The Main Line never really warmed up to Xilantro, its cold, neon vibe better suited to South Beach than Central Wayne.
But its North Wayne successor, the new Goat’s Beard, well, he’s a whole ’nother animal.
Warm. Fuzzy. Friendly.
Upscale but not uppity.
It helps, too, that the guys behind the Goat are local lads Sean Coyle and Mike “Mac” MacCrory, pals since their Malvern Prep days.
The food biz in his blood, Sean handles operations. (His parents had the TexMex mainstay Binni & Flynn’s; his sister, Meridith, owns Aneu Catering and Paoli’s Fresh Ideas Market.)
Mac’s the money guy – commercial real estate exec by day, goat-herder by night.
The two buddies think they’re onto something.
The original Beard’s been a hit since its Manayunk debut in 2013. Wayne is number two and, if all goes well, a herd of Goats – up to 10 – will follow.
At its core, The Goat is a gastropub. AKA a cool, cozy bar where the food matters at least as much as the booze.
Hip and trendy, gastrobpubs are all over Center City. Out here, not so much.
“Responsible, comfortable, inventive American,” is how Sean describes the menu.
Sounds about right.
As much as possible, provisions are locally and sustainably sourced. Everything is scratch-made and “clean” (hormone- and pesticide-free), with meat and poultry butchered on site, Sean says.
In other words, no pre-portioned frozen patties or tilapia here.
We stopped by the Beard this week and scarfed down our Halibut Ceviche starter ($16 but ample for two), along with the Fish & Chips (fresh fluke NOT battered and fried, a mini-salad and steak fries for $28), and the Vegetable Napoleon (grilled veggies & cheese with toasted faro, $18).
Also on the menu: local cheese plates ($7 – $17), oysters, mussels, beef tartare, a whole roasted organic chicken ($39 for two) and four house-cut fries.
Mac suggested we try the fish tacos ($16) and “The Goat” Burger ($14.50) on our next visit.
The smallish menu will expand as the kitchen gets more comfy, Sean says.
From the bar’s nice array of brews, pours and craft cocktails, we tried the Goat’s Beard “Hello Wayne” draft beer brewed by Conshohocken Brewing Co. ($6.50) and the mojito-esque Goat’s Beard cocktail (wherein rye subs for rum, $9).
Two hooves up.
Without an outdoor sign, The Goat’s has been flying under the radar since its soft Memorial Day weekend opening.
The sign and awnings (to cut the brutal late-day sun at outdoor tables) can’t come soon enough, the owners tell us.
So what’s with the offbeat name?
Apparently, goat’s beard is a pesky perennial that once ran amuck in the Coyle garden.
With goat’s beard on the brain, Sean’s wife, Tracy, threw the name out there when nominees were sought.
Which got Sean’s wheels turning: the plant’s native to PA, the animal would make an endearing mascot, and the reference was just “ridiculous” enough to be memorable.
So it stuck.
The Goat’s Beard, 103 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne is open daily from 4:30. Lunch and weekend brunch slated to start June 20. Reservations accepted at 484-584-4979 or on Open Table.
As one Wayne door opens, another closes. Ristorante Primavera is no more.
The old-school Italian spot (owned by Malvernites Alane and Umberto Degli Esposti) has closed for good after a 28-year run on Lancaster Ave. near the farmer’s market.
So now two vacant restaurant buildings – Primavera and the short-lived Carmel Kitchen – sit ripe for the pickin’ on a prime stretch of Rte. 30.
Pinot Noir at Wegmans?
Sauvignon Blanc delivered to your door?
For the first time since Prohibition, we won’t have to schlep to the state store to buy a bottle.
We’ll drink to that.
Gov. Wolf just signed a bill allowing licensed grocery and convenience stores, restaurants and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine per person.
The bill also allows direct wine shipments to homes and state stores to open on Sundays.
After 150 years, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is moving from Wynnewood.
The seminary says it’s exploring a move to an existing, nearby Catholic college.
Seminarians already take classes at St. Joe’s and Villanova so it could easily partner with either.
The seminary’s board this week said it will scrap plans to shrink operations to 30 acres of its 75 acres. Which means the whole kit and caboodle – not just half – will be sold/leased and developed. (Main Line Health and a senior living company have long been eyeing the place.)
An ironic twist: The seminary will lose its own campus at a time when enrollment has rebounded – from 128 three years ago to 168 this fall.
Two quick calendar notes: Downtown Wayne will be humming (and roads will be closed) this Saturday, June 11 for the Wayne Music Festival, a free, all-ages block party from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m. Click here for the scoop.
And Tredyffrin’s Wilson Farm Park will be hopping Sunday morning (June 12) for the Steps for Sarcoma 5K run/1K walk. Leading the charge once again will be hometown hero, New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, the Stoga star who famously beat Ewing’s Sarcoma and, against all odds, saw his pro football dreams come true. The event raises big dollars for sarcoma (bone cancer) research at Penn’s Ambramson Cancer Center. Click here to register.
A SAVVY salute to amazing, inspiring ’84 Stoga grad Jim Sanders – a glass-half-full quadriplegic for 27 of his 49 years.
And among the nicest guys around.
Jim died May 27 of septic shock at Paoli Hospital.
Locals may recall Jim’s story, a cautionary tale for parents: A natural athlete, Jim headed to the shore back in 1989 to celebrate the end of senior year with some Temple buddies. Hot from the long car ride, he dove into too-shallow waters in Longport, severing his spinal cord.
That he survived at all was a miracle.
That he ran his own IT business (keyboarding with a mouth stick) more miraculous still.
With help from the J.O.S. Trust created by his friends, Jim lived on his own terms – in a Chesterbrook townhouse instead of an institution.
His body didn’t move, but his mind was endlessly, voraciously active.
Smart, witty, eternally chipper, a huge Eagles fan and movie buff, Jim was a charmer.
Even better: He was a guy who had every reason to complain – but never did.
Rest in peace, dear man. You will be missed.
Death hurts. But when it comes without warning, from nowhere, to a woman so strong, so alive, so entwined in the community, it hits doubly hard.
Like many, we were sucker-punched last week by the sudden, inexplicable loss of Susan Randels, owner of the Paoli boutique, Polka Dots.
Surely, there had been a mistake, we thought.
Surely, not Susan.
Paoli’s 2015 Business Person of the Year.
Fiercely devoted to her shop and to her family.
So much younger – in appearance and attitude – than her 60 years.
A shopowner who’d gladly kick off her shoes so you could slip them on as you tried on a dress.
A sole proprietor who, year after year after year, took Polks Dots on the road to make ends meet: to the Devon Horse Show, to school fundraisers, to fashion shows and countless charity events.
A woman who pushed it hard at the gym, watched what she ate and did everything right.
How could she, of all people, be taken?
Susan never had it easy in this life.
A single mom with a degree in graphic design, she somehow parlayed a Chesterbrook tanning salon into a Main Line fashion mainstay.
And raised two terrific kids.
Susan was scrappy.
She spoke her mind. And then some.
You always knew just where you stood.
It was refreshing. There was no hiding behind false veneers, no pretense of perfection with Susan. If times were tough, she told you so.
Not everyone saw Susan’s softer side but it was there. The side that was just beginning to ease off the gas and enjoy life … at last.
With her husband, Jim McCloskey, she had just started renovating a new home in Malvern, satisfied to see the fruits of their labors beginning to take shape.
She was over the moon, too, at the two new grandchildren on the way.
The businesswoman in her was excited that Polka Dots, long a top-grossing horse show shop, was sponsoring Ladies Day for the first time.
Tragically, it was during the show she adored, on the very Ladies Day she was sponsoring, that she left us.
How could a bad back that sidelined her for a couple days have exploded into something so dire?
Like her heartbroken husband and family, we seek answers. A few weeks from now, a lab report will tell us what felled her.
But for now, we salute a woman of uncommon style, smarts, gusto and grit. A woman much larger than the short life she was given.
We won’t forget you, Susan.
How could we?