The Philadelphia Museum of Art is pleased to announce Stir, the new restaurant designed by architect Frank Gehry as part of the Museum’s facilities master plan. Stir will be operated by the Philadelphia-based Starr Catering Group and will open on October 9, 2018. It will be the only Gehry-designed restaurant offering fine dining to the public anywhere on the East Coast. Stir will offer the first visible note of Gehry’s distinctive architectural style in the Museum’s public spaces—a signature touch of the architect who is currently transforming much of the interior of the Museum’s 1928 building through the Core Project, scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The restaurant’s centerpiece will be a striking sculptural feature, shaped in Douglas fir and flowing in form, that extends from the ceiling above the main dining room. It will serve as a culinary destination for museumgoers seeking not only to enjoy a fine meal in a beautiful contemporary setting but also extend their visit and enhance their experience of the Museum’s collections and programs. With seating for 76 people, Stir will convey a warm, intimate, and inviting ambiance. In addition to its dramatic, undulating ceiling, it will contain comfortable seating and tables designed by Gehry Partners. Its walls and ceiling will be clad in Douglas fir and its floors in red oak. The ebullient Gehry touch will be seen in a palette of materials that includes frosted glass, felt, steel, leather, bronze, and onyx. Stir has also been designed to provide views into the kitchen, providing an opportunity to see the staff at work.
Adjacent to Stir will be a new cafeteria, much larger than the Museum’s previous cafeteria, that will seat 160 guests. The Café extends the entire width of the building, with windows offering views to the East Terrace and its garden on one side and across the Schuylkill River to West Philadelphia on the other. It will feature stations for artisanal sandwiches, a seasonal rotation of salads, brick oven pizza, and specialty coffee, enabling visitors to enjoy the convenience of quick service and casual dining with a wide variety of options. Another feature to anticipate, opening with the North Entrance at street level in early 2019, is a new espresso bar in the Vaulted Walkway that is being made accessible to the public once again, for the first time since the mid-1970s.
There visitors may sip coffee and sample house-made pastries, relax, and chat, while catching unexpected views of the building’s monumental façades through the skylights above. Mark Tropea, the newly-appointed Executive Chef, stated: “Here is the Stir menu in two words—local and inspired. Whether stopping in for brunch or lunch, we expect that our guests will be delighted with our curated culinary offerings—from small plates that include Roasted Jersey Peaches, Seared Barnegat Scallops, and a farm-fresh Corn Bisque, to main dishes like a Dry-Aged Farm Stand Burger topped with Lancaster cheddar, Kennett Square Wild Mushroom Frittata, and handmade torn pasta bursting with regional flavors.” Source by Philadelphia Museum of Art, images Courtesy of Sutton PR.