Construction is under way at 1720 Fairmount Avenue in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia, where Mt. Airy’s Tom Baker and Peggy Zwerver of Earth Bread + Brewery plan to open the doors of another brewpub this fall.
Bar Hygge and Brewery Techne will be a collaborative effort between the Mt. Airy duo and Conshohocken’s Stew and Julie Keener of the Baggataway Tavern.
“It’s a good partnership because we each bring something different to the table,” Baker said, noting that while he will be handling the brewery side, Julie Keener is not just a restaurateur, but a sommelier. The brewpub will not only offer their house beers (six to eight taps), but a full bar of four guest taps, wine and specialty cocktails.
So what’s with the name? The word ‘hygge’ is a Danish term that doesn’t quite translate into English, Baker explained. Have you ever been sitting around a candlelit table, full of family and friends? Maybe there’s a light breeze and a bottle of wine and you’ve been reminiscing and you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Well, that’s hygge.
“The closest translation is ‘cozy camaraderie,'” Baker said. “That’s the sense we hope to evoke with the food, the drink and the atmosphere at Bar Hygge.”
Baker says the menu at Bar Hygge will focus on sharing but will take a different approach from the tapas/small plates that have seem to grow so conventional these days. Rather than ordering several small plates, the plate size will be dictated by the number of guests in the party. “It will be like an expansion of the cheese and charcuterie board,” Baker said. And there will be options for all types of diet restrictions and preferences, as well as single entrees for those who aren’t quite in the mood to share.
For Baker and Zwerver, the move out of Mt. Airy is just part of a natural progression. “Our main focus will remain Earth Bread + Brewery,” Baker said, “but we are at the point where we can step away a bit… we trust the staff and the management we have in place so it’s exciting to be part of a new project.”
And as for the location that’s right on the eastern border of Fairmount? “It’s a cool area that’s ready to burst,” Baker says.
Bar Hygge will be open weekdays at 4 p.m. with earlier hours for brunch on Saturday and Sunday.