-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Image courtesy of The Fin by Crab du Jour
The Fin is bringing the fish back to Fishtown with Philadelphia’s largest and newest seafood destination. The owners of Crab du Jour are proud to announce The Fin is now open at 1000 Frankford Avenue #1, Philadelphia, PA 19125. This new giant surf and turf hotspot will feature a contemporary casual vibe, with 10,000 square feet of space, seating for over 220 people, a sweeping center bar and lounge, and private and semi-private event space for private events and parties. From the kitchen, look for an extensive and inventive menu of original surf and turf favorites from Executive Chef Valentin Bay, formerly of Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street. Bay’s menu features everything from Whole Red Snapper to Rockfish, Whole Lobster to custom make your own Seafood Boils, Chicken and Waffles to Shrimp and Grits, and a unique must-try Cajun Crab Cheesecake. On the bar side, look for an extensive menu that will feature over 120 cocktails and 325 wine selections by Bar Manager Phillip Search, formerly of Palladino’s and Bahn Mi and Bottles. The Fin is located in the former home of Mad Rex, and it is located next to newly opened Brookly Bowl and adjacent to Punchline, Goose Island and across from Rivers Casino.
“We are excited to bring Philadelphia a brand-new seafood destination and a one-of-a-kind concept that features a great balance of delicious quality food, a giant menu of craft cocktails and a large robust wine list,” said The Fin General Manager Jeffrey Schroth. “The Fin is contemporary casual, with a modern appealing setting, upscale dishes, and diverse bar program to cater to everyone from locals who want to come after work, to twenty-somethings on a date night, to visitors and foodies from South Jersey, the Main Line and beyond that want to enjoy a truly unique seafood experience.”
NAME AND CONCEPT
The Fin is a brand-new surf and turf restaurant and bar concept by the owners of Crab du Jour, featuring cuisine by Executive Chef Valentin Bay and cocktails by Beverage Manager Philip Search, led by industry veteran General Manager Jeffrey Schroth. The expansive 10,000 square foot space and sprawling open kitchen and ice bar look to bring the fish back to Fishtown. The vibe and décor are modern, contemporary casual with the menu featuring easily approachable fare ranging to elegant, elevated and surprising dishes. The bar program features a large craft cocktail program, draft and bottle beers, plus an extensive wine program by the glass and bottle.
The Fin is a new one-of-a-kind restaurant concept and brand that is Philly born by Crab du Jour, a national chain that is owned and operated locally. The Fin will be a test proof of concept before it launches and rolls out nationally in other markets and cities across America. The end goal would be for owners to launch The Fin in dozens of cities across America – including cities where there is a Crab du Jour, as well as cities new to the company. Where Crab du Jour is family friendly and casual, The Fin is meant to be the more slightly upscale and finer dining experience, with a much more robust and rich food and beverage program.
The Fin features the culinary talents and leadership of Executive Chef Valentin Bay. Bay is a name familiar to the local food scene. Most recently he was Executive Chef at Brauhaus Schmitz from 2018 to 2021. Prior to his work on South Street, he worked in kitchens at Arde Osteria Wayne and A La Maison Ardmore. Chef was born in Germany, and was an autodidact in South Germany and Berlin. He has now lived in Philadelphia for ten years. Chef’s vision is to create a fair and fun workspace to produce high quality dishes and raise the bar and expand Philadelphia’s love of seafood. He also hopes to create a seafood destination with unique dishes that will attract neighbors and locals, and those traveling to the area from the suburbs and beyond. Chef’s personal favorite dishes on the menu include the Bison Tartare with Ossetra Caviar, Crab & Corn Bisque and Cajun Crab Cheesecake.
Chef Bay and his team present a menu of American surf and turf with French, Italian and German influences. The kitchen will focus on the freshest of seafood, house dry-aged steaks, local bison and other local sourcing when possible. Menu offerings can be found here.
For the bar program, The Fin features the talents of Phillip Search, who created menus for notable restaurants and bars in the region that have included Palladino’s on East Passyunk and the award-winning South Street bar Bahn Mi and Bottles. Search wanted to create a beverage program that stood up to the exceptional culinary program, so that guests could have a one-stop destination for food, cocktails and wine all in one. Search’s program focuses on overall quality from start to finish in every bar category. Whether it is tea and coffee, to wine to beer, to standard or signature cocktails, Search has invested great care in unique recipes, local sourcing and presentation.
The Fin’s wine program will start with 125 bottle selections and 16 wines by the glass, with plans to expand up to 325 wines in total by the spring. The wine program is loosely divided by region, with selections based on quality and diversity. Search has something in various price ranges for a broad-range of customers. Region’s focused on include the United States, France and Italy. The final menu represents something broad for all levels of wine drinkers, versus a deep and specific dive into any one region.
For cocktails, The Fin menu will start around 20 selections and build up to over 120 by the spring. The craft cocktails feature house-made ingredients, including infusions, syrups, tinctures, tonics and shrubs. The big-picture focus of the cocktail program is to showcase classic cocktail training with an eye towards the most modern techniques in execution. The Fin will showcase a custom built cocktail carbonator and batch bottled drinks for higher quality and more control of carbonation. When asked about his favorite selection, Search said, “We have a recipe for a Manhattan from a cocktail book from 1891, and some fun twists on well known drinks like our Bitter Cosmo, or our Cranberry Mule.”
For spirits, Search said The Fin has a well curated list and is currently even sourcing their own unique barrel of tequila and bourbon. The bar also features a healthy number of rare spirits on the way, including many amaros and rare bourbons.
For beer selections, The Fin will carry quality beers that are either exceptional for their style or preferably exceptional yet underrepresented in this market. For drafts, there will be a rotating selection of 3-5 local beers and everything else will be from across the country and globe. The beer program will focus on quality, but not rare selections. Down the road, Search is hoping to debut a Fin collaboration beer.
The Fin is a sprawling seafood destination that features 10,000 square feet of space over the bar, lounge, two dining rooms and a semi-private event space. Look for 220+ seats inside, with 150 in the main dining rooms, 26 seats at the bar, twenty in the bar lounge, and 12 in the private event room. Outside in nice weather in the spring, look for the addition of 30-40 additional seats in unique 3,000 square foot sidewalk patio space. For vibes, look for a contemporary casual feel with modern, pre-industrial materials that include a mix of woodwork, stone, rope and metalworks. The seating is a mix of two, four and six tops, with high and low tops, and booths on each side of the restaurant for intimate dining. The dark woods and stone floor are accented by amber lighting and tones, as well as pale blue lighting resembling ship lighting across a busy port. Hanging high overhead, guests will find unique metalwork fish inspiring an ocean feel, both over the dining room and the giant open-window performance kitchen, where dinner is a performance artform. Chef and his team can be seen making and preparing dishes in front of guests as they look on. The open-window layout aso showcases the selections of the freshest of fish in the ice bar.
For a truly unique experience, The Fin features the single largest television for any restaurant in the entire tri-state region, clocking in at 25 feet long. Look for a mix of giant HD aquarium and ocean scenes, casting off an ocean blue and coral orange glow throughout the restaurant and through the front open-facing garage-style doors to the patio. Down the road, look for a custom made video to be shown on the big screen, as well as sports and movies. Throughout the restaurant, look for four additional oversized HD televisions, including one in the private dining room.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 5:00pm to 2:00am, Saturday 12 Noon to 2:00am, and Sunday, 12 Noon to 10:00pm. Reservations and more information are available by calling 215-593-2228 and visiting www.TheFinUSA.com. Follow the voyage on social at @TheFin19125 on Facebook and @TheFinFishtown on Instagram.