Fairmount is exploding lately with activity. Hickory Lane and Lemon Hill are in their opening weeks, La Calaca Feliz is gearing up for a Jan. 17 debut, and Mugshots is ready to pack for a move down the street.
London Grill, at 23d and Fairmount for going on 21 years now, is preparing to launch a wine bar next door, in the space previously used as a takeout shop and insurance office.
Aiming for a Feb. 9 launch, Terry Berch McNally and chef Michael McNally are setting up Paris Wine Bar (2303 Fairmount Ave., 215-978-4545) as an intimate 50-seater showcasing Pennsylvania-produced wines and French-inspired dishes in a tin-ceilinged, Euro setting. Terry helped decorate the place from her French sconce collection.
Six wines - two whites, three reds and one dry rose - will be offered “on draught,” tapped from kegs that have been filled by the winemakers, such as Allegro, Pinnacle Ridge, Galen Glenn and Manatawny. Great pricing: $7 to $9.50 per glass, with some at $4 during the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour.
Sample dishes: Croque Madame, with duck confit, brie, and a fried duck egg; steamed mussels, with leeks, saffron and mustard served with grilled bread; and mustard-crusted calf’s liver, with smoked bacon-onion marmalade.
Paris Wine Bar will be open Thursday through Sunday from 4 p.m. until midnight