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Mainland Inn

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Any news on the opening of the Mainland Inn in Harleysville? I thought it had an opening date of September.

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  1. That's news to me. I hope it emerges with maximal semblance to its previous stature and not being transformed into another sports bar.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Chefpaulo

      Doesn't sound like it's gonna be "another sports bar". Nor does it sound like it's gonna be what we remember of the Mainland Inn. It sounds like it might be something that we will like however! http://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/2013...

      1. re: bucksguy14

        Thanks for the info bucksguy. I guess they had to say the Mainland Inn was in Harleysville when in fact it is in Mainland. I oughta know as I grew up in that sleepy little town he he!

      2. re: Chefpaulo

        The Mainland had been a culinary oasis in a desert replete with chains and what was not was ordinary at best. Could be we will never see its like again in that area. The Mainland was a restaurant I would go further out of my way for when in the general area. Perhaps their problems was that their menu was out of step with the local wallet and appetite. They did play their tune for a good number of years to the delight of many. Sorry to see them go and here is hopes for a good effort at a quality establishment by the new owners they have a good start with a lovely venue.

        1. re: Edwardrae

          Edwardrae - I heard that the reason The Mainland Inn closed was due to a messy divorce. They had borrowed money against the restaurant, were in debt and then had personal issues which compounded the financial issues. Not sure if that information is correct, but I know it sold at far less than the original purchase price.

          1. re: curly girl

            If that is the case (divorce) it wouldn't be the first time. I heard the same thing about Ravenna in Worcester (which is sorely missed).

            1. re: JanR

              +1 on Revenna, loved the place. I had not heard about the divorce. I did hear that the owner/chef got involved with one of the many revisions/restarts of the restaurant across from the Blue Bell Inn at 73 & Penllyn Pike with his time and money. As usual the restaurant(bad karma place) close and a good amount of money was lost forcing a sale/close of Revenna. That is all 3-5 hand information.

              1. re: JanR

                +2 on Ravenna. Balsamic chicken livers...where are you?

              2. re: curly girl

                Heard the same curly girl regarding the Mainland; divorce and a huge debt as equity had been extracted on a regular basis from the property and business.

          2. The owners of Quarry Hill Farm in Harleysville are the people who purchased Mainland Inn. Last time I was at the farm, the owner advised she hoped to reopen the restaurant at the end of November. Not sure if that is still the case, but that is the info she gave me a month or so ago.

            1 Reply
            1. re: curly girl

              Thanks Curly girl for answering my question.
              So now I guess I will wait till December to make a reservation.

            2. Despite set backs regarding ADA compliance, the Mainland Inn is in fact getting ready to reopen. No formal date is set yet but complete renovations are well under way. The restaurant has been completely gutted and is in the process of being transformed into a beautiful space that will maintain its historic charm with some modern touches. The menu will be all organic and will showcase what is grown on Quarry Hill Farm along with vegetables that will be cultivated in gardens dug on the Inn's 8 acres of land. Look for a late June/early July opening.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mainlandinn

                This is welcomed news. I just hope your price point for all organic doesn't exceed that of your prospective clients. Some "all organic" menus have been such a pecuniary turn-off, I've left after a quick review - such as the short-lived place in Hatboro where a crab cake and one-half (yes, 1/2) of an organic green salad fetched $45 (or they tried to.)

                With many fond memories over the decades, reading the interior has been "completely gutted" is sad to hear but I can appreciate your need for ADA compliance.

                I just hope chicken strips, cherry pepper shooters and nachos will remain in the gazillion other available venues and we can revive our sorely-missed haven of elegance (like starting Sunday brunch with a half dozen fresh oysters and finishing with the brandied bread pudding and raspberries.)

                1. re: Chefpaulo

                  @chefpaulo, thank you for the reply.

                  I can assure you that the new Mainland will have no chicken strips, pepper shooters or nachos on our menu. The Inn will remain fine dining without the pretentiousness. Our menu will be strictly seasonal and will change frequently based on what is available at that given time.

                  Yes, the cost of organic is typically greater than non-organic. But, the fact that we are essentially our own main supplier will allow us to still be approachable. Expect similar prices to the previous incarnation. Apps from about $10-$15 and entrees between $25-$35. There will also be a chefs tasting menu as well as a communal chefs table accommodating up to 16 guests. Our chef, Ezra Duker has returned to Philadelphia after working in kitchens such as the French Laundry and Morimoto Napa.

                  While the layout of the Mainland will not really change, the state of the way things were left inside upon closing pretty much required the need to gut the space. The new design will pay homage to its historic and elegant roots with a few modern accents.

                  On your way up to the restaurant from the parking lot, you will be able to walk through our multiple acres of gardens that will be providing a variety of heirloom produce to our kitchen.

                  The beverage program will also reflect the ideals of the kitchen. All wine, beer and spirits offered will be of sustainable, organic or biodynamic origins. We will also offer complimentary filtered sparkling and still water. French-press coffee will be provided by neighboring One Village.

                  We are extremely excited to provide a truly unique dining experience to the community and are eager to swing our doors open to make friends, old and new...

                  I hope this response answered your questions and eased your worries.

                  To learn more about Quarry Hill Farm, watch these two great videos at http://www.quarryhillfarm.net/qhf-media

                  Stay tuned...

              2. Count us in too.
                Looking forward with anticipation.
                And all good luck!

                4 Replies
                1. re: arepo

                  I just put out the call to all Hounds who attended our last gathering in Blue Bell a few years ago. Maybe we can get the Chef's table for a tasting menu.

                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                    I was unable to join everyone for the last gathering. I am very interested in joining the group for a tasting dinner.

                    1. re: crazyspice

                      Woot. Now it's a real party! I cleverly sent CPs email to my spam folder until I checked in here. I'm so pumped about this.

                    2. re: Chefpaulo

                      I'm in!
                      Whenever the date is set... I'm there!

                  2. Yes, I have news from a reliable source that they will open mid-September.

                    Making it handicapped accessible slowed the project down.

                    1. It seems that some here do have somewhat of an inside track as to what is happening, or not happening at the newly forming Mainland Inn. Do the new operators/owners have experience in the restaurant business? I do know they have been in on the farm and market end. Is it known if they have secured a chef and kitchen professionals? Is it known whom that might be and what credentials and experience they may have? Certainly hope it is worth the wait for all parties.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Bacchus101

                        Great point. I hope its not Blue Bell Inn all over again - copious interior upgrades (except acoustics) run by an Exec chef who cooked in a steak house. I'll investigate.

                        1. re: Chefpaulo

                          The chef who has been announced is Ezra Duker. He has cooked at French Laundry, Morimoto Napa, The Truffle Pig in Steamboat, Colo., and Block 16 in Vail, Colo. Unfortunately sounds like he is missing Sullivan's on his resume.


                          1. re: cwdonald

                            All I have here is..................

                            1. re: cwdonald

                              Well that is a big time resume indeed. "How ya gonna keep them down on the farm once they have seen Paris?" Mainland PA is a nice little drive-by but not exactly Napa, Steamboat or Vail. Good pick up on the absence of Sullivan's, certainly making him suspect. Seems like more than a salary & benefits would have to be involved here, perhaps equity? This holds good promise, looking forward to a visit.

                          1. re: Chefpaulo

                            I hate to pester myself but I thought we were due a September opening.

                            1. re: Chefpaulo

                              That makes 2 of us Chefpaulo. You beat me to the punch.
                              Looks like they must be having some problems.
                              Maybe chef stuff again?

                              1. re: arepo

                                I thought so too. They were recently featured on WHYY so I thought the opening in September was a done deal. Two days left...

                                1. re: ChefJeffScott

                                  Their web site now just says opening "Fall 2014" Thought it was more specific before.

                                  1. re: Bigley9

                                    I’m convinced that the Mainland Inn is getting ready to open. Why? Because I just visited the site and experienced the transformation that the restaurant is undergoing firsthand. It’s remarkable.

                                    I didn’t know what to expect when I showed up at the site of the old restaurant, but what I saw was at least a half dozen contractors working very hard on getting the building ready to receive guests and create great food.

                                    The front of the building is getting a new, sweeping ramp that comes up from the backside of the building where the parking lot is to the front porch and entrance. This ramp was designed with both function and aesthetics in mind – it will work for those who need it and looks nicely integrated at the same time.

                                    Walking into the main entrance area, the first thing you’ll notice is the significant work they have done to the floors, the walls and the ceilings. The craftsmanship that is taking place there is excellent and is being done in a way that honors the history of this building while providing a much needed and major upgrade to the property.

                                    As I walked through the first floor towards the back of the building, I found the new kitchen. It is very nicely appointed, rivaling some of the best professional kitchens in the area. I didn’t get a chance to go into the kitchen as it was sealed off, but what I saw through the doorway was truly magnificent.

                                    Continuing up through to the second and third floors, the transformation continues with the same level of investment and care that I witnessed on the first floor.

                                    I’m convinced the building will be ready within the next 4-6 weeks and it will be a spectacular restaurant – the craftsmanship and the investment in the building looks to be nothing short of fist class.

                                    I don’t know what they are doing for staff or a chef, but given the connection to Quarry Hill Farm and their interest in organic foods, I’m very excited and hopeful to see what this unique and historic restaurant finally becomes after such a long period of neglect and absence from the northern Montgomery county restaurant market.

                            2. re: Chefpaulo

                              Michael Klein responded to an email - he said they are now saying "October/November"

                            3. Do we have a date that the Mainland Inn will reopen?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Norwalkfoodie

                                Michael Klein responded to an email - he said they are now saying "October/November" . As noted just above; a timeframe not a date!

                                1. re: Bacchus101

                                  And if you read my note above, after my visit to the restaurant, I believe that timeframe to be true.

                              2. I sure hope that the restaurant lives up to your wonderful expectations of it.
                                It sounds exciting so thanks for the fine review.

                                1. In checking the website for the Mainland Inn, they have now posted that they are opening Mid-November. Hopefully there will be more updates over the next two months, including menus, restaurant hours, etc........stay tuned.