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Grey Lodge owner to expand to Fox Chase

Mike “Scoats” Scotese, the reserved yet beloved publican behind Frankford Avenue staple Grey Lodge between Mayfair and Wissinoming, is expanding.

Scoats and his business partner Pat McGinley yesterday purchased for an undisclosed sum the historic Blue Ox Bistro, located at 7980 Oxford Avenue in Fox Chase, which has been shuttered for months. By the end of summer, Scoats says he and McGinley hope to reopen as the Hop Angel Brauhaus.

“The opportunity sort of found us, but we had an eye on the Brauhaus for a while being the only other Northeast place with a reputation for its beer selection,” Scoats, who bought the Grey Lodge in 1994, told NEast Philly. They had been looking at the location since last November but only recently went for sale.

It’s a move that will give the Northeast another serious player in Philadelphia’s ever growing beer community of micro-brewers, craft brewers, beer bars and their kin.

Scoats
(Scoats)

As real estate often goes, the Tacony native was sold on the location, noting “the village atmosphere” of Fox Chase, the pub’s proximity to the R8 Regional Rail line and nearness to neighborhood staples like Rieker’s Prime Meats.

“It’s very walkable,” Scoats said, a favorite trait of his home neighborhood five miles south.

As Beer Yard reports and Scoats confirms: The purchase was for the business only; the building is owned by Tekla Grund, who, with her late husband Walter, ran the Blue Ox Brauhaus there for decades, and dates back to 1683, making it one year younger than the city itself. The location was noted for German beer and food for over a century. Phil Magee and a partner acquired the business in 2006, renaming and Americanizing it and keeping just a smattering of German items on the menu. That effort struggled from the start and the doors closed roughly two months ago. Scoats says his Grey Lodge team will return the Brauhaus to a German-styled menu and follow the path of celebrating beer. He says the menu will include traditional fare like “leberkase und spiegelei,” a livercheese and fried egg dish he first fell in love with in Munich and updated items like German Mac and Cheese and fresh baked pretzels.

Scoats says he is excited about being able to try to return the Brauhaus to its former glory.

“We have done rather well when we have done Munich in Mayfair nights at the Lodge. So we know there is a demand for German beer and food,” Scoats said. “Also we have the Lodge spinning like a top at the moment so we hopefully will be able to recreate that at the Brauhaus.”

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