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Weekly Digest: Mediterranean BYO Debuts in Exton, Barren Hill Announces Opening Date, Garces Alum Coming to Chadds Ford

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The suburban food scene hasn’t shown any signs of hibernating this fall and winter season, with new restaurants popping up weekly along the Main Line and its surrounding neighborhoods. We’re naming the latest in this who’s who of the newcomers below. Be sure to bite in and welcome these new kids to our culinary blocks.

The former home of Freskada in the Main Street at Exton Shopping Center recently received a Mediterranean makeover, courtesy of its new owner Derrick Wheeler. As of Oct. 22, the brand-new Vella BYO debuted for lunch and dinner service, specializing in fresh Mediterranean dishes, inspired by the northern Mediterranean regions of France, Spain and Italy.

Downtown Kennett Square is experiencing a full-blown, new business renaissance. On Nov. 1, the new Market at Liberty Place welcomed the natural foods grocery shop, Terra Foods, to their extensive multi-vendor hub. Two other major players made waves this past Friday in Kennett too: Victory Brewing Co. broke ground on their coming-soon second brewpub in the four-story retail community, Magnolia Place. The Victory at Magnolia brewpub aims for a mid-2014 opening. And the beer-centric, highly regarded Two Stones Pub received official liquor licensing on Friday morning at its third location in the Mushroom Capital of the World (along East Baltimore Pike). Following quick suit, they opened their doors to thirsty fans as of 6 p.m.

The highly anticipated Barren Hill Tavern, in the former home of General Lafayette Inn & Brewery, officially swings open its doors on Thursday, Nov. 7. Brewmaster Scott Morrison’s opening tap list to include a French-style country Biere de Garde, a German pale ale, a Galaxy hopped IPA, and more. Full beer list here

Those looking for a Barren Hill sneak peek should snag tickets to Wednesday, Nov. 6’s Hats Off to Homebrewers event unfolding at the tavern from 7–10 p.m. with the help of Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery and Iron Hill Brewery of Chestnut Hill. On the eve of the grand opening, guests will enjoy three rounds of beer flights, with each three-deep sampler featuring a release from the participating breweries—Barren Hill included. Food pairings will be offered with each flight, as presented by BHT’s executive chef Paul Trowbridge. Cost is $35 per person (available here), which includes food and beer pairings and a commemorative Deschutes, Barren Hill and Iron Hill snifter.

Looking ahead, Garces alum MacGregor Mann has returned to PA to unveil a suburban BYO, identified as Junto, in the former Chadds Ford home of Village Diner (in the Olde Ridge Village Shoppes, off Route 202). The local-focused restaurant is forecasting a spring 2014 opening.

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