All photos by Gina Desimone, courtesy of Mulherin’s Pizzeria

The RundownPhiladelphia

The Insider’s Guide to Mulherin’s Pizzeria in Philadelphia


Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood has long been on the culinary rise and Wm. Mulherin’s Sons at Front and Master Streets has been a big reason why. In 2016, what was a more than 130-year-old family-owned whiskey blending and bottling factory transformed into a restaurant and hotel brand that’s since become beloved by longtime regulars and tourists for its intimate atmosphere (their fireplace lounge is a popular seating request) and wood-fired Italian fare: think grilled meats, seafood, and of course, pizza. And on April 18, the Wm. team debuts its newest restaurant, Mulherin’s Pizzeria, which continues the restaurant’s legacy, this time in East Market.

In this edition of the Resy Rundown, we sit down with executive chef Sean McPaul and Brooke Murray, Method Co.’s director of food and beverage development, to find out everything you need to know about Mulherin’s Pizzeria before you go.

Mulherin's Pizzeria's outdoor courtyard
The outdoor courtyard.
Mulherin's Pizzeria's outdoor courtyard
The outdoor courtyard.

1. Be sure to stop by for dinner — and lunch.

All eyes are on Philadelphia’s downtown scene these days, with Center City’s East Market neighborhood rapidly growing. Recreational spaces, civic plazas, boutique hotels, bars, and restaurants have all opened here recently, making it a prominent hub for daytime businesses. And that’s primarily why Method Co., the owners and operators behind the Mulherin restaurants, wanted to bring an “all-day, more accessible operation” downtown on the ground floor of The Girard at 1175 Ludlow Street. Plus, it’s no secret that lunch offerings beyond fast-casual spots in Center City can be, well, a bit mundane. Mulherin’s Pizzeria hopes to change that by offering lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and staying open from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. That means you can come in for a late lunch at 3 p.m. and the kitchen will still be open — a much-needed perk when other all-day restaurants tend to close between services.

“[East Market] is really vibrant during the day. And I think the opportunity to be a part of that was important,” says Murray, who’s excited to see how Fishtown loyalists react to the new location. “Opening Mulherin’s Pizzeria is [like bringing a] fresh breath into a concept that we all know and love.”

“The idea here is to take all that quality and the love of food and make it more accessible,” adds McPaul. “You can come in and sit at the bar and have a salad on your lunch break or have a four-course meal here. The doors are always open.”

2. It’ll be slightly more casual.

It’s well-known that restaurant openings are a slow process, and this opening has been almost three years in the making. The new East Market restaurant carries over familiar design features from the Fishtown location, but in a brighter, lighter space and with more pops of color. Think big open windows, high wood beamed ceilings, a wide-open kitchen facing the dining room, a sage green “grotto” bar, saddle leather banquettes, and custom wallpaper with similar whimsical whiskey-inspired characters and scenes. The outdoor courtyard is outfitted with garden vibes much like its Fishtown predecessor. The restaurant’s interiors and branding were conceived by Method Co.’s in-house design firm, Method Studios, and designed in tandem with longstanding collaborator Stokes Architecture + Design, who also designed the original Wm. Mulherin’s Sons.

But no matter how stylish the design, McPaul is set on keeping “the same overflowing hospitality” that Wm. excels at. That includes the option to stay overnight at The Girard for an extended stay in a ROOST East Market apartment hotel, housed within the same building.

“I’m excited to see people get comfy and stay because I think Mulherin’s Pizzeria is such a vibrant space,” says McPaul. “I want people to feel like this is the future of the neighborhood.”

Executive chef Sean McPaul
Executive chef Sean McPaul.
Executive chef Sean McPaul
Executive chef Sean McPaul.

3. There’s a veteran chef in the kitchen.

Chef Sean McPaul has spent two decades in prestigious restaurants — from Michelin-starred Quince in San Francisco to members-only Soho House and High Street on Hudson in New York. But Philly is where he cut his teeth at Starr Restaurant Group, Talula’s Garden, and Emmy Squared. While he’s new to the Wm. team, he’s been cooking this contemporary-yet-traditional style of food for years and is no stranger to the world of pizza.

“I’ve been making handmade pastas and pizza for 15 years,” says McPaul, who’s created different dough recipes over the years based on different ovens, including a whole wheat dough.

When he came on board Mulherin’s Pizzeria’s opening team as executive chef in October 2023, he immersed himself in the rich history of Wm.’s brand, learning the restaurant’s core scratch cooking recipes, taking cues about what guests love, and figuring out how to bring those elements to the pizzeria while incorporating a bit of himself in the menu. The Mulherin’s Pizzeria menu will blend his personal preferences, like vegetable-forward small plates with some carry-over Wm. Recipes, like handmade pastas and more inventive pizza pies. He loves working with fresh and bright flavors of the seasons, especially vegetables, and hopes to keep people engaged with rotating ingredients and menu items.

4. The pizza recipe is a two-day process.

Wm.’s Neapolitan-style pizzas are already an all-day hit over in Fishtown where the pancetta and eggs pizza is a must-order for brunch, and the Spicy Jawn with pepperoni and hot capicola is a dinner favorite (also available in the new location).

While Philly has boomed with pizza restaurants offering every kind of regional style, Mulherin’s Pizzeria plans to keep to its own roots. For McPaul, it’s all about texture, and the secret to Mulherin’s Pizzeria is a two-day fermentation process that results in consistent pies with a soft interior and crunchy bottom.

First, farro is milled into flour in-house and then added to pastry flour and all-purpose flour, which not only adds a bit of depth and flavor to their dough but helps with overnight fermentation. After the initial bulk fermentation (day one), the dough is shaped and portioned, then set aside to slowly ferment in the walk-in for a second night.

“By slowing the fermentation, you get more of an even bubble … it’s a light and bubbly crust,” notes McPaul.

Then, the pizza goes in the wood-fired oven to enhance the pizza’s flavor. Hearth cooking inside the wood-fire oven creates a superheated deck that allows the pizza to cook quickly, especially crucial for a high-volume restaurant. Each pizza gets cooked at around 800 degrees for about two minutes.

“We definitely like to have a little bit of char on our crust,” says McPaul. The flames arc over the top of the oven and toast the top of the pizza, something you don’t get from any other kind of oven, he adds.

You can expect that same quintessential dough at Mulherin’s Pizzeria, but the toppings here may differ from what you’ll find in Fishtown. There’s the Ramp Up featuring ramps, garlic crema, and fava beans, which will be a must-order for spring, while supplies last. The Scarlet O’Hara with marinara and ’nduja spicy pork sausage is topped with bagna càuda (a warm dipping sauce made from garlic and anchovies), parsley, pecorino, and lemon.

“Having the opportunity to bring new life into the [Wm.] concept while spotlighting just one section of our menu is really exciting,” says Murray.

Rigatoni alla Carbonara.
The Lovers’ Quarrel cocktail.

5. The menu goes beyond just pizza.

Mulherin’s Pizzeria is sticking with Italian-influenced wood-fired cuisine that emphasizes the smokiness and char of the wood-burning oven beyond its signature pizzas. The opening menu will have eight pizzas, six pastas, plus a selection of larger-sized entrées, small plates, and salads. Vegan-friendly and kid-friendly options are on the table, too, and dietary restrictions can be accommodated. There will also be customizable cheese-based pizzas for kids if the topping is available.

Another sure-to-be hit among kids (and let’s face it, adults) is cacio e pepe-style mozzarella sticks made from deep-fried, crispy, tube-shaped “paccheri” pasta that gets stuffed with a milky cream base and lots of white pepper. “Nobody’s allowed to leave without having the rigatoni carbonara,” McPaul adds.

And when it comes to drinks, bartender Benjamin Kirk has come up with a program that has the kitchen and bar teaming up to incorporate similar ingredients, especially fresh fruit — an ideal complement to any meal at Mulherin’s Pizzeria.


Mulherin’s Pizzeria is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. through 9 p.m.

Alisha Miranda is a Philadelphia journalist, digital producer, and #LatinxIndustryNight host. Follow her at @alishainthebiz. Follow Resy, too.