A rendering of what the Chestnut Hill Iron Hill Brewery will look like.

by Pete Mazzaccaro

Iron Hill Brewery, the Wilmington, Del. chain of family-sized brew-pub restaurants, will open its first Philadelphia location in Chestnut Hill later this year.

The restaurant announced the move into 8400 Germantown Ave., the former home of Express, in a release yesterday afternoon. The Chestnut Hill restaurant will be the chain’s ninth.

“We’ve wanted to join Philadelphia’s restaurant scene for a long time, but we were looking for a place with a vibrant community where we could become a part of a great neighborhood, and Chestnut Hill fits that perfectly,” said Iron Hill founding partner Kevin Finn the statement.

Finn and co-owners Kevin Davies and Mark Edelson opened the first Iron Hill in Newark, Del. in 1996.

Iron Hill hired Sandvold Blanda Architecture + Interiors, who have designed each of their 8 other locations, to design a 250-seat restaurant featuring an open kitchen, a spacious bar area and an exposed microbrewery for the Chestnut Hill location, according to the release. All the features are hallmarks of Iron Hill’s other locations

Iron Hill brews and sells its own beer on location. It carries six standard varieties plus seasonal offerings. According to its release, Iron Hill’s menu features “seasonally, changing new American dishes that go beyond typical brewpub standards.  Available for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, the menu will include soups, sandwiches, made from scratch pizzas, salads and entrées, and cover a variety of cuisines from ethnic to hearty comfort foods.”

Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District board chairman Seth Shapiro said in a statement that he was very pleased to welcome Iron Hill to the neighborhood.

“Chestnut Hill is very happy to welcome Iron Hill to Germantown Avenue,” he said. “[A]s Ben Franklin said, ‘Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.’”

For more information about Iron Hill, visit their website at www.ironhillbrewery.com To follow the progress of the Chestnut Hill opening, follow them on twitter @ironhillbrewery or @IronHillChief.