Philadelphia, PA

BIPOC Chef-Driven Guard House Cafe Opens at The Frankford Arsenal in Bridesburg

Marilyn Johnson

Chef-Owner Khoran Horn and Chef-Partner Matthew Gansert are pleased to announce the opening of the Guard House Cafe, a chef-driven cafe and community hub. Named for its location on the Frankford Arsenal campus, a former U.S. Army ammunition plant, Guard House is the sole restaurant concept on the reimagined multi-use property boasting creative spaces, workout studios, and even two schools. The cafe will open at 7 AM on October 18 and will operate Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 3:30 PM moving forward at 2275 Bridge Street, Building 101. 

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The Guard House at the Frankford Arsenal in BridesburgBrandon Lee

Horn saw Bridesburg as a neighborhood in need of food that was thoughtful and executed properly and set out to fill that void with Guard House. Alongside a robust coffee and espresso bar menu, sourced from La Colombe, Guard House will serve a playful menu of healthier comfort food, sweet + savory brunch, sandwiches, bowls, and pastries. Signature dishes include the Guard House Breakfast Sandwich with fluffy sous vide eggs, smoked bacon, arugula and Cabot cheddar on a Philly Muffin; Khoran’s Kamut with maitake, pickled carrot, Colatura, and herbs; Avocado Toast served on thick cut multigrain bread topped with truffle oil and herbs; a Turkey Sandwich with pimento cheese, baby gem lettuce, house-pickled onions, green goddess aioli on lavash; and an array of veggie-centric dishes like Cauliflower with Zataar and Broccoli Caesar

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Inside of The Guard House at the Frankford Arsenal in BridesburgBrandon Lee

All-day, grab-and-go bites include house-made scones and espresso coffee cake, plus granola bars, Rice Crispy treats, and ice cream sandwiches. However, the star of the show is a monster-style cooking sharing the cafe’s namesake: The Guard House Cookie. These six-ounce cookies, inspired by Levain Bakery, are available in Chocolate Chunk Walnut and Oatmeal Raisin and baked fresh daily. Additional flavors will be rolling out in the weeks to come. 

“I’m not a stranger to openings, but this has been one for the books,” explains Chef-Owner, Khoran Horn. “This project has been in the making for about three years now and we’ve faced everything from construction delays to a global pandemic and hiring shortages. That said, we are excited to finally serve our neighbors on the Frankford Arsenal campus and in nearby Fishtown, Kensington, and Port Richmond,” Horn continues. 

Horn and Gansert also plan to activate the space shortly after opening with bespoke collaborative dinners with household name chefs from across the country, food trucks, and more. This is an extension of Horn’s BLVCK, a culinary collective celebrating the Black experience via experiential dinners spanning chef collaborations, curated music, and education. 

Guard House retail offerings include a limited run of reusable coffee travel mugs which grant the first 30 guests to purchase free coffee for the year. Other offerings include branded mugs and merch, with collaborative merch drops with other local, Black and women-owned businesses to come. 

Guard House Cafe is located at 2275 Bridge Street, Building 101, Philadelphia, PA 19137, and will be open Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 3:30 PM, with weekend hours to come. Online ordering is available here.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; phillygrubtrips@gmail.com for travel tips and opportunities.

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