Re-imagined Citron & Rose Opens in Bala Cynwyd

The bar area at Citron & Rose Tavern and Market | Photo by Rachel Winicov

David Magerman thinks this time is different.

The CEO of Six Points Restaurant Group said Citron & Rose Tavern and Market is unlike its predecessor in an important way.

“We’re focusing on serving the community,” Magerman said. “[The first] Citron & Rose was not broadly appealing. It was a niche menu and higher priced,” which he said limited many customers to only a few visits a year.

In contrast, the new C&R Tavern and Market “is family-friendly at a price point that can serve the whole community, every day,” the research scientist and restaurateur noted.

By addressing guests’ needs, Magerman hopes to attract Jews and non-Jews alike at the tavern, which opened June 5 with a slew of welcoming activities.

Magerman bought The New Tavern across Montgomery Avenue from the original Citron & Rose last year and has transformed it into an outpost for families to relax. The goal, he explained, was “to create a homey, comfortable space. We’re serving comfort foods.”

The new eatery features a dine-in tavern open for lunch and dinner, Saturday evening through Friday afternoon. Lunch staples include sandwiches, salads and diner fare. The restaurant’s offerings graduate to a more upscale menu for dinner, with entrees like braised beef short ribs, fish and chicken.

All food, including desserts, are dairy-free to maintain the restaurant’s kosher certification. Also kosher are the six beers on tap and variety of local whiskeys, wines and craft cocktails.

In addition to the sit-down tavern, the re-imagined C&R will open a to-go market in the coming weeks, stocked with already-cooked restaurant offerings that would come in handy for Shabbat dinner, he said.

The market will also sell kosher products imported from Jewish communities like Lakewood, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y.

“People have trouble finding kosher items,” Magerman said, attributing that to cramped grocery store kosher sections.

After buying the tavern last year, Magerman retained former owner Nick Zarvalas as an adviser and to aid in the transition to the larger space.

Magerman also revived other parts of Zarvalas’ widely popular restaurant.

“We want to keep the tavern food,” Magerman said, adding that the new staff modified older recipes to observe kosher guidelines.

Though much from the former tavern will carry through to the new restaurant, the interior design has changed dramatically. Magerman spent a year renovating the space, and its new decor reflects the location’s storied history.

“When we took apart the walls, we found artifacts,” he said. “In the original house, 200 or 300 years ago, people would store things in the wall.”

Those items, including a harmonica and fabrics, are incorporated into the art of the dining room. The dining room’s fireplace, also preserved, features actual rails from the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad that used to pass through the tavern.

In addition to the tavern, Magerman operates The Dairy Café and Dairy Bar Express, casual kosher dining and take-out options.

Previous restaurant ventures include Six Points Bakery, Six Points Kosher Events and the original Citron & Rose. All are now closed.

Elements of his former events business can be seen in the tavern, which he retrofitted to accommodate up to 70 guests in a private upstairs space for milestone celebrations. The main room now seats 50, and it was bustling with diners on the June 5 opening.

The large attendance was buoyed in part by a celebrity appearance from Jewish cookbook author Jamie Geller. Along with a dinner-time meet-and-greet, Geller offered a book-signing for her latest work, Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes.

Though inclement weather delayed a planned beer garden on the patio, staff will turn the outdoor space into a wine tasting venue and rye garden.

Magerman said to expect expanded menu offerings in the near future, including dry-aged spices and bison meat.


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