Inside Middle Child Clubhouse, an All-Day Version of the Beloved Sandwich Shop
The team behind Middle Child is now offering cocktails, a full dinner menu, and, of course, top-notch hoagies at its new concept.
Guests regularly wait an hour outside Middle Child, the cult-favorite sandwich shop in Center City that slings what many call the best sandwiches in the city—high praise for a hoagie-obsessed city like Philadelphia.
Today, owner Matt Cahn opened Middle Child Clubhouse, a truly grown-up version of the original—with 120 seats, table service, a cocktail bar, and a bigger team ready to bring the Middle Child perspective to life for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. Daytime service starts Saturday, with dinner coming in the next week or so.
During the day, fans of the original Middle Child will recognize much of the menu—the shop will serve lots of their sandwiches, like breakfast sandwiches, the beloved vegan Phoagie, and the shop’s classic Italian, the So Long Sal, in addition to a full coffee bar.
At night, though, a whole new side of Middle Child will come out. Dinner service is headed up by Adam Sosnowik, a Philly-area native who worked at spots like now-closed Res Ipsa and Zahav, before decamping to Washington, DC to work at one of the city’s top restaurants, Rose’s Luxury. While he was there, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star—a superlative that is indicative of the level of service that Cahn hopes to cultivate at the Clubhouse.
“Adam has been eating at Middle Child forever,” Cahn explains. “He knows the vibe really well, but his background is more fine dining, so we have this cool blend.” Guests can expect to see familiar all-American classics on the dinner menu with dishes like a burger, patty melt, and an epic chicken milanese with sumac ranch, hot sauce, and a fresh herb salad. “We’re not trying to take away the nostalgia, and we’re not trying to impress you with some crazy technique. This will be the kind of food you crave all the time,” he says.
In addition to entrees, there will be a constantly rotating selection of small plates, like fresh pull-apart rolls, latkes, and brown butter roasted broccolini, offering food that is shareable, delicious, and ideal for enjoying with the beverage menu. Cahn wants people to be able to come in for a glass of wine and a snack after work, with the possibility to stay for dinner.
The bar program is designed by Brandon Thrash, formerly of Hawthorne’s Cafe and Townsend, with a focus on sustainable wine and as many locally sourced, non-general distribution liquors as possible. And it will be affordable. Cahn says they’re trying to keep by-the-glass prices at or below $13, and they’re working to always offer one or two at as low as $9 a glass. In addition to wine and beer selections, the cocktail menu will feature frozen cocktails (at the moment, it’s an icy tropical negroni), options that range from creative originals to the bar’s take on classics like martinis and manhattans, and lots of room to hang out—they’re even bringing in a pool table.
The project of bringing a Middle Child sensibility to a new space is all about the people, Cahn says. In addition to Sosnowik and Thrash, guests can expect to see some familiar faces from the original Middle Child, who will bring the same energy to the new space.
“My goal is that this is literally a clubhouse for Fishtown,” Cahn says. Half the restaurant (and the bar) will be reserved for walk-ins, while the other section will have a more intimate vibe with tables for reservations and table service.
Middle Child Clubhouse opens for daytime service at 1232 North Front Street on Saturday, October 16. Reservations will be available through their website when nighttime service begins. Keep an eye on the restaurant’s Instagram for the latest information.