Here's an early look at Vernick Coffee Bar, opening to the public in late October or early November on the second floor of the new Comcast Technology Center at 18th and Arch Streets. Access is by way of a dramatic escalator from the 18th Street side.
This is chef Greg Vernick's casual operation in the skyscraper — a floor above the street level and the forthcoming Vernick Fish, whose 2019 opening date has not been set.
Right now, only Comcast techies have the run of the mod-looking coffee bar, stocked with joe from Umbria Coffee and, so far, light food from the Four Seasons Hotel's crew, led by executive chef Maxime Michaud and executive pastry chef Ryan Schmitt.
Try the whole-grain maple candy muffins, the lemon buttermilk scones, or the coconut-topped chia pudding with açaí.
There's plenty of counter and table space nearby for laptoppers.
That's only part of the setup.
An adjacent contemporary dining room, shimmering in front of the full-length windows on the 18th Street side, will serve seated, full-service breakfast and lunch on weekdays.
The Four Seasons, due to open in mid-2019, will take the top floors of the building.
It will feature a 59th-floor restaurant and lounge from renowned chef Jean Georges Vongerichten, who is Vernick's mentor. The Cherry Hill-bred Vernick traveled the world for Vongerichten before his 2012 homecoming.
Vernick, whose Vernick Food & Drink on Walnut Street in Rittenhouse is one of the toughest reservations in town, won the James Beard Award for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2017.
He's also a new daddy, as he and his wife, Julie, welcomed a second daughter last week.