Gary Seman Jr.
Muffuletta sandwiches, not muffler jobs, are now part of the scene at Mid City Garage in Merion Village.
Local restaurateur George Tanchevski has turned the former Mid City Automotive Services building into a restaurant fueled by craft cocktails and homemade dishes.
Adapting used auto parts into the design, Mid City also has garage doors that open to a 26-seat patio with picnic tables corralled by a fence.
Leanna McKenney-Heath, an operations manager for Tanchevski’s restaurant group, said because of the COVID-19 restrictions, some seating has been limited, so the total is 52 right now, including the bar.
“We could seat a lot more at a different time,” she said.
Nevertheless, the interior is spacious, with a window that offers an open view to the kitchen.
“Being able to watch people work on their craft, watching them learn and create and adapt, it’s like watching a sport — except the athletes are feeding you,” chef Jacob Ciampa said.
“I also like that it gives the guests an opportunity to ask questions, like why do we cook at 550 (degrees), why do we use cornmeal to stretch our dough instead of flour or semolina?
“I think food education is very important, and having an open kitchen allows a dialogue between interested diners and excited cooks,” Ciampa said.
Among the menu choices are three charcuterie boards that change frequently, kimchee deviled eggs and Thai chili hummus.
Pizzas with house-made dough remain on the menu but no longer are served…