Since 2016, Philadelphia restaurant and bar Lou Bird’s (500 S. 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19146) has served delectable, ingredient-driven American cuisine in an elevated atmosphere. Located in the Graduate Hospital and Rittenhouse neighborhoods, Lou Bird’s kitchen is complemented by a full bar that offers a seasonal selection of drinks and original cocktails. The restaurant is open seven days a week serving food from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 11 a.m.
Owned and operated by Norris and Debbie Jordan, Lou Bird’s opened in August 2016 on the corner of 20th and Lombard Streets in the location formerly known as Meritage. The restaurant and bar, named after their 16-year-old daughter Lexi, followed up on the success of the couple’s first restaurant, The Happy Rooster, located at 16th and Sansom Streets in Philadelphia. For their second restaurant, the Jordans wanted to offer an affordable dining experience tailored to the chic setting of its Rittenhouse neighborhood.
Before Lou Bird’s opened, the Jordans worked to gut and redesign the building’s interior from scratch. The restaurant was completely refitted with a new kitchen and updated dining space in addition to removing the drywall to expose the building’s beautiful original brick, which dates back to 1915. Meticulously restored reclaimed wood and antique fixtures from the iconic Divine Lorraine Hotel were added as accent pieces.
Between the bar, dining space, and outdoor seating, Lou Bird’s can accommodate up to 100 patrons for dinner from Sunday to Saturday. At the bar, guests can watch live TV and enjoy marquee matchups with friends and enjoy happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Lou Bird’s also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Guests can make reservations or place take-out orders through Lou Bird’s website.
This December, Lou Bird’s announced Eli Fields, former Executive Sous Chef of Bistrot La Minette, as its new Head Chef. He is working with the Jordans to create tantalizing new monthly specials and seasonal dishes for the Lou Bird’s menu. Fields brings a background in French cuisine, unique pallet, and creativity, drawing from his extensive background working under Chefs Grant Lloyd and Peter Wolsey during his tenure at Bistrot La Minette.
While the menu may have changed, Lou Bird’s regulars will recognize plenty of familiar favorites to enjoy alongside the delicious new items. Start off with an order from the Small Plates menu, featuring a selection of soups, salads, and starter dishes, including chicken teriyaki dumplings or the new French Onion Soup. Lou Bird’s also has several plates from the Shareables menu that will have guests fighting over who gets the last bite, including fried Buffalo cauliflower and bleu cheese, homemade chicken empanadas with aioli sauce, or the cheese board, served alongside fig jam, grapes, and walnuts. Select items from the Small Plates and Shareable menus are available during Happy Hour at a discounted price.
On the Large Plates menu, Fields has introduced a spiced honey glazed-pan seared salmon and a savory pasta Bolognese in addition to its popular chicken pot pie. The signature Lou Burger remains a staple of the Sandwiches menu, but diners will certainly want to consider the zesty new portabella burger served with avocado and chipotle mayo. The Lou Bird’s menu is completed by three desserts, a chocolate layered cake or classic New York cheesecake that are both served with blueberries and whipped cream, plus a weekly special.
The bar offers a rotating selection of cocktails, beers, and wines to go along with meals. Lou Bird’s bar staff serves a variety of newly-introduced seasonal cocktails, including Lou Bird’s twist on the classic espresso martini, spicy cucumber margarita, or a bourbon cinnamon hot toddy. Additionally, Lou Bird’s offers six rotating draft beers on tap along with bottles of local favorites Yards Pale Ale and Evil Genius Guava IPA. Wine enthusiasts can pair their meal with a glass of a full-bodied red, like the Argentinian Old Vine Malbec, or order a bottle of the refreshing Canaletto Italy Pino Grigio for the table. Lou Bird’s always keeps a selection of wines from Oregon’s Willamette Valley because of the Jordan’s love of Pinot Noirs from that region.
Lou Bird’s is an excellent option for patrons looking for a venue to host their next celebration or private event. The restaurant is able to accommodate group reservations for parties of 10 to 70 people and provides several prix fixe menu options, starting as low as $50 per person. Private party and group reservation requests can be made by filling out a form on the Lou Bird’s website.
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