Whole Foods’ new Main Line pub could leave mark on wine, beer scene
Following in the tracks of its oversized Plymouth Meeting sister store, the Devon outpost of Whole Foods Markets plans to christen a pub early next week. The Mile Post Pub will likely elevate the supermarket as a Main Line destination for shopping, dining and imbibing.
I spoke to the store’s beer and wine specialist, Steve DiEva, and asked him how the pub’s name was hatched. He said it’s a reference to the mile markers that line Lancaster Avenue, harkening back to days when it was crucial to know when to water the horses during a long haul into Philadelphia. The 14-mile mark is found in Devon.
DiEva went on to say the pub had always been a part of the master renovation and expansion plan that came into play following the takeover of space adjacent to Whole Foods, previously occupied by a honey-baked ham outlet.
When asked about the beverage selection on deck, DiEva replied, “I have a feeling we’re probably going to do a little more in the high end imports,” noting that “European transplants” comprise a good portion of the Devon store’s customer base. The focus will be on locally-brewed craft beers and wines from organic and sustainable vineyards. He noted an emphasis on Argentina and the west coast of the U.S. – “biodynamic wines, things that are on par with anything else that you have seen…from around the rest of the world” – and mentioned his intent to offer selections from Santa Julia and Montinore early on. Visitors to the Plymouth Meeting pub will recognize Mile Post’s Enomatic wine delivery system that will render pours of varying volumes.
Not having the benefit of mammoth space proportions, the Devon crew will need to be creative in its approach to offering variety to patrons, and that includes dining. Customers will have the option to bring food from the main floor into Mile Post or choose from a pub menu of small plates including charcuterie and cheese selections, feta salsa dip, Marcona almonds and the like.
Additionally, the staff is developing a program that will aim to pair a selection of cheeses with wines and beers. DiEva specifically mentioned teaming Humboldt Fog with a dry Riesling from the Pacific Northwest.
Grand opening festivities are slated for next week – most likely Wednesday or Friday – and patrons can look forward to giveaways like etched glasses and t-shirts. For questions or information call 610-688-9400.
Update: Since I posted this, I spoke to Charlene Nolan, who heads up marketing for Whole Foods Devon. She told me a Thursday morning grand opening is likely, assuming their final inspection goes as planned. Other notables: Patrons will be welcome to transport adult beverages to the outside patio or the revamped dining area adjacent to the pub; and Whole Foods is planning additional pubs for the Philly area, locations to be announced at a later date. She also emphasized (as did Steve DiEva) that the name for the pub stemmed from an employee contest. The winning tag was suggested by the leader of their “meat team” who lives in Wayne.