The doors at 7152 Germantown Ave. have been open for about a month now. What was once home to the Wine Thief has been reinstated as the Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange, and according to owner Marvin Graaf, things have been going well.
“The neighborhood has been really receptive,” Graaf said. “I feel as though we are filling a gap that has been in the neighborhood for quite a while now. We’ve been busy from day one and have been getting some great feedback.”
The restaurant, which is situated snugly between neighborhood favorites McMenamins and Earth Bread + Brewery is looking to complement both. “Our neighbors are doing great things with both food and drink,” Graaf noted. “So we’re just hoping to round that out.”
Graaf, who also owns the Falls Taproom in East Falls said he had been looking to open a second eatery for quite some time. “I wasn’t set on any one area,” he said. “I had been thinking about a few different concepts for a number of different neighborhoods, but when this space became available it was too perfect to pass up.”
Graaf himself is a Mt. Airy resident.
The concept he chose for the Grain Exchange is a “classic country-style American.”
Dim lighting and Edison bulbs; reclaimed barn wood and steel and an outdoor patio set a comforting mood.
A look at the menu
As for the food, a menu headed by Chef Trevor Elliot is full of pot-pies, fried chicken and farmhouse burgers.
“We offer a little healthier version of these comfort food classics as well as some unique spins to accommodate vegetarians and other dietary needs,” noted Graaf.
A fried seitan sandwich or the vegetarian bacon cheeseburger (made with a veggie patty and tempeh bacon) are just two options on the menu that will be changing seasonally in accordance to the local ingredients the kitchen commits to using whenever possible.
The drinks too, offer a spin on classic favorites. Graaf’s fiancee and bar manager, Jess Mellen, designed a more cocktail-focused beverage menu offering farm-to-glass style drinks like the Farmstand Lemonade (Art in the Age Rhubarb, local blueberry blossom honey, fresh strawberry homemade lemonade) or Rosemary’s Dog (rosemary infused gin, fresh grapefruit, salt rim) in addition to classics like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan.
But with 12 rotating drafts and a bottle list of about 50 local American craft beers, Graaf says he can keep his beer loving guests satisfied just as well.
The Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange opens for lunch every day at 11 a.m. and continues service through dinner with no set closing hours as of yet. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays as well, starting at 11 a.m.