New American Cuisine in
Historic Philadelphia

The story of America was written in its colonial taverns, where future revolutionaries gathered to trade ideas and engage in spirited debate over hearty meals and cold drinks. Being that we’re smack in the heart of the cradle of liberty, Red Owl aims to revive that classic tavern experience, with a distinctly modern touch. The restaurant's superior details—hand-crafted cocktails, house-cured charcuterie, butcher-shop cuts of steak—make it a neighborhood respite. We do our best to accommodate the individual tastes and preferences of our guests with a variety of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu options. That’s how Red Owl manages to be old, new and free-thinking all at once. Just like Philly.

Meet the Team at Red Owl Tavern

Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden

Jonathan grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. in Sterling, Virginia, where both he and his twin brother started their culinary journeys working weekends at local family-owned restaurants.  He attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in culinary management.  His past culinary positions include chef de cuisine for James Beard Award-winning Chef Allen Susser’s in Miami, executive chef at Ardeo + Bardeo in D.C., executive chef at Andre Balazs properties in New York and executive chef at Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia.  While Dearden was running the kitchen at Jade Mountain, the luxury hotel was recognized by Travel + Leisure as the top resort in the Caribbean, and #3 best resort in the world.  Most recently, Jonathan has worked as the executive chef of Radiator, a Chef-driven cocktail bar located in the Kimpton Mason and Rook hotel in Washington, D.C.

Jonathan’s dedication and passion to the industry was recognized in November 2017 when he was named to DC Refined’s “34 Under 34,” and esteemed list of restaurant industry professionals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, aged 34 and under.  In January 2018, Dearden won D.C.’s “Best Chef on the Block” in a cooking contest held amongst chefs based in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  This advanced him to the national competition on ABC’s “The Chew,” where Dearden won the “Best Chef on the Block” East Coast Championship.


Red Owl Tavern’s Lead Bartender Kyle Darrow is the type of person who obsesses about what interests him. When unable to find the right tattoo artist for a traditional Japanese Tebori tattoos, he researched, practiced, and even tattooed himself. When doing research to develop new cocktails and beverage offerings at the popular Old City bar and restaurant on Independence Mall, Darrow is the same way. He goes deep and he loves what he does. And he reads a lot.

With more than a decade of experience, Darrow has an ability to understand what a guest is looking for - even if they don’t - and craft just the right variation to hit their imagination with a little extra on top. The cocktail program at Red Owl Tavern combines the classics as they were meant to be with new creations inspired by Kyle’s vast cultural experiences.

 “Our team aims at taking the things our guests want and utilizing our knowledge to give them something that exceeds their expectations,” Darrow says.

Darrow has worked and traveled all over the world and draws on knowledge gained in his travels to Colombia, Japan, Germany, France, Czech Republic, the UK and elsewhere. And though he spent time living in Rome, he was happy to return to his native Philadelphia. Darrow holds a degree from Virginia Tech. He recently became a dad for the first time and is excited about being a new parent. His and wife promptly applied for a passport for their infant son so he’s prepared for their next adventure.