English Pub Opening in Merion Village by Year’s End
“If you’re going to do an English pub, one done by an Englishman is going to be the best one,” says Glen Hall-Jones, then adding, “hopefully.”
Hall-Jones is the owner and executive chef of Geordie’s Restaurant, an English pub opening at the corner of Morrill Avenue and High Street by year’s end. Located at 1586 S. High St., it’s taken over the building once occupied by the Explorers Club, which transitioned into a food truck-only operation back in 2015.
“I saw the building on the listing, and it actually looks a lot like my local pub from back home,” says Hall-Jones, who signed the lease back in June. “I spent the first four months redecorating. Everything was bright orange and purple, lime green.”
The space is now covered in neutral tones, dark woods, and memorabilia from Hall-Jones’ stint as a personal chef for touring bands.
Geordie’s is divided into three separate rooms, with the bar sitting just inside the Morrill Avenue entrance. It shares space with what will function as a build-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar during brunch hours. Vodka and an assortment of Bloody Mary fixings will allow people to “build it, brag about it, and post it,” Hall-Jones says.
On each side of the bar is a doorway leading into adjacent dining rooms. The building has a patio, but it’s been overgrown with weeds for years. In time for patio season, Hall-Jones plans on creating a new outdoor space out of a large concrete slab with one large communal concrete table, which he says should encourage mingling among strangers.
“If you don’t know the person on the other side, it’s like, ‘Well, get to know them,’” he says. “We want a friendly feeling. It’s quite a small dining room feel anyway. and I’d like to carry that concept outside.”
Hall-Jones hails from New Castle, UK (whose residents are called Geordies), and so has a Scottish edge to his English accent. That blend can be found on the menu as well. Appetizers include a Scotch egg, mini pork wellingtons (seasoned pork sausage wrapped in flaky pastry), and a soup of the day. Bangers and mash, cornish pasty, and fish and chips with Yorkshire caviar will all be available as entree offerings, along with a steak and ale pie dubbed “the Newkie Brown.”
Geordie’s will also offer salads, sandwiches and burgers. A small dessert menu boasts items like a bread and butter pudding and a classic English trifle.
A least for the first six months, Geordie’s won’t be open for lunch. It’ll open at 3 p.m. and close around 11 p.m. or midnight during the week. It’ll open earlier on Saturday for an American-style brunch, and on Sunday guests can get a taste of a traditional English-style brunch.
Hall-Jones anticipates an opening in late November or early December.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.