Located in East Falls at the corner of Midvale and Ridge, Lebus is family-friendly and serves simple, American homestyle food.
(484) 255 2100
4201 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19129
Sa 9a-3:15, 4p-11p
Su 9a-3:15, 4p-9p
On a chilly morning in March 1978, David Braverman opened the window of an old school bus which he had converted into a deli-vending truck. Parked on the University of Pennsylvania campus, and stocked only with a home-roasted beef, turkey breast, an urn of hot coffee, and blueberry muffins (baked in the propane oven in the back of the bus), David greeted his first Lebus customer.
With no culinary background other than what he had picked up from his deli-man father (Cy, owner of U of P's iconic luncheonette, the "Dirty Drug"), and whatever cookbooks he could find, David grew his business with these principles: make everything from scratch, use only the best ingredients, and try everything.
Lebus was an immediate hit. As the lines grew, David added more and more to the menu. Salads were invented, exotic soups concocted, legendary muffins dreamed up, and the first Lebus breads were baked right on the bus. Seasons came and went, hot New England clam chowder was served to bundled up customers in bitterly cold winters, chilled strawberry lemonade was offered to those who braved the heat of summer.
To more formally learn his craft, David enrolled in Philadelphia's Restaurant School in the fall of 1983. While there, he attended a lecture by renowned Philadephia chef Esther Press-Mcmanus, who became his mentor. Later, David and Esther travelled to restaurants and bakeries throughout the US, France and Germany to experience their cuisine and learn new methods. In 1984, with Esther's help, David opened his first brick and mortar restaurant on the Penn campus, followed by Lebus on Main Street, and finally Lebus Artisan Bakery (in a converted warehouse in Manayunk). He donated the original bus, beloved "Max", to a local soup kitchen for the homeless.
In 2011 David bought a home in East Falls, and, when the corner location at Ridge and Midvale became available, he seized the opportunity to open his first new restaurant after 25 years, just blocks from his home.
While Lebus has come a long way since that first cold morning in 1978, David is still keeping things interesting in the kitchen, creating foods people love to eat.