Chef Timothy Spinner and Brian Sirhal, owners of Feliz Restaurants, are following up the success of their Mexican outposts Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz, and Taqueria Feliz with their newest concept, Beast & Ale, in Philadelphia.
The updated "greasy spoon" serving savory classics with a beastly twist opened Aug. 25 at 4161 Main St. in the Manayunk neighborhood. It has a full bar, bi-level dining room, and a second floor deck overlooking the bustling neighborhood.
The menu showcases updated diner classics including an array of soul-satisfying dishes inspired by Philadelphia's Beef and Ale tradition. The centerpiece of the menu is its namesake Beast Burger. This double-patty burger is inspired by thin-griddled, juicy pre-World War II-style burgers topped with melted American cheese on a soft pillowy bun.
Other hearty menu items include Buttermilk-Soaked Fried Chicken served with Creamy Polenta, Braised Escarole and House Gravy, and a Fried Bologna Sandwich. In addition, the menu includes fried mushrooms and green beans, hand-cut fries topped with beer cheese and gravy as well as soups and salads.
The menu is a collaboration between Chef Spinner and Chef Matthew Savastano, who was formerly sous chef at La Calaca Feliz and will serve as executive chef at Beast & Ale.
The beverage program at Beast & Ale features a rotating selection of eight draft beers, a Forest & Main brew on hand-pump, and a long list of bottled and canned crafts, as well as a focused collection of spirits and classic hand-crafted cocktails, including Manhattans, Old Fashions, White Russians, and Tom Collins.
The wine list is composed of both old world and new world varietals, all available by the glass and a selection of whiskeys, ryes, bourbons and scotches that are available by the glass or in flights.
"While we're still focused on building our Mexican restaurants, we wanted to go in a direction that was a little different and allows our talented team to keep growing in new ways," Chef Spinner says. "We'll be serving the comfort foods that Brian and I often eat after work and we hope everyone else will crave it too."
Designed by Canno Design, the aesthetic of the space has a retro feel that's a convergence of hunting lodge and American style greasy spoon. Guests enter the Main Street location and are greeted in the warm bar area with comfy tufted high-top banquettes and large antiqued mirrors that resonate light throughout the room.
Ascending the staircase with wrought iron railings, diners pass by a wall adorned with vintage wallpaper. The centerpiece of the small mezzanine leading to the dining room is a dramatic antler chandelier adorned with colored lights. The mezzanine, which seats about 16, sports a gas fireplace.
The second floor dining room, which seats about 40 guests, is watched over by natural and gold-covered taxidermy. It has a comfortable feel with dark blue, painted paneled walls, cabernet-colored leather banquettes and large windows that give diners a view of bustling Main Street and Venice Island.
In the warmer weather months diners will be enticed by the large elevated outdoor deck off of the second floor dining room that seats up to 28 guests. The deck provides a birds-eye view of Main Street Manayunk, a lively street full of foot traffic and activities. The view doesn't extend quite as far as Taqueria Feliz, the duo's dining outlet at the other end of the neighborhood's Main Street, but the two Feliz Restaurants will essentially bookend the area.