I don’t have much in the way of specific details but I have it on good authority that Maia, the monstrous market/café/restaurant combo opened in Villanova in mid-2008, has officially closed its upstairs fine dining room.
Apparently, a three-bell review from the Philadelphia Inquirer – usually a near guarantee of success – wasn’t enough to smooth the way between a troubled economy and the ever fickle Main Line. Maia's subsequent demotion to two bells in Laban’s year-end review can’t have helped.
The downstairs café and bistro areas at Maia remain open, at least for now.
Various rumors of Maia’s demise have been rampant for months now; with some saying the market portion of the business would go first; others, that the upstairs fine dining room would indeed close; and others still that the whole joint doesn’t have much life left. The writing has certainly been on the wall given the recent departure of Chef Terence Feury, who is now heading up the kitchen at Old City’s Fork.
Given the incredible scale of the venture, one could easily go so far as to say the writing has been on the wall from day one. Whatever your feelings about Maia, though, there’s no debating the closing of its flagship dining room deals a significant blow to the Main Line’s constantly struggling dining scene.
Past reviews of Maia:
Addendum (18 March):
Michael Klein reports at The Insider that the closing may just be for a few months, while the owners "reconceptualize" the upstairs space. Time will tell....