The Story Behind 9 Prime:
How Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani Transformed a Historic Bank Building into West Chester's Premier Steakhouse
In the heart of West Chester, Pennsylvania, a historic 19th-century bank building stood as a testament to the town's rich heritage. But as time passed, its grandeur faded, waiting for someone with a vision to breathe new life into its halls. That someone turned out to be none other than celebrity chef Fabio Viviani, renowned for his culinary expertise and captivating personality.
The journey began when Pillar Real Estate Advisors, a trusted commercial real estate company, sold the bank building to ConWal Development. Recognizing the potential of this neoclassical structure, ConWal sought Pillar's expertise to find a tenant that could restore its former glory.
Pillar immediately set its sights on attracting high-end restaurant users to revitalize the iconic building. Several renowned names in the restaurant industry expressed interest, but it was an introduction by Pillar's associate that set the stage for the building's transformation.
Ran Whitnah, of Penn Street Mortgage, connected Pillar with Craig Colby of The Colby Restaurant Group, a successful restaurateur with an impressive portfolio of concepts and locations. Colby, in turn, had partnered with Chef Fabio Viviani on previous ventures, an ideal candidate to lead the redevelopment of the bank building.
With Pillar's marketing platform and Colby's endorsement, Chef Viviani's interest was piqued. He wasted no time flying in from Chicago with his team to explore the building's potential.
Despite competition from other proposals, ownership was convinced that Chef Viviani's vision aligned perfectly with the building's potential. A series of meetings with the building's owners, John O'Connell and Charlie Walsh of ConWal Development, solidified the partnership. Together, they envisioned "9Prime," a premier steakhouse and event experience that would honor the building's history while offering a contemporary dining experience.
Over the following weeks, ideas were pitched, concepts were refined, and aesthetics were meticulously considered. The result was a joint venture between Chef Viviani and ConWal Development—a labor of love that would transform the historic building into a culinary destination.
Months of design and nearly a year of construction followed, with ConWal Development fully committed to bringing both ConWal Development and Chef Viviani's vision to life. The result was 9 Prime—an experience for all the senses. From the grand chandeliers to the plush furnishings and the pristine marble bar, every detail was carefully crafted to create an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication.
As the doors of 9 Prime open to the public on February 10th, 2024, it marks the culmination of a journey that began with a historic building in need of restoration. Thanks to the partnership between Chef Fabio Viviani and ConWal Development, West Chester now boasts a premier steakhouse that exceeds even the loftiest expectations.