D’Ignazio’s Towne House had been a familiar fixture in Media for 65 years. Once known for family dining and hosting milestone events, the community fixture fell on hard times and eventually closed in 2015. Four year later, a native Irishman swooped in to resurrect and reshape the tired structure into five innovative, themed dining destinations. “The whole place took two years,” says Brian McLaughlin of Letterkenny Hospitality Group. “It would’ve been done much quicker, but we had contractor issues, design changes and, of course, COVID.”
Corporate chef Shane Diggin provides the strategic culinary vision, while James O’Hara and Shawn Moore serve as executive chefs for the individual restaurants. The “cocktail lab” is an innovative concept unlike anything in the area. “It’s a space for our bar team to geek out and pour their love and passion into everything they do behind the scenes,” says McLaughlin. “Bartending is an ever-evolving profession—especially with handcrafted cocktails. We’re making everything we can in-house, including all our liqueurs, infusions and bitters.”
While each area’s ambience is distinct, a cohesive hospitality holds it all together, and there are subtle reminders of the original location throughout. “We reached out to our social media audience and requested photos to be sent in of the old Towne House to bring a bit of the past into the present and make sure the place isn’t forgotten,” says McLaughlin.
Here’s what to expect at each spot.
This lively take on a traditional Irish pub stocks an astonishing 330 bourbons and whiskeys behind its comfy 15-seat bar. The original tiled fireplace anchors the dining room, which features draped booths and soft lighting. Menu highlights: Overnight Guinness Short Ribs, McDonnells Chicken Curry, ham-and-potato croquettes. Drink highlights: French 75, Irish coffee, a classic gin martini.
Just to the left of the Shebeen entrance, a dimly lit stairwell leads to this elegant speakeasy-inspired space. Grid-style mahogany shelving adds intimacy, while sparkling chandeliers, inspired wall murals and vibrantly colored seating add pop. The bar is petite but sexy, with amber backlighting and spirits aplenty. Currently open Friday and Saturday only.
Menu highlights: Glazed pork belly, tuna tartare, raw oysters.
Drink highlights: A trio of Spanish-style gin and tonics.
Named after a local Victorian Age “summer cottage,” this festive open-air restaurant is framed by playfully decorated walls. It’s contemporary and sleek, with lush greenery and a 25-seat bar topped with white acrylic. Live music during the week.
Menu highlights: Peel-and-eat shrimp, crispy fried chicken thighs, the Idlewild Cheeseburger.
Drink highlights: Pimm’s Cup, Jungle Bird, the Paloma.
A multipurpose event space with a stage, plenty of natural light and comfortable seating.
Premium steaks and seafood and fine wines will be the headliners at this rustic yet sophisticated fine-dining hub with an open cast-iron fireplace. Slated to open before the end of the year.