Much like the legend behind the mythical bird whose name it modifies, the Fenix Bar in Phoenixville is going through a rebirth.
The bar’s new management is taking it in a whole new direction to breathe new life into the bar, which is fitting for an establishment located in a town that has gone through its own revitalization.
Patrons can expect live jazz, new drink and food menus, and various promotions throughout the week. To kick off its revitalization, the Fenix will host a reopening party Thursday night featuring a Southern Tier Brewing Company tap takeover and music from the bar’s new featured band, the Coco Butter Band.
The man behind the bar’s change in direction is its new general manager, Ryan Norris, who previously managed the bar and has returned to reinvent it. He said he wants the establishment to have a sophisticated appeal.
“It’s always been known as a martini bar, but I want to make it a very classy, jazz/blues style bar,” Norris said.
He said above all, he wants to promote an intimate atmosphere. It’s why he chose to focus on a jazz theme.
“I’m turning it into a jazz/blues bar so you can sit and have a conversation, not the loud cover bands with $2 beers,” he said.
Every Thursday will feature a performance by local blues/funk/soul duo The Coco Butter Band. Norris also plans to bring in live music Friday and Saturday nights, while Wednesdays will be Ladies Night.
Declan Mannion, who co-owns the Fenix and Molly Maguire’s with partner Conor Cummins, said he’s excited to see where the change will take the bar. And he’s already seen a difference.
“I was down there [last] Saturday night and it was a big hit,” he said. “These guys they had there reminded me of the Blues Brothers. It was a real cool, nice vibe.”
If that first experience is any indication, Mannion said, the Fenix will be a hit.
The bar isn’t just going in a new direction with its music, however. Equally important to providing the experience the bar’s management wants to promote is the change in their food and drink menus.
The Fenix will still carry a wide array of martinis – they’ve always been popular with customers, and Norris said he’s very interested in hearing patrons’ opinions to cater to them – but the martini menu is getting an overhaul, as well as the craft beer, wine and cocktail selections.
Even the dining menu has been revamped. The bar will now exclusively feature tapas selections with a healthy focus.
“Very tasty food, small plates, it’s kind of perfect for that location,” Norris said. “When designing the new menu, we had two rules: one, no French fries, and two, no one else has it. It’s a really unique menu, I think.”
Healthy options will also extend to the new drink menus.
“We have really healthy drinks, organic stuff with organic ingredients,” he said, mentioning a potato vodka they offer as an example.
But he also stressed that he won’t allow the bar to carry alcoholic drinks that fall below a certain standard – “no Banker’s Club,” as he put it.
When everything comes together, Norris and Mannion agreed that it will provide a unique experience among the other bars and clubs in downtown Phoenixville.
“I’m really happy to have Ryan back, and I love to see everyone out here,” Mannion said. “It’s going to be the new hot spot in Phoenixville this summer.”