Philly’s brewery boom just notched a huge addition: Iron Hill is opening in Center City.
The 8,450-square-foot brewpub and restaurant will be in the ground floor of East Market, the mixed-use development replacing the Market East indoor mall at 12th and Market streets. This will be the first truly urban location for the Delaware-based mini-chain, which has 12 other outposts throughout the region, including one on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.
It will fill a niche left vacant ever since Nodding Head closed, and will join 2nd Story Brewing as the sole beermakers in Center City.
“We wanted our first urban location to be at home,” Iron Hill co-founder Mark Edelson told Billy Penn.
“It’s not like we haven’t been looking at downtown Philly for years,” he continued, “but as we expand and look at other markets, we realized we needed to figure out the urban model. No better place to do that than Philadelphia, where we already have name recognition.”
Edelson, Kevin Finn and Kevin Davies founded Iron Hill in 1996 in Newark, Del., and have been slowly growing the number of locations ever since. Last year, the company got a boost to make future expansion faster in the form of an investment from A&M Capital Opportunities.
For the Philly spot, design firm Street Sense has created a plan that calls for a glass-enclosed brewery behind the bar. There may also be semi-private dining rooms and breakout rooms to complement the main dining area — appropriate for something so close to the PA Convention Center. However, the layout has not been finalized, per Edelson, nor has the food menu, which is usually the same at all locations.
“We have to get in and really look at what happens in the city,” Edelson said. “We’ve always said that if there is a time to do something slightly different, it would be in an urban model.”
Each of Iron Hill’s locales makes its own beer to be served on site or taken home in growlers, as well as occasional can or bottle release. The brewery has won a staggering number of awards at the annual Great American Beer Festival: 44 medals over 19 years, including at least one from every single year it has competed.
A spring 2018 opening is targeted for the East Market location.