Center City “chicken and egg joint” Hatch & Coop has found a second roost in South Philly, bringing its menu of sandwiches, bowls, and a new cheesesteak to Grumpy’s Tavern.
The unlikely collaboration between chicken shop and corner bar came about because Hatch & Coop owner Tyler Opshinsky is a patron of the classic dive at Cross and 9th streets. On a recent visit, he noticed the kitchen was out of service.
“It was a real spur of the moment decision,” the 33-year-old told Billy Penn, expedited by an existing friendship with Grumpy’s owner Joe DeSimone. An avid pool player, Opshinsky had spent years frequenting the tournament-friendly spot.
For DeSimone, the partnership was a welcome end to his year-long search to replace the cook who left for a more family-friendly 9-to-5.
The initial idea was to replicate H&C’s Center City menu — pickle juice-brined, buttermilk-breaded fried chicken sandwiches with a variety of topping options ($10), along with scrambled egg bowls and sandwiches ($6-$10).
The newly-added cheesesteak — a ribeye rarity on the poultry-centric menu, and not available at Hatch & Coop’s 12th and Sansom location — was the result of another spur of the moment decision, coming the night after the agreed partnership with Grumpy’s, when a visit to Pat’s and Geno’s left Opshinsky and his business partner Chris Ingram “disappointed.”
“We wanted a better cheesesteak,” Opshinsky decided.
For their contender, Hatch & Coop uses both seeded and unseeded rolls from Carangi, delivered daily to Grumpy’s by the South Philly bakery. Cheese choices for the finely chopped ribeye include American, provolone, cheddar, and whiz. Onions are either sauteed or fried.
Sides, ranging from $5-$7, are also available; tots, shoestring fries, and fried pickles. The popcorn chicken and mixed basket (fries and breaded onion slices) are, according to on-site cook Khalil H., among the menu’s most frequently ordered items. All come with a side of house sauce; a creamy hot-honey aioli.
For DeSimone, the new partnership, launched last month, has so far proven to be a win-win for Grumpy’s: his bar is back to providing regulars with hot food while being discovered by new customers through Hatch & Coop’s online delivery and pickup services, operating out of his kitchen.
“It’s also good they like to stay open till the end of the night,” DeSimone said of his kitchen’s new occupants, bringing “a lot of business in the last hour.”
While not a 24/7 operation like the Center City location, Hatch & Coop will be available at Grumpy’s throughout the bar’s business hours, from 10 to 2 a.m. daily. The menu is also available at the outdoor tables — it is, after all, a smoking bar.
Keep an eye on Hatch & Coop’s social media for specials and promotions, including this Friday, when cheesesteaks come with a free draft beer.
1525 S. 9th St | 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., everyday | Smoking | Outdoor seating | Pickup and delivery available.