Penn students who have been awaiting Doc Magrogan’s opening since last spring can finally have their feast.
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House on 34th and Sansom streets will finally hold its grand opening to the public on July 27. Since La Terrasse closed its doors February of last year, Doc Magrogan’s had been under construction and is opening much later than anticipated.
The oyster house, now at its fourth location, first opened in West Chester, Pa., six years ago. It was founded by Dave Magrogan, a chiropractor who had a passion for hospitality in restaurants and New England oyster houses from the 1900s. He sold his chiropractic center to create three restaurant concepts: Kildare’s Irish Pub chain, Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House and Harvest Seasonal Wine Bar and Grill, the new restaurant that will neighbor the Rave in late August.
What makes Doc Magrogan’s unique from other Philadelphia restaurants is not just the large glass windows showcasing the kitchen to passersby, general manager Dan Morris said. The oyster house will also serve fresh seafood delivered the day it is caught, “unlike a lot of other seafood restaurants that use frozen products,” Morris said.
Head chef Karen Weinstein added they are “making sure the quality of the fish is 100 percent” to keep up with other Philadelphia competitors like Sansom Street Oyster House. In addition to fresh ingredients, the restaurant also offers a revamped menu from the original Doc Magrogan’s.
“This menu is a little more upscale than some of the other Doc’s because we’re in the city and competition is pretty fierce here,” Weinstein said.
“If you’ve eaten at Doc Magrogan’s in West Chester, you can come to this one for a completely different dining experience,” Morris added. “It’s a little more trendy and more higher end because of our location.”
The trendiness does not end there. Whereas the original Doc Magrogan’s was “built to feel like it’s a hundred years old,” this oyster house contains a “combination of old tavern mixed with very clean and crisp beach cottage,” Dave Magrogan said. Penn’s crew team is also featured in the restaurant with old pictures, ores and canoes used as decor.
In anticipation for the upcoming semester, a lunch menu will be available during the afternoon, featuring healthier options than Doc’s usual fried foods. With a variety of choices and entrees ranging in prices from $12 to $36, Morris expects to see many Penn faces.
“We didn’t want to just be a once-a-month or twice-a-month dinner destination,” Morris said. “We want to be a multiple-night destination.”
Word of its opening had already reached the Penn community since its soft opening on July 23. Annenberg School IT staff member Cory Falk noticed the sign as he walked past.
“I’m excited about the Oyster House, and I will definitely go there,” he said. “It’s a good addition to the restaurant strip on Sansom.”