-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo by Eddy Marenco
Hawthorne’s Restaurant Group announces the grand opening of Grace and Proper at 941 S. 8th Street this Friday at 4:00pm. Husband-wife duo Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico have teamed up with their long-time operations director Susan Freeman on the opening of this new vintage Eurobar located in the Italian Market. Grace and Proper is named and designed to celebrate both the New and Old World together, where classy meets comfortable. While the Portuguese-inspired food menu will surely entice locals and visitors, it is the cocktails and wines that will be the star of the show at this latest addition to the thriving Philadelphia bar scene. The 660 square ft. space will offer seating inside and outside for 70+ guests, with bar and high-top seating. Opening hours will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4:00pm to Midnight, Friday and Saturday, Noon to 1:00am, and Sunday, Noon to Midnight. Grace and Proper is closed on Tuesdays to the public, but bookable for private and special events. For more information, visit www.gracenandproper.com and follow on social at @graceandproperphilly.
“Grace and Proper will be Hawthorne’s first foray into European inspired cuisine and beverages,” said Fetfatzes. “This is our ‘pretty album,’ we are using this medium to display the wide range of capabilities and creative ideas our group has. This is an opportunity to show our sincere dedication to hospitality with attention to detail in an elegant space. This is also our chance to celebrate the talents of one of our long-time partners in crime. We are thrilled to not just introduce a brand new addition to Philadelphia’s diverse bar scene, but we are honored and thankful to introduce Susan Freeman as a co-owner and partner on this project. Susan has been with us and by our side for around 14 years, and we wanted to celebrate and reward her loyalty, dedication and many years of hard work – we couldn’t have done many of our other projects without her – and we are thrilled to start a new journey with Grace and Proper.”
Annechiarico added, “We are very proud of the space. We are so happy to bring a dilapidated old building into the new world. It has been a true labor of love to bring it all to life, and the results keep getting better and better the closer we get to open.
Freeman added, “Our approach to hospitality is something we are really proud of. We have taken our industry experience and thought outside the box to create something truly unique for Grace and Proper. We can’t wait to introduce our concept and vision to the community.”
Grace and Proper is the latest addition to Hawthorne’s Restaurant Group, which also includes Hawthornes Beer Cafe, Quick Sip, Tio Flores, WineDive, The Rabbit and Sonny’s Cocktail Joint – with other new concepts in the works for 2023.
The concept is designed to bring the vibrant essence of Portuguese and European bar culture to Philadelphia’s Italian Market. The vibe is approachable and classy, with service that is graceful and proper. Look for an experience where comfort meets class, seasonality meets tradition, and where bread meets, well, meat and cheese. When it comes to the space, think celebrated, not renovated. Originally a corner drugstore from the 1920’s, Grace and Proper has a rich history, and boasts original features such as high tin ceilings, exposed brick, and hexagonal mosaic tile, all while featuring a beautifully shaded outdoor seating area which perfectly mirrors the alfresco charm that can only be found in the Italian Market and the Cobblestone side streets of Europe.
Grace and Proper is where friends, neighbors and visitors will gather for bottles of great wine, crusty bread and butter, cold beers, bifanas and technique driven cocktails. Whether it’s evening bites and sandwiches to espresso shots and weekend pastries, Grace and Proper aims to be a favorite for locals and repeat guests, as well as those making it a date night and destination. Through thoughtful curation, sourcing and dedication to vibrance in simplicity.
“The flow of the space is based on Portuguese and European corner bars, ” said Fetfatzes. “We aim to provide comfortable, casual service that’s graceful and proper. The concept is our love letter to Portugal, postmarked from the Italian Market. We can’t wait for everyone to read and experience it.”
For the overall bar program, much like Portugal itself, Grace and Proper offers a host of treasures steeped in tradition, waiting to be discovered. Wines are served in generous 6 oz portions, from crushable vinho verdes, to obscure indigenous varietals, and impressive Douro’s that overdeliver. The selection, however, is no more limited to Portugal than it is to the well trodden paths of familiarity. Grace and Proper will be pouring wines from Spain, Italy, and France, but also include Californian Co-ferment that has a Mortadella Sandwich on the label.
Fetfatzes said, “Whether you’re into perplexing orange wines, or french sauvignon blancs without the price tag of Sancerre, we have a friend to introduce you to.”
The heart of our spirits and cocktail program is a well cultivated back bar, empowering the staff to craft a vast array of classic, vintage, bespoke and modern cocktails. The concise spirits selection offers both range and depth, favoring multiple selections from extraordinary producers.
Over half of the bourbon is from the celebrated Buffalo Trace Distillery, Scotches from Edrington include a rare bottle for The Macallan’s Harmony Collection, flights of agave distillate from Rezpiral, Derrumbes, Venenosa, and Siembra Valles, alongside delightfully obscure amari, Haitien Clairins, Single estate Vodka’s, Armagnac and an unpeated Indian single malt from the former Portuguese territory of Goa.
The signature cocktail list marries exceptionally well crafted, yet underutilized Portugues ingredients with the singularly American culinary tradition of mixology. Madeira, ginjinha, brandies, port and Carcavelos meet clear ice, saffron infusions, emulsion syrups, 24k gold garnishes, white truffle, and house bitters. Drinks are designed to evoke images and tell stories, sometimes even jokes. Spiced with this creativity, elevated by quality ingredients, and restrained through elegant simplicity, bartenders will off libations that surpass their descriptions but not one’s budget. Signature cocktails will range from $10-$14 with the majority at $12. While prices may be going up locally and nationally, with cocktails locally going up to $16 to $18 a selection, Grace and Proper will offer exceptional drinks at accessible prices.
The opening cocktail list will include Grace and Proper signature selections, including:
Porto Tonico $10- Ferreira White Port, Betty Buzz Tonic, Grapefruit, Mint
Good Giving & Game $12- Saffron Infused Gin, Honey, & Lime, 24 Karat Gold Leaf
The Bird $14- Tequila & Mezcal, Velvet Falernun, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lime
Pink Papa Daq $14- A Hemingway Daiquiri with Haitian Clarin, Grapefruit, Maraschino, GinGinja
Whatcha Kneed $12- Bonded Rye, 8 Year Armenian Brandy, Kumel, Creole Bitters, Absinthe Rinse
That Nicholas Cage $14- Bonded Bourbon, Honey, White Truffle, Lemon, Lavender
Saudade do Mar $14- Singani and Pisco Brandies, Violette, Maraschino, Lemon, Egg White,Chuncho Bitters
Me Time $12- Vodka, Raspberry, Port, Dry Curacao, Lime, Fresh Nutmeg
Ironbound $14- Bonded Rye, Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, Rainwater Madeira, Amaro, Genepy
Additionally, Grace and Proper will offer selections that you would see in any great neighborhood corner bar. There will always be a High Life in the fridge, right next to the Italian bitter soda. For the European draft tower, look for Portugal’s favorite lager, Super Bock, poured alongside a dedicated line for Philly’s own Attic Brewing, a rotating seasonal handle that premieres with Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux, and rounding out the selection with a dry Basque style cider. With something for everyone and plenty of hard to come by offerings, Grace and Proper looks forward to finding the drink that’s a perfect match for everyone.
Grace and Proper is a come as you are corner bar with food. From the kitchen, guests will find olde world European fare, with inspiration from the owners’ favorite corner cafes found in Lisbon, San Sebastián, Naples and Marais. The menu will include:
Mixed Olives- Castelvetrano and Cured Black Olives $7
Boquerones- White Anchovy, Olives, Pickled Peppers $8
BBR- Bread, Butter, Radish $7
Pickled Rainbow Carrots- Micro Cilantro $7
Chorizo Assado- Alentejana Chorizo, Fire $12
Conservas- Smoked Mussels Market Price
Weekly Specialty Charcuterie Selection Market Price
Meat and Chips- Calabrese Salami, Torres Black Truffle Potato Chips $16
The Salad- Arugula, Marinated Tomato, Cucumber, Roasted Peppers, Red Onion $10
Porto Lardo Onion Soup- Lardo, Sweet Onions, Beef Stock, Baguette, Gruyere $8
Tomato Pinsa (V)- Pinsa, Oven Dried Tomato, Tomato Pulp, EVOO, Arugula Salad $9
Add Burrata $4
Bifana- Pork Loin, Garlic & White Wine, Bock Mustard, Pao de Agua $6
EuroMuff- Cured Pork Loin, Mortadella, Manchego, Portuguese Vegetable Salad,Arugula,EVOO,Pao de Agua $8
Baccala- Salad Salted Cod, Capers, Olives, Lemon, Fennel, Celery $10
Meatballs- Blackberry Romesco and Burrata $14
“We have a passion for salt of the earth food traditions, and there are few places quite like the Italian Market that allow for a space for such things to be celebrated,” said Freeman. “We believe we nod to the italian market with our space, but we add to the options that are already available with unique takes on iberian classics.”
For space, Fetfatzes and Annechiarico were enamored by the charm of the building and were persistent with asking the prior building owner Marie Cinalli if she was interested in selling. Finally one day she said yes. The husband and wife duo have owned the building for eight years, and have been waiting for the right time to finally bring their vision to life. They admired the building for years before purchasing it because they were attracted to all of the charm that the building possesses.
When it came time to bring the concept to life, the husband-wife duo tapped the talents and charms of their long-time (14 years and counting!) operations director Susan Freeman to be their first outside partner on a project – with more partnerships with Freeman to be announced in the near future.
For the finished results, the 660 square feet of space will feature seating inside for around 40 guests plus standing room only space around the main bar area, with additional outdoor seating for 30 people.
For the renovation, the owners think of it as celebrated rather than renovated. The outside and inside of the building were given a facelift. The overall plan was to keep everything that showcased the 1920’s style and owners made updates where appropriate. A bar was added, the windowsills were upholstered, and the colors of paint and accents are all in place to accentuate the natural beauty of the space that came before it. Custom bar shelving was added, as well as a drink rail for our outdoor area for an alfresco feel. The floors have been kept original, as well as the walls, and the ceiling.
Annechiarico said, “The space was originally G.T. Manlio Drugs, and we have done everything we could to keep the original charm of the space. We only wanted to accentuate, not take away from the imperfect plaster, patina, and natural light. We put a lot of thought into accenting the space with different art pieces and design elements that we believe highlight the space’s charm rather than distract from it.”
For the final design, patrons will find original hexagonal mosaic tile, original 1920s lighting fixtures, gold sconces, hardwood floors, exposed brick, high tin ceilings and remnants of the various wallpapers/designs that have existed in the space since its inception. Colors include green, gold brown and classic red brick, complimenting all the existing raw beauty of the space. The Gold Leaf Etched lettering in the windows was done by local artist Christian Cantiello, as well as the logo mural on the outside of the building. The natural lighting adds to the mood, and pours in from each side of the corner property. The lighting adds a vintage picturesque quality to the experience, where the sunbeams highlight different vintage materials and textures during different points of the day.
For sourcing, existing fixtures and hardware were preserved and mixed with family heirlooms that were brought in to enhance the space. Select pieces were thrifted over the last year, including china plates, artwork and barstools. There has been a wide variety of sourcing from high to low, all to meet our vibe of a naturally beautiful European corner bar.
For sports fans, there is game-day viewing above the bar primarily to feature European soccer games, including the coming World Cup. There are speakers around the space where an exclusive eclectic mix of tunes will play nightly.
Grace and Proper will offer space for special and private events. Interested parties can contact Ryan Rayer, General Manager, at 610-291-5758 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for special events to be announced after the opening phase. In January 2023, look for Tuesday Tastings to launch. Also, look for details on an annual celebration to commemorate the anniversary with a nod to the original owners and use of the space.
Freeman said, “We will be having a yearly party to celebrate our yearly anniversary. We got the name of the party from the original owners of the pharmacy that was at 941 S 8th. GT Manlio, a pharmacist, used to host a party of the same name each Christmas for all of the prominent pharmacists in the city.
The opening of Grace and Proper will create around a dozen new jobs to start, with room for expansion over the first year.
For more information, visit www.gracenandproper.com and follow on social at @graceandproperphilly.