Where can you snag lowcountry cuisine, coffee, outdoor cocktails and to-go favorites all in one? At Rex at The Royal, you can have it all, and then some.
The concept, which started out as the popular Southern dinner locale Rex 1516 on South Street, found a new home in October of last year at the rejuvenated Royal Theater, and since then more changes have come.
Rex at the Royal now offers a full café service and space for streetside dining, with wine and beer from the extensive bottle shop now available for both dine-in and takeaway. The grand opening for the new updates was officially on April 6, and opening hours will span Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (followed by standard restaurant hours of 5 – 10 p.m).
The new café at Rex at The Royal, located adjacent to the distinct turquoise top bar, will offer a full menu of coffee beverages all made with Green Street Coffee, including drip coffee, lattes and iced drinks with alternative milk options and seasonal syrups (think pumpkin spice and lavender) available.
And what about the extensive menu of made-to-order café-style dishes, crafted by long-time Charleston resident Executive Chef Aaron Paik? To parallel the Southern cuisine of the broader dinner menu, hot breakfast sandwiches, as well as light bites including pastries and parfaits will be served. As a release states, through the cuisine crafted by Brooklyn native and longtime South Carolina resident Executive Chef Aaron Paik, Rex at The Royal seeks to honor the great early-20th century African American chefs who adapted traditional Southern fare to the bustling urban landscape of Philadelphia, and to tell the story of early 1900’s Center City Southwest, which stood at the time the cultural center of Black American life with the grand Royal Theatre as its anchor.
Highlights include the biscuit breakfast sandwich ($7, with your choice of pimento cheese or cooper sharp, with a $2 up-charge for meat,) maple beignets, mushroom and potato tacos, pecan granola parfait and more. Lunch offerings feature Rex staples such as the oysters on the half shell ($18), a Carolina pulled pork sandwich ($13) and the hot dipped chicken biscuit ($10). While at Rex at the Royal diners can also indulge in she crab soup ($11), a pimento grilled cheese ($9), market salad ($9) and much more.
The release also states that with breakfast and lunch, guests can additionally indulge in a robust menu of popular American wines by the glass and cocktails available via counter service; in addition to bottles of wine and local beer by the can or bottle available from the hands-on bottle shop. The café beverage menu will maintain a rotating roster of seasonal cocktails and wines by the glass. Current seasonal beverages include the Puddle Wonderful ($14), crafted with rye whiskey, strawberry-rhubarb syrup, lemon, and an Aperol Spritz ($11), made with Aperol, lime, and sparkling wine.
“One of the best things about the beverage menu in the café is that it’s going to be constantly rotating,” said Joshua Scheid, Bar Manager at Rex at the Royal in a statement. “Guests are going to be able to enjoy batched signature cocktails, constantly changing wines by the glass, our favorite local beers and more, now in our new outdoor dining area.”
Hours of operation will be: Sunday through Thursday from 5 – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 – 11 p.m., with brunch available on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., followed by dinner running from 5 – 10 p.m. Reservations are available by phone, or online through Opentable. For more information on Rex at the Royal (1524 South St.), visit rexphl.com