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Villanova University’s Full-Service, On-Campus Restaurant, The Refectory, to Reopen in October Under New Operating Group

Villanova University’s Full-Service, On-Campus Restaurant, The Refectory, to Reopen in October Under New Operating Group

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University’s full-service, on-campus restaurant, The Refectory, welcomes an impressive new leadership team to the 150-seat establishment, which is slated to re-open in October 2021. The operating group combines local business owners Ken Kearns ‘92 VSB (of 118 North), and Chris Perella (of Ardmore Music Hall and 118 North) with award-winning Executive Chef Biff Gottehrer (of Ripplewood, 118 North, and Ardmore Music Hall) and General Manager Steve Khuu (formerly of Enoteca Tredici). 

“I am delighted that The Refectory is reopening this fall for Villanovans and surrounding communities to enjoy,” said University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD. “I have no doubt it will once again be a popular gathering spot for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and neighbors to experience exceptional service and delicious food and drinks.”

The Refectory is located at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues within The Commons, a beautiful residence hall community that opened at Villanova in 2019. The University’s new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center is located across Ithan Avenue from The Refectory. 

“We are extremely excited to bring our amazing team and their culinary and management expertise to The Refectory,” said Ken Kearns. “As an alumnus, it is an honor to be able to play an important part in the Villanova experience. We look forward to delivering a world-class dining experience to the Villanova campus and to the Main Line community.”

The menu, featuring upscale riffs on comfort classics such as homemade pastas, wood-fired flatbreads, a raw bar, craft cocktails and specialty desserts, will welcome both the public and University community for lunch, happy hour, dinner, weekend brunch, and private events. For his work at Ardmore’s Ripplewood, Chef Gottehrer received a three-bell review in The Philadelphia Inquirer, where famed food critic Craig Laban lauded his “inventive homemade touch.” Full menu details will be announced in the weeks ahead. 

The Refectory takes its name from the term used to describe a dining room for communal meals at academic institutions and monasteries. The restaurant features a stunning, central horseshoe-shaped bar, accented with marbled tabletops, and a casually elegant dining room, complete with wood-finished banquettes and cedar-stained floors. There also will be a vault room for private parties and special chef’s tastings; in all, the sizable restaurant will comfortably seat more than 150 guests, including 18 seats in the bar area. Parking for The Refectory is available across the street, in the I-1 Parking Garage on South Ithan Avenue. 

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit