last modified: 3 May 2014
page manager: Will Francis
The Reporter Online (thereporteronline.com), Serving North Penn, PA www.thereporteronline.com/articles/2010/04/11/business/srv0000007938474.txt
Recent photoes of the food at Food Spotting. A must see for some ideas.
Francis Kaufman House Is Now Serving
Sunday, April 11, 2010
By DAVID HARE
As a chef, William Francis has worked around the world, from Austria and Hungary to Florida and Vermont. But when he and his wife Desiree decided they wanted their own restaurant, the couple bought a historic building in Sumneytown, restored it and the Francis Kaufman House restaurant was born. Make that reborn.
The restored 150-year-old building operated as cigar factory in the 19th century; then the building was renovated at the turn of the century as a hotel before it closed in the Great Depression, according to William Francis. It then operated again as a restaurant until it closed several years ago. In 2003, Francis bought the Kaufman House at auction. "For two years we worked on it steady," he said, adding that he and his wife completely updated the lighting and the kitchen, while maintaining the building's original character and ambiance. Finally, last August, the restaurant opened. A "grand reopening" is scheduled for April 15.
Francis was born in Green Lane but grew up In Telford where he and Desiree live. His parents owned a catering business that took the family all around the tri-state area.
"I've been around this business all my life," he said. But when he graduated from Temple University in 1986 with a degree in mechanical engineering, owning a restaurant was as far from his sights as owning the Brooklyn Bridge. It wasn't until his father asked him to take over the family business that Francis started his culinary training. He's worked in kitchens up and down the eastern seaboard, as well as across the globe. "I would read about a restaurant, say, in Boston, then I'd go up there and knock on their door and see if I could work in their kitchen," he said.
The menu at the Kaufman Francis House, he said, is "country fare with international flare. We serve comfort food with wild game and fresh fish." Other dishes include chicken pot pie, meat loaf, and a 10-layer eggplant lasagna. "We use locally grown vegetables whenever possible," he said. Eventually Francis wants to make use of the rest of the house, maybe reserving the second floor for banquets and other special events.
The Francis Kaufman House restaurant is located at 3164 Main Street (Route 63) in Sumneytown. Call (215) 234-2499 for hours and suggested reservations. The restaurant has a BYOB policy; it accepts cash, checks with proper ID, credit and debit cards.
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The Pottstown Mercury (pottsmerc.com), Serving Pottstown, PA
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Francis Kaufman House Reopens Under New Management
SUMNEYTOWN — After more than 10 years the landmark Francis Kaufman House restaurant is back under new ownership. Chef William Francis and his wife, Desiree, restored the 150-year-old building, completely updating the lighting and the kitchen while maintaining its original character and ambiance. The menu includes a wide variety of food specializing in elegant country fare with an international flair.
Chef Francis, Greenlane-born son of the late Jack Francis of Jack Francis Catering, began his career at his father's side and has spent more than 30 years in the business. He attended The College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, before and during his studies worked at many famous and popular restaurants and resorts including a stint as executive chef of the Valley Forge Hilton.
One of his signature dishes is an Eggplant Lasagna: Sautéeed fresh eggplant is layered with as many as 10 other locally grown vegetables and four cheeses and then napped with a Mornay Sauce.
This spring, watch for wine and cheese tastings and perhaps cigar and scotch tastings on the back porch. In addition to the restaurant, The Francis Kaufman House also offers on-site catering services for private events up to 150 guests.
The Francis Kaufman House restaurant is located at 3164 Main St. (Route 63) in Sumneytown. Call 215-234-2499 for hours and suggested reservations. This BYO establishment is currently cash sales and checks with proper ID, but credit and debit cards are soon to be accepted.
Established in circa 1850 as a cigar factory, the building was renovated at the turn of the century as a hotel before it closed in the depression. In the late 1940s the Kaufman House opened as a B&B specializing in an eclectic menu featuring exotic, wild game and comfort food. Through the ensuing years the owners changed a few times and always left their guests with fond memories. The restaurant was purchased in 2003 by the Francis' who spent the next few years restoring the building.