First revealed back in 2017, the renovation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art – home of the famous “Rocky” steps – is set to run through 2020 and includes a redesign of much of the neoclassical building, with the goal of improving the visitor experience and creating new gallery space for the museum’s collection.
Gehry’s team is working with the building’s pre-existing architectural style and materials to create what is described as “a seamless blend of old and new.”
Now the museum has revealed that part of the master plan, the Stir restaurant designed by Gehry, will open on October 9 of this year. It will be the only Gehry-designed restaurant on the US East Coast offering fine dining to the public.
Stir will seat 76 people and will feature walls and undulating ceiling clad in Douglas fir and floors in red oak. The restaurant’s centerpiece is a striking sculptural element that is shaped in Douglas fir and “flowing in form, extending across the main dining room’s ceiling.
With most of the redesign focused on working within the building’s neoclassical style, Stir, says the museum, will offer the first “visible note” of Gehry’s own architectural style in the museum’s public spaces. The architect’s personal touch will notably be seen in the palette of materials used, including frosted glass, felt, steel, leather, bronze and onyx.
Mark Tropea, the restaurant’s newly appointed executive chef, describes the food to go on offer at Stir as “local and inspired.” Dishes on offer will include Roasted Jersey Peaches, Seared Barnegat Scallops, a Dry-Aged Farm Stand Burger topped with Lancaster cheddar and Kennett Square Wild Mushroom Frittata.
The restaurant will be open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and for Sunday brunch.