Rivertown Taps Is a Community Favorite in Phoenixville

Photos by Ed Williams

You can pour your own at Rivertown Taps in Phoenixville—just don’t skip the food, which will most certainly make your mouth water.

Rivertown Taps’ wall of 36 taps, with six outside during nice weather.
Rivertown Taps’ wall of 36 taps, with six outside during nice weather.

Taking over the former Franco Ristorante location on Phoenixville’s Bridge Street barely a year ago, Rivertown Taps has already found a fanbase in a big way. Our readers made it clear that it’s more than just a beer joint. It was the overwhelming winner for Best Appetizers and Best New Restaurant in our 2023 Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Awards.

Chipotle shrimp over greens
Chipotle shrimp over greens

But it’s also a pretty cool beer joint, with a wall of self-serve taps—36 inside, with six outside in nice weather. The wall also features wine, cider and mead, plus a nonalcoholic selection of kombucha from nearby Baba’s Brew. A card swipe allows guests to pour the desired amount, and each tap has a display screen with the beverage name, description, alcohol content and brewery or winery. “The self-pour revolution began on the West Coast,” says owner and chef Lewis Leiterman, a winner on the Food Network show Guy’s Grocery Games. “I liked the idea of combining the social aspect of beer lovers sharing conversation at the wall while also having access to my locally procured menu.”

Phoenixville Hot Chicken & Waffles topped with syrup.
Phoenixville Hot Chicken & Waffles topped with syrup.

Leiterman partnered with fiancée Tess Strayer and her parents to bring the interactive concept to downtown Phoenixville. While gutting the 19th-century building, they discovered and repurposed much of the original timber on the tap wall. They also exposed two beautiful brick walls and constructed a rustic 15-seat bar with a seating area perfect for viewing the goings-on in the kitchen.

Local art and the original brick wall add to the rustic-chic ambiance
Local art and the original brick wall add to the rustic-chic ambiance

Rivertown Taps’ menu is seasonal and focused, with innovative presentations that go above and beyond what you’d expect. The list of preferred regional purveyors includes Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative and Indian Ridge Provisions in Telford and the local Valerio Coffee Roasters. And frankly, it’s refreshing to find a menu in a brew-centric eatery that shies away from pizza and flatbreads.

Chef Lewis Leiterman.
Chef Lewis Leiterman.

For starters, we tried the Delaware clingstone peach with fresh burrata and the grilled royal trumpet mushrooms glazed in a house-made sweet-and-sour barbecue sauce—two small plates that would certainly go over well with our vegetarian friends. We were also impressed with the “super colossal” chipotle shrimp and the surprisingly light beer-battered cheddar-cheese Mexican street curds, the latter served over charred sweet corn and thin slices of jalapeño.

Grilled hanger steak
Grilled hanger steak

Among the three handhelds on the menu, we tackled the deliciously sloppy Peachy Porker—slow-roasted pulled pork, bacon and sharp cheddar with bourbon-and-peach jam and Carolina slaw on a brioche bun. They also offer a popular stacked burger—but don’t bother asking for tomato if it isn’t in season. “We don’t have freezer storage here,” says Leiterman “I’m that serious about being seasonal.”

Delaware cling peaches, toasted sourdough and fresh burrata
Delaware cling peaches, toasted sourdough and fresh burrata
Barbecued royal trumpet mushrooms
Barbecued royal trumpet mushrooms

Grilled and thinly sliced, our hanger steak was a perfect medium rare—but the real showstopper was the Phoenixville Hot Chicken & Waffles. Topped with maple-apple slaw, it’s a heap of heaven.

Creative cocktails
Creative cocktails

Taps aside, don’t overlook the creative craft cocktail program curated by Jeff Perez. Memorable names include the Bruce Wayne, In the Weeds and It’s a Big Dill. We opted for the Piaf (a refreshing summer sour with Manatawny Still Works gin, rose water, grapefruit and frothy egg white) and the Dirty Chai Martini (with Ceylon chai and cardamom).

An impressive wall of beer.
An impressive wall of beer.

Loews Regency New York Is a Top Escape for Fall in New York City

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Courtesy of Loews Hotels

Spend an ideal fall getaway at Loews Regency New York to enjoy all that New York City has to offer in the autumn.

Drive Time: About two hours.

Conquer New York City in style at this esteemed luxury hotel along Park Avenue in Manhattan’s ritzy Upper East Side, where it’s an easy walk to Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madison Avenue and more. The Regency recently refreshed its 321 guestrooms 58 suites with a sleek, classic look that accentuates the knockout views of the city. Amenities include Stan Herman bathrobes, Julien Farel anti-aging hair care and body products, complimentary shoeshines and daily newspaper delivery.

Though The Regency Bar & Grill is likely to be buzzing just about any time of day, don’t miss the power breakfast. Most mornings, the black town cars are lined up three-deep outside for this 40-year tradition. Inside, you can rub elbows with big names in finance, entertainment, media and politics. At night, don’t be surprised to find some of those same movers-and-shakers hanging out at the bar. For breakfast on the go, grab a cup of Milanese coffee and a delicious European-style breakfast sandwich at the Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar.

Loews Regency
Courtesy of Loews Hotels

Inspired by the power breakfast, French power couple Julien and Suelyn Farel have created their own “power hour” at the hotel spa, where guests can enjoy up to four simultaneous services in 60 minutes. The state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa combines traditional European services with cutting-edge aesthetic technology.

Prime Parking: Fall is the perfect time to experience Central Park, and you’re just two blocks away at the Regency. You can easily eat up an entire day exploring the Great Lawn, the Reservoir, Sheep Meadow and the rest of its 843 acres. Running in Central Park is an experience in itself. Book a 5K Fun Run online and join the crowd for an hour-long morning primer that takes you past Bethesda Fountain, the Mall, Strawberry Fields and other iconic spots. Part of an integrated system of four zoos and an aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Central Park Zoo is also must, especially for families.

fall foliage
Adobe Stock

October Rates: Starting at $735.

540 Park Ave., New York, New York, (212) 759-4100, loewshotels.com. 

Related: 24 Hours in Kennett Square: How to Spend a Day Trip in Town

Mike Weilbacher Celebrates Nature Around Philadelphia

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Photo courtesy Tessa Marie Images

Mike Weilbacher is an author and naturalist who recently released a book on how to explore and appreciate nature around the Main Line.

Merion Station’s Mike Weilbacher has spent the past 40 years finding creative ways to teach us about nature, most recently as the executive director of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Roxborough. Also known as the “All-Natural Science Guy” on WXPN-FM’s Kid’s Corner, Weilbacher has authored his first book, Wild Philly: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Philadelphia (Timber Press, 368 pages). It offers 25 field trips to parks, preserves and natural areas, organized by season and accompanied by cool illustrated maps.

MLT: You had an eight-member “Naturalist Advisory Team” providing input for your book. Did anything come up that surprised you?

MW: Tons. The chapter on the Lenape, for example, was based on new scholarship that shows that they actively managed the land. They were burning parts of the landscape to keep certain plants, like nut trees, around. Another surprise for me was learning that the beaver was the first animal that became locally extinct. The demand for beaver pelts in Europe for making hats was so strong that beavers were essentially trapped out in here by the 1600s.

Weilbacher
Photo courtesy Tessa Marie Images

MLT: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

MW: I’m hoping they realize just how much interesting nature there is in this area. In the center of Manayunk, you can see peregrine falcons nesting in a church steeple or walk along the Manayunk Canal and see trees that have been chewed on by beaver. That’s one nice surprise—that beavers have decided to reintroduce themselves to the region. I’m also hoping more people will introduce themselves to nature because climate change is emerging as such an important issue—which the book talks about.

MLT: Does the book offer any suggestions for how to help?

I have a chapter on how people can become citizen scientists. Armed with a cell phone, you can now contribute meaningful data to ongoing scientific studies and be a data point in an ongoing understanding of Wild Philly. That’s one great thing you can do.

Visit mikeweilbacher.com.

Related: 10 Trails to Hike this Autumn

Private vs. Public Schools: A Difficult Decision for Main Line Area Families

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Downingtown STEM Academy. Courtesy of Downingtown STEM Academy

A slew of excellent public and private schools call the Main Line region home. Which one is best for your child?

The decision between public and private school can be a challenging one. As parents, we want to do right by our children, giving them the opportunities and the experiences that will lead them to become well-rounded adults. We can’t know what the future will hold for them, but we can do our best to set them up to thrive.

In that respect, we’re doubly blessed. Woven throughout Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties are some of the best public schools in the state. Our region boasts 10 of the top 25 public high schools in Pennsylvania, and 24 of the top 100. Bolstered by a healthy tax base, union-negotiated teacher salaries and proactive parents, the programs, college admission results and graduation rates at public schools here often meet or exceed those of private schools in other parts of the country.

Students at the Agnes Irwin School.
Students at the Agnes Irwin School. Courtesy of the Agnes Irwin School.

Like plenty of parents in our region, Lisa and Scott Hughes made the decision to go private in preschool, enrolling their oldest son, Ryan, in kindergarten at Saints Peter and Paul School in West Chester. “He was my first kid, and he was more anxious,” Lisa says. “I just thought he needed a little bit smaller class size. I felt like he would get more individualized attention.”

There were other factors that made the choice attractive for the couple—particularly the full-day kindergarten, which the West Chester Area School District had yet to implement. But when their son hit fifth grade, his feelings changed. “Ryan said, ‘I just need bigger; I need different; I need diverse,’” Lisa says. “It was trying to fit him in a box that he didn’t really want to fit in. He wanted to go to public school.”

Downingtown STEM Academy
Downingtown STEM Academy. Courtesy of Downingtown STEM Academy.

At West Chester’s Peirce Middle School, Ryan became heavily involved in the performing arts, continuing along that path to Henderson High School. He’ll be a vocal performance major at the University of Michigan this fall.

Ryan’s brother Shane had the opposite experience. In his brief flirtation with public school after five years of elementary at Saints Peter and Paul, he found himself cut off from his friends and ready to return to his “posse,” as Lisa put it. He finished out middle school at Saints Peter and Paul. This year, he’s a senior at Bishop Shanahan High School.

Casey, the Hughes’ youngest son, was looking for a more challenging environment as he wrapped up his fifth-grade year at Saints Peter and Paul. He moved to Peirce and is now a 10th-grader at Henderson. “Just parent the kids you have—it’s not a one size fits all,” says Lisa. “It might be that you have two kids thriving in private and one that’s not. Maybe it’s time to look at a different angle. I definitely consider public schools strong if you have a kid who’s on the top or bottom of the scale—the high end or the low end, needing resources.”

Episcopal Academy
Episcopal Academy. Courtesy of Mark Tassoni.

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Celebrates Its Rural Roots

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All photos courtesy Unionville-Chadds Ford School District

Now ranked among the top school districts in the state, Unionville-Chadds Ford had a humble start in Pennsylvania.

One might expect the first consolidated school in Pennsylvania to have humble origins—and such was the case with the Unionville Joint Consolidated School. “It was the hick school,” recalls Ray McKay, who was a student there in 1960. “It was all farms.”

Sometime later, McKay returned to the district, teaching there for 32 years. “The farmers all sold to developers, so it’s not a country school anymore,” he says.

Indeed. This past May, Unionville High School’s 100th graduating class celebrated the milestone in grand fashion with confetti cannons, the school’s marching band, its Lenny the Longhorn mascot, and the dedication of a large bronze longhorn statue. As part of the ongoing centennial celebration, McKay is coordinating a tour of historical sites like Locust Grove, a one-room schoolhouse restored to its 1890s glory. The plan is to incorporate the tour into opening-day activities for district personnel this fall, then offer it to the public throughout the school year. In 2025, the Chadds Ford portion of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District gets to host its own centennial celebration.

Buses lined up outside Unionville Joint Consolidated School in 1937.
Buses lined up outside Unionville Joint Consolidated School in 1937.

Unionville High School senior Jack Anderson has heard about the farms back in the day—and how a herd of cows might get out and make a kid late to school. “Things have changed so much,” he says. “we don’t live on a farm.”

The last of four siblings educated in the district, Jack Anderson has a year to go at Unionville High. His father, Jim, is a 1986 Unionville graduate. Jim’s mother, Ruth, received her diploma in 1954, the year the U.S. Supreme Court ended school segregation. Two months after the court’s decision, seven townships combined to become the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. Ray McKay, now 81, was in seventh grade that year, and his graduating class doubled to 92 as result. Ruth, Ray’s sister-in-law, had just 18 other classmates. Her grandson’s 2024 class at Unionville has 350. It’s now the sixth-ranked high school in the state, according to the latest data from U.S. News & World Report.

Students at Unionville Joint Consolidated School in 1946.
Students at Unionville Joint Consolidated School in 1946.

Jack has heard about the farms back in the day—how a herd of cows might get out and make a kid late to school. “Things have changed so much,” Jack says. “We don’t live on a farm.”

Now 87, Ruth grew up on a farm in Pocopson and was raised in a stone house dating to 1745. “I worked on the farm. I went to school with farmers,” she says.

The school orchestra in 1927.
The school orchestra in 1927.

A painting of Pierre S. Du Pont still hangs in the auditorium at Unionville Elementary. He was a major benefactor for the Unionville Joint Consolidated School, where it’s estimated that he funded as much as 70% of the construction costs over his years of philanthropy.

Ruth’s mother, Esther Pratt, was a seventh-grader in 1923 when the consolidated school opened. Unionville’s community fair began in its upstairs hallways as a “corn show.” Esther later taught in one-room schoolhouses at Wagontown and Copeland before returning to her alma mater, retiring in 1976. She sold the Pratt family farmland to the school district in 1999. Pocopson Elementary School now sits on part of it.

Esther’s father-in-law, W.J. Pratt, had a feed mill near Brandywine Creek, where the Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm is now. Esther likely milked cows before she went to teach. “You couldn’t have a dairy farm today,” says Ray McKay. “You couldn’t get cows across Route 926 twice a day.”

Ray’s son, Don, still has slides of himself in diapers, surrounded by stacks of concrete blocks at the Charles F. Patton Middle School, which his father helped open 50 years ago. Ray was a head elementary school teacher for years. His wife, Mary, was an elementary teacher and a middle school librarian in the district. She died nine years ago.

The former K-12 consolidated building, Unionville Elementary has a round concrete date stone from 1921, when construction of the interlocking brick building began. A year earlier, four townships, East and West Marlborough, Newlin and Pocopson aligned themselves. In September 1923, 19 one-room schools closed, and the Unionville Joint Consolidated School opened for grades 1–12. To make it possible, a Peoples Bank of Unionville and Avondale Bank bond was secured for $175,000, and six acres of farmland was purchased for $4,000 from William R. Chambers, whose family had been in Unionville since the early 1800s.

Students in a music class in 1959.
Students in a music class in 1959.

A building originally designed for 635 students opened with 661. The student body was up to 759 four years later, when an addition was built to include a gymnasium, a cafeteria and six classrooms. By 1953, a second addition was needed, and the west wing was added to include an agriculture shop, classrooms and a new cafeteria.

The DuPont company gradually populated the area with employees, changing the culture of the district. A painting of Pierre S. du Pont still hangs in Unionville Elementary’s auditorium. He was a major benefactor for the expansion of local schools, including Unionville, where it’s estimated he funded as much as 70% of the construction costs over his years of philanthropy. “He wanted to create a legacy, but he also wanted to improve the lives where he lived,” says Don McKay. “Pierre was a catalyst for our schools.”

Sixth-graders in 1943.
Sixth-graders in 1943.

His brother Lammot du Pont II donated money for the original playground equipment at what became Unionville Elementary in 1959. When it comes to stunning architectural elements at the elementary school, few compare to the gymnasium, with its original wooden parquet floor and second-level athletic track. “I feel like there could be films made here,” says Christa Fazio, the district’s director of communications and community relations.

There was once fixed wooden seating in the school’s auditorium, but it’s since been removed and sent to the high school. Ray McKay’s mother was in first grade when the consolidated school opened in 1923. He still has one of those original auditorium seats at home, and he once had three—sort of like salvaging a seat or two from old Connie Mack Stadium. “Pretty much,” says Ray.

There’s never been a town center in Unionville, so the old school serves that purpose. “We open the doors,” says John Sanville, the district’s superintendent. “A lot of schools shut down facilities on the weekends. We’re wide open for what the community needs.”

That sense of community is also ingrained in the dedication of the McKays and others. “It’s been harder and harder for each generation to afford to live here,” says Don. “But lots of those who stayed run generations deep.”

Related: Your Guide to Colleges and Schools Around the Main Line

Where to Find the Tastiest Apple Cider Donuts Around the Main Line

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Adobe Stock / parkia

As the calendar officially flips to fall this weekend, we take a look at the apple cider donut, one of autumn’s finest treats.

From small bakeries to sprawling orchards, Philadelphia’s western suburbs have some of the most scrumptious apple cider donuts. These locally made treats showcase a combination of the top produce and bakeries the Main Line area has to offer. Here are some of our favorites.

Northbrook Marketplace

1805 Unionville Wawaset Rd., West Chester


Family-owned and -operated, this West Chester gem is located in a restored 1850s fieldstone barn. Its apple cider donuts are made fresh and can even be found in the indulgent cider donut French toast dish, available for brunch.

Highland Orchards

1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd., West Chester


Stretching across more than 200 acres, not only does this West Chester farm offer mouthwatering apple cider donuts, but it also dishes up apple cider donut bread pudding and cider donuts with a vanilla filling. You can pick your own produce or purchase it in the market, along with homemade pies, cheese and other goods. Hayrides, a corn maze and apple and pumpkin picking round out the fall fun at Highland.

Linvilla Orchards

137 Knowlton Rd., Media.

 

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A Delaware County staple for more than 100 years, Linvilla is synonymous with all things fall. Its cider donuts are made fresh every morning with the farm’s own apple cider. Fresh produce, baked goods and gourmet specialties from throughout Pennsylvania and around the world are also offered at the farm market. What’s more, this beloved orchard is a multi-time Best of the Main Line and Western Suburbs winner.

Beiler’s Doughnuts

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia; 398 Harrisburg Pke., Lancaster

 

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Owned and operated by the same family for 38 years, Beiler’s Doughnuts is a must-visit in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. In recent years, it expanded to a second location in Lancaster. All of its baking occurs onsite. Alongside the classic apple cider donuts are apple fritters and harvest apple donuts, or vanilla iced donuts with apple pie filling. Delicious!

Weaver’s Orchard Farm Market

40 Fruit Ln., Morgantown

 

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Not only does Weaver’s Orchard embrace the fall season with apple cider donuts, but it does so with peach fritters/donuts and pumpkin donuts, too. These tasty treats are available in the farm market from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week except Sunday, but make sure to get there early while the pastries are freshest.

Related: The Tastiest Pumpkin Spice Treats Around the Main Line This Fall

Sweet Amelia’s Spotlights Fresh Ingredients in Kennett Square

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Photos by Ed Williams

Sweet Amelia’s is a free-spirited gem in Kennett Square that taps into local produce and products for its elegant dishes.

A loaded table of shareable plates and larger entrees promises something for everyone at Sweet Amelia’s.
A loaded table of shareable plates and larger entrees promises something for everyone at Sweet Amelia’s.

Karessa and Zack Hathaway met in culinary school in Charlotte, North Carolina, before trekking through Australia in a converted camper for a year of exploring local cuisine and culture. Returning to Washington, D.C., they honed their kitchen skills at a few fine dining establishments before eventually landing in southern Chester County in 2021.

The chicken-skin tea sandwich
The chicken-skin tea sandwich

Then came a beautiful baby girl named Amelia and the golden opportunity to grab the prime downtown Kennett Square location offered by Verbena BYOB’s Scott Morozin. Their new eatery’s namesake is now almost a year old—and its free-spirited vibe is conveyed perfectly in the Sweet Amelia’s logo. “We wanted to convey a sense of travel with a nomadic vibe,” says Karessa. “The simple paper-plane logo seems to fit the vision of our brand best.”

Rosemary focaccia topped with ricotta, sliced strawberries and mint.
Rosemary focaccia topped with ricotta, sliced strawberries and mint.

For her husband, it’s all about capitalizing on the “extraordinary access to the freshest ingredients.” He’s done just that by cultivating relationships with Kennett’s Full Table Farm (for organic, low-till veggies) and Buck & Doe Bread Co. (for signature sourdough and focaccia), along with Kirkwood’s Lindenhof Farm (for grass-fed beef, lamb and pork).

Roasted baby potatoes with cheese-and-pepper aioli
Roasted baby potatoes with cheese-and-pepper aioli

The overall vibe at Sweet Amelia’s is a sleek fusion of past and present—casual yet still upscale. The revamped space sports Scandinavian-style maple tables and white Nordic-scoop chairs that are surprisingly comfortable. Reclaimed brick walls surround the main dining area, and there’s a regional fieldstone wall toward the rear of the restaurant. Serving plates and bowls are a well-curated mix of the formal and casual styles one might find at an estate sale, with colors that complement the stunning culinary presentations.

Shrimp tortellini in chilled black-garlic brood
Shrimp tortellini in chilled black-garlic brood
The Porgy Schnitzel.
The Porgy Schnitzel.

Though the menu is still evolving, Sweet Amelia’s is already knocking it out of the park with its sharable plates. Especially impressive was the chicken-skin tea sandwich—something we’ve never seen in this region. The homey, offbeat appetizer tucks crispy, savory chicken skins and scallion aioli between crustless slices of Wonder bread, with a South African peri-peri sauce for dipping. We then moved on to the local duck breast from Keiser’s Pheasantry. Oh so tender and served au jus, it arrived atop a puddle of pea puree, with turnips and snow peas for crunch. The Porgy Schnitzel was a unique twist on the German staple. The white, somewhat fatty fish had a sweet, delicate flavor, and the skin was edible and quite tasty.

A streetside view
A streetside view

The menu caters exceptionally well to the vegans. On our visit, offerings included the crispy tofu with ginger scallion oil, a chili crisp with mango, and mushroom tartare. You can also expect a few house-made pasta dishes.

Florida rock shrimp cocktail
Florida rock shrimp cocktail

For dessert, we had a divinely creamy blueberry black-tea panna cotta topped with berries and a rye crumble. For brunch fans, there’s red grits, smoked-brisket hash, and concha (Mexican sweet bread) French toast.

Sweet Amelia’s owners Karessa and Zack Hathaway.
Sweet Amelia’s owners Karessa and Zack Hathaway.

Sweet Amelia’s 102 E. State St., Kennett Square, (484) 732-7943, sweetameliasksq.com Cost: $9–$48. Atmosphere: An appropriate and intimate blend of old and new. Hours: Dinner: 5–9 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday. Lunch: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Thursday–Sunday. Attire: Casual. Extras: Seasonal nonalcoholic drinks.

Related: GET Café Employs Disabled Community Members in Narberth

The Dining News You Need to Know Around the Main Line in September

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Photo by Ed Williams

A beloved eatery in Devon, a new steakhouse in West Chester and more make the month delicious around the western suburbs.

A nonprofit culinary venture, the Black Cat Cafe has been a well-loved fixture in Devon since 2010, and it continues to be a favorite with readers in our annual Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs poll. It’s owned by PALS Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society, with all net proceeds going toward the pre-adoption care of cats and kittens injured, abandoned or in danger of euthanasia at local kill shelters. A small sampling of adoptable cats and kittens greets patrons in the gift shop, which features cat-centric accessories, books and trinkets.

The Black Cat’s dining areas are rainy-day cozy, thanks to their mismatched furnishings and feline-focused knickknacks, wall art and silhouettes. “People feel good about patronizing a restaurant that not only has great food but saves the lives of cats and kittens,” says chef Judy Clemens, who’s been with the cafe since 2016.

Breakfast for two at the Black Cat Cafe: eggs, scrapple, French toast, pancakes and fresh coffee.Breakfast for two at the Black Cat Cafe: eggs, scrapple, French toast, pancakes and fresh coffee.
Breakfast for two at the Black Cat Cafe: eggs, scrapple, French toast, pancakes and fresh coffee. Photo by Ed Williams.

Clemens’ popular morning menu offers hearty breakfast sandwiches, omelets, pancakes and French toast. Indecisive diners can try the Garfield Sampler. Lunch includes homemade soups, salads, wraps, burgers, and a slew of elevated grilled cheese and panini options. Vegan and vegetarian items are also available, and kids love the hot dogs, milkshakes and ice cream.

All servers are volunteers, so tip well. Additional donations are always welcome, in person or via the cafe’s website. 42 Berkley Road, Devon, (610) 688-1930, theblackcatcafedevon.org.

Other Nibbles: West Chester’s latest planned addition is a new steakhouse called Prime 9, located in a historic bank building in the borough’s center. Celebrity chef Fabio Viviani has lent his name to the project, which should open before the end of the year. 9 S. High St., West Chester. … The newest Nudy’s Cafe opened in Audubon, bringing the total to 13 locations for this much-loved breakfast and lunch spot. 2798 Egypt Road, Audubon, nudyscafes.com.

Related: 12 Instagram-Worthy Brunch Spots Around the Main Line

Catch Eagles Games at These Eateries Around the Main Line

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AdobeStock/Yurii Zushchyk

Who’s ready for football season? Whether you’re a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles or tagging along with a friend or family member, these pubs and bars offer a great atmosphere to watch the games.

The Philadelphia Eagles play their first game of the 2023 NFL season as defending NFC champions on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 4:25 p.m. ET. Celebrate wins with your community this season at local Eagles bars where you can live and die with every down as the Birds look to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Philadelphia. These bars and restaurants are a great place to experience the big game all season long.

Brick and Brew

26 W. State St., Media

 

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This family-friendly pub in the center of Media touts a casual menu of deviled eggs, fried pickles and brick-oven crab dip, plus creative salads, sandwiches and a slew of signature brick-oven-fired pizzas. Sips are equally sumptuous and include a list of elevated craft cocktails like the Whiskey Sour and Speakeasy. Not being a typical sports bar, seats are coveted, especially when patrons are cheering on the Eagles.

City Works

220 Main St., King of Prussia


Go big or go home in this massive 9,000-square-foot contemporary bistro-pub with 14 flat-screen TVs and state-of-the-art sound. A whopping 90 taps will be pouring all your favorite local and global lagers, Belgians, IPAs, stouts and porters, as well as some impressive ciders. Casual munchables with a twist include pretzel bites, fried pickles, buffalo shrimp and smoked wings. Soups, fresh salads and burgers round out the extensive menu.

Craft Beer Store Springfield

35 Baltimore Pke., Springfield

 

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With possibly the most extensive beer list anywhere in southwestern Pennsylvania, Craft Beer Store is a prime watering hole for lovers of brewing and Birds. Every Sunday, the store serves $5 draft beers and $2 slices of pizza starting at halftime.

Iron Hill Brewery

Ardmore, Exton, Lancaster, Media, Newtown, Phoenixville, West Chester

 

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Celebrate green fever with special limited-edition brews including Philly Phavorite IPA and Main Line Lager at most area Iron Hill locations. The menu will keep you satiated with a full selection of apps, shared plates, hearty soups, fresh salads and entrees that include favorites like schnitzel, fish and chips, rib stroganoff and pork chops. With daily specials as well as low-calorie, gluten-free and kids’ selections, why not bring along an entire cheering section?

McSorley’s Ale House

2330 Haverford Ave., Ardmore

 

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This reinvented location next to Wynnewood Lanes brings great service and a focused casual menu of Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, pierogies, wings and pizzas to the Main Line and western suburbs. Cheer the Eagles with $3.50 bottles and drafts while catching the latest games. Watch plenty of football coverage on 13 TVs and enjoy arcade games at halftime.

La Cabra Brewing

642 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn


This fan-favorite brewery will be showing the game on all six of its large-screen TVs. Delve into an shrimp tacos, hot chicken and brisket dip in addition to the rest of the Latin-inspired menu.

Off the Rail

109 W State St., Media

Media’s only rooftop bar, Off the Rail celebrates Eagles season with $3 Miller Lites and half-priced wings. Cheesesteak egg rolls, mac and cheese bites and mozzarella sticks are sure to get you in the mood for the game while handhelds like the chicken parm, BLT and house-made cheesesteak are a touchdown.

PJ Whelihan’s Newtown Square

Downingtown, Malvern, Newtown Square, West Chester

 

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Look for winning in-house specials on Sunday with $5 PJW Copper Lager and $2.50 Miller Lite drafts. Catch all the action on surrounding walls of dozens of TVs while enjoying a slew of wing options, loaded burgers and a few creative seasonal specials.

Ron’s Original Bar & Grille

74 E. Uwchlan Ave., Exton


Owner Ron Inverso promises spirited surroundings and a few bar specials in honor of the Birds, including $4 Coors Light, Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts. Signature ovals (oval-shaped oven-fired pizzas) with choices that include sausage and pepperoncini, chicken pesto and potato and bacon are only $11.

TJ’s Restaurant & Drinkery

35 Paoli Plaza, Paoli

Locally distilled craft cocktails and 38 taps make this neighborhood watering hole a spirited place to watch the game. Apps like Wilfredo’s guacamole, short rib poutine and bangin’ shrimp are sure to get you cheering. Other noshables include guajillo pork nachos, falafel and couscous salad, fish and chips and several tasty takes on tacos.

Related: Eagles Star Brandon Graham Is at Home in Haverford

Pick Your Own Apples at These Orchards in the Main Line Region

Adobe Stock / New Africa

Embrace the fall season in the Main Line region by visiting local orchards for a variety of delicious apples and homegrown produce.

Thanks to our many local orchards around the Main Line and western suburbs, the first crisp apples of autumn are here. For adults excited for the Halloween season with their kids, orchards are also a source of pumpkins, multicolored gourds, stalks of dried corn and other essential fall accessories. At more elaborate operations, there’s live music, hayrides, petting zoos, fishing and even beer gardens. During the winter holidays, some even offer Christmas trees.

Barnard’s Orchard

This year’s weather has produced a banner year of flavorful apple selections (more than 30 varieties) at this small family-run orchard. Meander its 74 acres or peruse the petite onsite store for seasonal treats and décor.

1079 Wawaset Rd., Kennett Square

Glen Willow Orchard

Not far from the Barnard’s property in Avondale, Glen Willow Orchard has been operated by the Rosazza family since 1955. In addition to its apple orchards, Glen Willow grows a lot of its own vegetables and has a well-stocked farm stand that includes local mushrooms. Its colorful field-grown mums are a special treat in the fall.

1657 Glen Willow Rd., Avondale

Highland Orchards

Staymen, Ida Red, Winesap, Rome and many other varieties are ready for daily picking at this 200-acre family-owned farm between West Chester and Downingtown. Don’t have time to hit the orchard? Grab a seven-pound to-go bag. Also running through the end of the month are Fall Harvest weekends, which offer fresh baked pies, seasonal pastries and legendary hot apple cider donuts. Kid-friendly pumpkin painting, carving and hayrides are also available during the Fall Harvest.

1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd., West Chester

Indian Orchards Farm

Known for organic farming, this small, family-owned farm has plenty of apples for picking. Grab a basket and hit the orchard for a $3.50 per person fee, plus a price per pound charge.

29 Copes Ln., Media

 

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Linvilla Orchards

It’s the peak season for apple picking at this area favorite. Look for a wealth of varieties, including Cameo, Jonagold, Mutsu, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. Enjoy an old-fashioned hayride into the groves daily from 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. for a $6 entrance fee (picking boxes are extra). Don’t forget to tour the kid-friendly Pumpkinland, with its larger-than-life scarecrows and haunted figures, to get into the spirit of Halloween.

137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media

 

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Weaver’s Orchard

Pick apples from dwarf trees at this farm, which has been active since the 1930s. Open six days a week, the farm is a must for Autumn Crisp, Crimson Crisp, Pixie Crunch, Gala, Macintosh and Smokehouse varieties with pre-pay bags. Shop for delicious baked goods, organic produce, local honey and deli items while you’re there. Don’t forget a stop at Kim’s Cafe for coffee and hot cider.

40 Fruit Ln., Morgantown

Related: 10 Farmers Markets to Visit Around the Main Line

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!