West Chester University students may soon be able to find Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant close to their home as Iron Hill is now expanding to new locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The restaurant recently opened its sixth location in Phoenixville this past October, and is not stopping there. There are plans to establish five more restaurants in the area. “With our existing locations, we’ve exceeded all of our expectations. Needless to say, we are thrilled about our expansion plans,” said Kevin Finn. He founded Iron Hill with partners Kevin Davies and Mark Edelson.
Iron Hill was established in Newark, De. Delaware is also the site of the Revolutionary War landmark Iron Hill, the source of the name for the breweries. The concept for the restaurant/brewery was created by three men who all loved home-brewed beer and food. The three friends choose to specifically place their restaurants in growing suburban neighborhoods.
The menu for the restaurants includes a variety of dishes from Brick Oven Pizzas to Ahi Tuna Tataki and Coriander Grilled Pork Loin Chops. They also cater to those that share their love for home-brewed beers with Mug Clubs and monthly Brewers Reserve tastings. Beers are constantly changing and include six regular brews and rotating seasonal beers. The restaurant plans to continue with its business in home brewed beers with 22 oz. bottles that customers will now be able to take home.
“The number one lesson we’ve learned over the years is that we have to focus on running great restaurants first, and great breweries second,” said Edelson, who serves as director of brewing operations for the restaurant. “We figured this out pretty early on, and it’s been a key element of our business strategy.”
Another part of that strategy is their restaurant staff. Many who started with Iron Hill when it was founded 10 years ago are still with the company because of its specific employee benefits.
Iron Hill has been the recipient of 83 different “Best of” awards over the years. Most recently it won “Best Brewpub 2006” from the Philadelphia Magazine for its annual Best of Philly issue. The restaurant also won “Large Brewpub of the Year 2005” from the Great American Beer Festival. In total Iron Hill has won 30 medals from the Great American Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup and the Real Ale Festival for its beer.
With five locations in Newark and Wilmington, De., Media, West Chester, and North Wales, Pa. the restaurant brought in almost $20 million in sales last year. Along with the opening of its sixth location in Phoenixville, Pa., the company is excited to celebrate its 10 anniversary in November. As it says on the company’s Web site, they plan to continue the same business plan for the future: “We take pride in creating a comfortable, casual, worry and hurry free dining environment for our customers and feel that these simple standards are key to our success.”
The company has been given a $7 million loan from CitiBank, to continue establishing restaurants and work towards its goal of opening five more locations over the next three years. All Iron Hill locations are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch. More information on Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant can be found on the Web at www.ironhillbrewery.com.