Michael Klein: Dave Magrogan's new Italian place to open in Downingtown

Magrogan and chef Anthony DiPascale at Stella Rossa, which is in a former paper mill on the Brandywine. It will open Sunday.
Magrogan and chef Anthony DiPascale at Stella Rossa, which is in a former paper mill on the Brandywine. It will open Sunday. (LUKE RAFFERTY / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 02, 2013

Stella Rossa - Dave Magrogan's Italian bistro/wine bar replacing Firecreek in Downingtown (20 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-269-6000) - will open Sunday. It will run dinner-only for the first week, and begin lunch/brunch on Aug. 12.

Set up in a former paper mill on the Brandywine, Stella Rossa is a monster, with 350 seats, including 225 in the dining room, 50 on the patio, and 25 at the bar.

It's the onetime chiropractor's foray into Italian food; he also owns Kildare's (Irish bar), Doc Magrogan's (seafood), and Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar (American food, portioned in 500 calories and fewer).

Magrogan added an oven for Neapolitan pizzas. Anthony DiPascale, who has spent the last year as executive chef of the Harvest in University City, is Stella Rossa's chef. His past includes the former Brasserie Perrier and Max's Fine Dining, as well as Tutti Tuscani. He's sourcing ingredients locally and making his own mozzarella, while Di Bruno's provides other cheeses and a charcuterie and olive program. Severino of Westmont provides the pasta. Most entrées are $18 and under.

The bar list includes Italian wines (4- and 7-ounce pours, as well as carafes and bottles), craft beers, and cocktails.

Magrogan is looking at mid-August for the opening of a third location for Harvest, in the Shoppes at English Village in North Wales.

What's coming

Bar Lucca is due to open at 729 E. Hector St. in Conshohocken during the third week of August. Owner Brian Pieri, who owns the StoneRose in the borough, bought the landmark Totaro's. He describes the concept as "open-air Italian," including house-made pastas, a traditional brick oven for pizza, meats and breads, and an "adventurous but simple" wine list.

Smashburger, a chain with a Philly-area presence in Glassboro, says it will open at 550 E. Lancaster Ave. in Radnor on Wednesday. More than a dozen more Smashburgers are due to open locally, including one this fall at Plymouth Meeting Mall.

Honey's Sit 'N Eat owners Jeb Woody and Ellen Mogell have signed a lease in Old City for a third location as they take over what most recently was Konak at 228 Vine St., next to the Painted Bride Art Center. This location, a mere seven blocks or so from their flagship at Fourth and Brown Streets in Northern Liberties, will have a liquor license. It is six to nine months away.

Jose Garces' empire will expand to the Moorestown Mall next year when he opens a branch of Distrito. Garces also just signed to open an Argentine steak house in the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington.

Briefly noted

Avenue Kitchen in Villanova has added a weekend brunch menu served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Five Guys at 1109 Walnut St. will serve its last burger on Aug. 11. The location at 1527 Chestnut St. will remain.


Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com.

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