Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is aiming for a January 2014 opening in Ardmore, co-owner Kevin Finn told Patch on Wednesday.
“We’ve been looking for a spot on the Main Line forever, but we just hadn’t really found a space,” Finn said of the business, which just signed a lease for 60 Greenfield Ave. in Ardmore Plaza. The company has nine current restaurants and another planned for Voorhees, N.J.
“We’ve been talking to Ardmore for maybe five years,” he added. “We were really close to signing a lease back in 2009 but it didn’t pan out … it’s an area we really liked.”
Iron Hill, a full service restaurant and pub that brews on site at all of its breweries, is one of the fastest growing chains of brewpubs on the East Coast.
The size of the restaurant, and its ability to cater to large parties, families, business folks and the happy hour crowd alike is a major part of its success, Finn said.
“In our Chestnut Hill location, we get tons of families that didn’t have places to go before … I think we’ll get a similar thing in Ardmore,” he explained.
This year, Iron Hill was voted “Best Restaurant for Kids” by Philadelphia Magazine. It was also named the World Beer Cup World Champion Brewery & Brewmaster for Small Brewpubs—and their beer has placed every year since 2002.
"It’s encouraging that we’re getting a big name that people would recognize," Ardmore Initiative Vice President Maryam Phillips said of Iron Hill's announcement. Ardmore properties, she said, aren't always attractive to larger businesses because of their smaller size.
A well-known, well-loved company moving to town can have positive repercussions for the business community, Phillips added: "It creates a 'destination' and everyone can benefit from it."
With two other spirited newcomers—The Beer Shoppe right next door to the soon-to-be brewery and Tired Hands Brewing Company a block away (owned by former West Chester Iron Hill brewer Jean Broillet IV)—Ardmore seems well on its way to becoming a beer mecca.
The triad may end up complementing each other more than competing, though: The Beer Shoppe focuses on beer takeout, and Tired Hands is a smaller, more intimate venue than Iron Hill promises to be.
Ardmore will be the 11th Iron Hill location. The chain plans to open several more locations by 2015 ranging from Washington DC to Northern New Jersey. But, Finn said, Ardmore is the focus for now.
Ardmore is next in line for construction, after the Voorhees, N.J. location is completed. Construction could potentially begin at the Ardmore Plaza location—60 Greenfield Ave., the former site of Norman Carpet One—as soon as early summer, Finn said.
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