Michael Klein: Bucks County's Churchville Inn reopens after devastating fire

The main dining room and wine bar, below, of Trompa Wine Bar & Cafe in Doylestown. The restaurant, owned by Bobby Simone and Marty Roche, is in a converted bar across the alley from Bobby Simone's.
The main dining room and wine bar, below, of Trompa Wine Bar & Cafe in Doylestown. The restaurant, owned by Bobby Simone and Marty Roche, is in a converted bar across the alley from Bobby Simone's. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff)
Posted: August 16, 2012

The morning of March 27, 2011, smoke and flames drove brothers Andrew and David Wallace and Andrew's girlfriend from their apartments above the family-owned Churchville Inn, a landmark in Southampton, Bucks County.

"There were three walls left standing," said their father, Jeff, last week, as the landmark reopened (1500 Bustleton Pike, Southampton, 215-357-3967). The main dining room is spruced up with a mural, crafted from barn wood by Murrie Gayman, that depicts historic events and people from Bucks County history. The family beagle, Sammy, is included.

The Wallace boys, graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, have revived the menu; ribs and French onion soup are still specialties. (It remains a Pittsburgh Steelers-friendly pub in Eagles country, though they keep that quiet.)

The reconstruction, which began in January, yielded a larger inn, as the upstairs has seating, a second bar, and a deck. It's open daily for dinner; lunch and weekend breakfast are on the way.

Bucks stops here

Pub veterans Martin Hoeger, Michael Breslin, Gene Agnew, and Paul Kushner have converted the railcar-like building outside of the Oskar Huber furniture store in Southampton - which once stood next to the old Southampton train station - into Steam Pub (606 Second Street Pike, Southampton, 215-942-6468), a bar-restaurant open for lunch daily, with live music most nights, happy hours, and weekend brunch. Breslin, the chef, puts out the usual pub stuff, while dropping in more ambitious specials such as pancetta-wrapped salmon filet with asparagus and herb risotto, chive oil, and roasted peppers.

Doylestown Borough has a new option as Bobby Simone and partner Marty Roche have converted the bar across the alleyway from Bobby Simone's into the bi-level Trompa Wine Bar & Cafe (46 E. State St., Doylestown, 267-247-5285), whose 30 wines by the glass are matched with a Spanish-influenced tapas menu from chef Steve Wichert (Freight House, Blackfish). It opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Brain drain

West Chester-bred pastry chef Monica Glass (ex-Fish, 10 Arts) is headed to Boston to become executive pastry chef at Clio and Uni. She follows Northeast Philly-bred 10 Arts alumna Jennifer Carroll out of the door. Carroll is opening a restaurant in New York City.

Closings

Sunday was the last day after 22 years for Meil's, the casual restaurant-bakery in Stockton, N.J. Lilly Salvatore, owner of Lilly's in Lambertville, N.J., and Doylestown, is taking over the spot.

Zen-Nor, a BYO that took over the former home of Azafran, Gayle, and Hoof + Fin at 617 S. Third St., is shuttered after less than 90 days.

After three years on Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties, Mark Tropea said he sold his BYO Sonata to a first-timer planning a Thai BYO called Baan Thai. Tropea said the area just wasn't the best fit for his otherwise acclaimed menu. He is managing at the nearby El Camino Real, also on Liberties Walk, as he puts out feelers for a chef's job.

Arrivederci to the Buca di Beppo at 258 S. 15th St., leaving the city without a Buca di Beppo. Somehow I think we'll survive.


Photos, menus, and additional details about these restaurants, plus dining news, can be found at www.philly.com/mike. Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com.

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