Back in July, I penned a post for this site that saddened me more than just a bit. While I understood that the trends and tastes in the Philadelphia dining scene had changed dramatically since Le Bec-Fin had its heyday, the news that Georges Perrier was going to close the once five-star Mobile restaurant was hard to swallow for area foodies. Today I’m back, but with better news: Le Bec-Fin will not close as planned.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Perrier made the announcement to guests of the famed French eatery on New Year’s Eve. He references an emotional outpouring of support and pleas from faithful diners around the world as the impetus of his change of heart.
Perrier had been taking reservations only until May 2011, when he planned to close the gilded doors for good. The building and the business had both been on the market. Now, the plan is to close on schedule, but for renovations to various spaces, instead. The restaurant is scheduled to reopen for business in August.
As part of the new plan, Perrier will also hand over part ownership of the restaurant to his chef, Nicholas Elmi.
Perrier closed his other Center City restaurant, Brasserie Perrier, two years ago. His Main Line outpost, Georges’, still is running strong, dishing out one of the area’s best brunches. Perrier is also rumored to be working on as many as three new establishments around the city and suburbs.
The fact that I will be able to dine once more at Le Bec-Fin, especially that resolution-silencing dessert cart, makes me happy. That it was the support of a true Philadelphia icon that made this possible makes me proud.
Le Bec-Fin is located at 1523 Walnut St., 215.567.1000, www.lebecfin.com.