Equating himself with a 1968 Chevy Camaro, Lee Krasley sums up his physicality since he opened his first restaurant, The Epicurean, back in 1985: “The turn signals are no longer working and the heater’s busted, but they’ve added a new engine and it runs like a champ. It’s an amazing gift.”
Krasley’s automotive metaphor also refers to the heart transplant he underwent two years ago. Now at 57, the enthusiastic chef is about to rev-up his motor again, as he prepares to open the Epicurean Garage in Chester Spring’s Eagle Pointe Village Shopping Center. “I still love food. I still love cooking. I love the whole multi-sensory thing. I’m ready to roll,” he says.
Krasley has enjoyed good fortune in the restaurant arena over the years. The Epicurean, formerly located along the western fringe of Phoenixville, quickly outgrew its space, necessitating a move to the Village of Eland, where it was a fixture for decades.
Further successes ensued. In 1996, Krasley premiered his second eatery, America Bar & Grill, also in Chester Springs, followed by a location at the Shoppes at Brinton Lake in 2004. Seven years later, he was forced to shutter the Glen Mills restaurant when the shopping center was bought out.
That began a string of troubling events. In 2012, Krasley learned he had a spontaneous genetic mutation. “[It] would ultimately require four major heart surgeries. I was so overdue for a transplant, it was a total coin toss if I’d even get up from the table after the procedure,” he recalls. In the midst, Krasley closed The Epicurean.
But good fortune has returned, and Krasley is running on all cylinders once again, as he readies his newest incarnation, Epicurean Garage. The casual, family-friendly space will seat 150 people, and is expected to open by the end of July in Eagle Pointe Village Shopping Center. When it does open, expect daily breakfasts, a la carte brunch on Saturday and Sunday, plus an all day lunch and dinner menu featuring farm-to-table produce.
Among the local producers Krasley will be sourcing are cheeses from Birchrun Hills Farm and Honeybrook’s September Farms, mushrooms from Kennett Square, grass-fed beef from Lancaster County, Golden Valley Farms coffees, Kolb Brothers pork, and Frecon Farms produce.
“I call the Garage a ‘gastro-diner,’ a place supporting the local community and the local agriculture, while offering the area’s best beers,” say Krasley. Epicurean Garage has a laid back vibe, including the décor, which offers an industrial and agricultural feel, featuring exposed steel and reclaimed woods. Floors are polished concrete, and true to the garage’s theme, the back end of a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, along with the bumpers of a 1947 milk truck, will be centrally situated. Booths, communal tables, and a relaxing outdoor patio offer comfortable seating. There will be ongoing musical performers onsite, like local favorite Dan Frantz, as well.