Blume Brings Colorful New Restaurant Concept To Rittenhouse This Thursday

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Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group announce the grand opening of Blume at 1500 Locust Street this Thursday at 4:00pm. The owners of BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Tradesman's, Kontrol, Uptown Beer Garden, Finn McCool's Ale House and Tinsel present a first-of-its-kind stylish, lush and playful new restaurant and natural wine bar designed by the same designer of Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar, Anne White of AGW Interiors.

The plant-filled interior features "Modernized Victorian" decor highlighted by 200 plants lining the ceiling, 2,300 roses on the back wall, 88 colored glass mirror panels, and a giant butterfly mural across the front of the building facing Locust Street.

In the kitchen, Craft Concepts Group introduces the culinary talents of new Executive Chef Aila DeVowe and her New American, street-food inspired small plates menu. At the bar, look for a natural wine and fruit-forward cocktail led menu, plus 20 taps of curated craft beers and ciders. Blume is approximately 2,400 square feet and features seating inside for up to 100 people and seating on the sidewalk for 12.

Opening services include dinner seven days a week and open hours for lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hours are Monday through Thursday 4:00pm to 2:00am, and Friday through Sunday 12:00pm to 2:00am. Look for a special lunch menu, brunch service and happy hour to launch later in the spring. For reservations, visit Open Table or call (267) 761-5582. For more about Blume, visit @BlumePhilly on Instagram or visit blumephilly.com (website coming soon).

"Craft Concepts Group is thrilled to introduce the world to Blume, our colorful and plant-filled restaurant and natural wine bar in the heart of Rittenhouse," said Sourias. "We wanted to energize the space and create a light, energetic and comfortable concept that is also stylish and colorful. Blume puts the focus on natural wines and fruit-forward cocktails - including cocktails that are highly visual and interactive. After the continued success of Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar, we wanted to transform the space and take our team's creativity to new levels. Join us this spring as we welcome Blume to the Craft Concepts family."

FOOD

In the kitchen, Sourias wanted to deliver elevated fare, but inspired by well-known and classic dishes, while emphasizing lighter and fresh ingredients. He said, "Our hope is to deliver a creative and engaging menu, while maintaining an 'easy' and approachable vibe."

Sourias tapped Executive Chef Aila DeVowe to bring his vision to life. Chef DeVowe will present a menu of New American, street-food inspired small plates, and twists on classic and approachable food. Look for eclectic appetizers, approachable entrees, wood fired flatbreads, and ample vegetarian and vegan options. For sourcing, Craft Concepts Group continues with every opening to expand use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The menu will especially offer expanded selections for local neighbors looking to make Blume their go-to mid-week, after-work hotspot.

DeVowe hails originally from Michigan. It was her search for culinary adventure that brought this smoldering dynamo to Philadelphia. After graduating from the Art Institute with honors in culinary arts, she cooked her way across the city, landing jobs with Joncarl Lachman, Stephen Starr, Peter McAndrews, and just about any other notable Philly restaurateur she wanted to learn from. At Bar Ferdinand, DeVowe played straight man to chef David Ansill's mad genius, and soaked up knowledge from him while running day-to-day operations at the busy Northern Liberties kitchen.

At Blume, look for DeVowe's experience from around the city and her love of street food to inspire the opening menu. "Street food inspired a lot of the small plates at Blume," said DeVowe. "I just think it's something that has a shared commonality throughout a lot of cultures. Most of the other dishes I wanted to have recognizable flavors that were just done in an unexpected way. I wanted to make serious food that doesn't take itself too seriously. I like to have fun and enjoy what I'm doing-but use a range of techniques and styles and influences."

Three highlights from the menu include Chef's favorites: Gnocchi (Cauliflower, Pine Nuts, Celery Root Puree), Kung Pao Calamari (Fennel, Jalapeno, Peanut) and Cream Chipped Steak (Cream Sauce, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Sauteed Kale & Beet Greens).

DRINK

At the bar, look for a program that is cocktail and natural wine forward - a first for Craft Concepts Group. Light, fun and fruity well-crafted cocktails will share draft lines next to a selection of natural wines. The beer program will feature a robust selection of local ales, lagers and ciders - available by draft, can and bottle. The bar program was designed by Operations Manager Rob Kline and Beverage Manager Ella Pittman, along with beer and cider lists curated by Craft Concepts Group Director of Operations Alex Bokulich. Blume's 32 tap-line will pour 20 craft beers and ciders, 4 wines and 8 draft cocktails.

For beer and cider, Bokulich will focus heavily on American Craft while being subsidized by the OG European mainstays from Belgium and Germany. Ciders are all from local Pennsylvania cideries with a balanced focus on styles ranging from fruit-forward and sweet, to proper dry cider.

For cocktails, Kline and Pittman wanted to create bright, colorful, balanced and aesthetically pleasing drinks that are approachable to all genders. Cocktails will be named and inspired by the natural and organic feel of the space, plus they tie-in with Blume's colorful, stylish and playful vibe.

For wine, Blume will focus on natural selections on tap and by the bottle. Kline said, "Natural wine is how one of the world's oldest beverages used to be made -organically and without adding ANYTHING to it in the cellar. We believe in the simplicity and beauty of natural wine along with the fact it goes along with our love of fresh, green spaces. We handpicked approachable, easy drinking, affordable natural wines that are delicious and promote sustainability." Dozens of bottles will be available for purchase by the bottle or by the glass. Three favorite selections of Kline's include: Dirty & Rowdy Unfamiliar Mourvedre, Lectores Vini Pomagrana Tempranillo and Tenuta La Favola Bianco.

INTERIOR

For the interior, Blume partners again with interior designer Anne White of AGW Interiors - who designed the interior of Tradesman's and also the most recent design for Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar.

White and Sourias together have extensively revamped the space and added in colorful, bold and playful design elements. White described the style and vibe as "Modernized Victorian."

She added, "Drawing inspiration from the Victorian era with the elaborate gardens and intricate colorful wallpaper patterns; The bright colors were used to transform the space from the former restaurant into something completely different and fun. Having live plants in an interior space to naturally purifying the air and to create a calming interior environment."

Three specific elements White highlighted in renovations were creating a restaurant storefront that stops people in their tracks to find out more about the restaurant, the creation of custom artwork throughout made special for this space (including wall graphics, portrait art, character doors and installation art), and the use of live plants to dramatically change the open-air above the bar and dining room.

During the design process, Blume took inspiration from the photo ready features from U-Bahn, Kontrol, Tradesman's and Tinsel. White said "I looked at the best design elements of Craft Concepts other properties and wanted to continue the journey - and bring us to the next level. I wanted to borrow inspiration and modernize elements from the Victorian era. I wanted to create a beautifully energetic and memorable space with color, floral motifs, 200+ live plants above, and different spaces and moments in the larger space that didn't exist before."

For more about White, visit Www.AGWinteriors.com or email anne.w@agwinteriors.com.

NEIGHBORHOOD

Blume was created to serve and offer a new amenity to the neighborhood. The goal is to be a neighborhood bar/restaurant that offers a one stop destination for delicious cocktails, a fantastic natural wine list, the best craft beer, and incredible, eclectic dishes all paired with unforgettable hospitality.

Sourias said, "The neighborhood needed an approachable spot that catered to the younger generation, which is a rapidly growing demographic in the ever evolving Center City District. However, our goal is to be a true neighborhood bar/restaurant in that EVERYONE is welcome. Look for dishes with a neighborhood oriented price point, robust menu with offerings for many audiences, vegetarian healthier and lighter concepts, banquets with privacy for larger groups of friends, and comfortable seating."

Look for local delivery to residents of nearby buildings in the near future, with full service delivery around the city by summer.



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