells us that the preview will be tonight, Friday, April 25 from 5 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow noon to 10 p.m. They’ll be serving a small selection of their beverage program and bar food menu.

Full dinner service begins Thursday, May 1. Drink Philly got the list of what’s being offered this weekend, so you can check that out here.

The bar menu includes beef tartare, pate, grilled asparagus, hamachi and other items.

Wentz told us back in February that his vision for the menu was only to serve dishes that are best paired with wine.

“My background follows a French motif,” said Wentz, whose resume includes stints at La Croix and the Four Seasons. “So I want to make sure the food is well-balanced, full of flavor, not too sweet, not too spicy – food that won’t overpower the wine.”

Expect about 50 seats in the two dining rooms, including the second floor. The a la carte menu will include a tasting menu option and the price point will be comparable with the higher-end restaurants of the neighborhood.

The Passyunk boom continues, huh?

10 thoughts on “Townsend doing bar preview this weekend; full opening Thursday

  • April 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    This place looks like its gonna be cool. Boom on!

  • April 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Was any research done on this location? Someone should ask the staff from Salt and Pepper and later Sophia’s how well this sort of pretentious food and drink sell at this location. Seriously, can we please get a decent (hipster free) gastropub somewhere between Royal Tavern and SPTR?

    • April 26, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      What is a hipster free gastropub? Can you provide an existing example?

      • April 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

        Fair enough, hipster free may be too much to ask for…but examples of places that I’m thinking would include Varga and For Pete’s Sake. If we are thinking on a hipster scale of POPE to Stogie Joes, about a 7.

    • April 28, 2014 at 9:06 am

      @MP19148: Duh, yeah, it’s the BUILDING that caused the other places for close. Better call Ghost Busters.

      If you recall, there was a restuarant there for about 15 years before, and it did well. And it was pretentious.

      Townsend will do just fine.

      • April 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Wait, you thought Roselena’s was pretentious? Do you also think McDonalds is pretentious??

        • April 28, 2014 at 10:41 am

          Ok, pretentious may not be the best word to describe Roselena’s (thanks for giving the name, I was drawing a blank). But Roselena’s appealed to my 86 year old aunt.

          Townsend seems to be perfectly un-hipster.

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I went to the Townsend popup at Will a few weeks ago, and it was fabulous. Some of the best food I’ve had this year. Can’t wait to try the real thing…

  • April 28, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    i thought they were to rework the bar area. looking in the window it looks the same. it would be nice to have a nice, cozy bar, classy bar, rather than a hipster paradise or a pseudo waiting for your table area like paradisio, etc.

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