Mad Rex Announces Grand Opening Of World's First Post-Apocalyptic Restaurant And Virtual Reality Lounge

Mad Rex

* Bold new dining and entertainment concept debuts in Fishtown on Friday, Oct. 6th *

Philadelphia, PA -- Philadelphia, welcome to the new world. Mad Rex, the world’s first post-apocalyptic themed restaurant and virtual reality lounge, announces its grand opening at 1000 Frankford Avenue, Suite I (Laurel and Frankford). The 8,500 square foot and 225-seat urban outpost will feature a dining room, virtual reality chamber, bar, stage, lounge, outdoor patio and private event space.

Starting Friday, October 6th, patrons will celebrate the dawn of a new day by immersing themselves in a world designed for survivors in “the hour after.”  Executive Chef and Butcher Peter Rule will provide an artisan “butcher to table” experience from the kitchen that features scratch cooking, local sourcing, healthy alternatives and vegetarian options. Front of House and Bar Manager Juan Almeyda will offer unique and themed cocktails to quench thirst in post-armageddon times. Twelve drafts will pour from a mini-refinery constructed from a steam pipe. The region’s only Virtual Reality Chamber and Lounge will give users the opportunity to travel from the far depths of the ocean, to the outer limits of space - and everywhere in between.

“Mad Rex is unlike any restaurant in the world,” said General Manager Nick Stefanou. “We wanted to create an environment where patrons are encouraged to create their own ‘interactive rites’ through virtual reality. Where despite the fallout there’s still a sense of food, culture, community and art that still thrives. A sanctuary where urbanites are encouraged to create and share their own experiences. Where the food is locally sourced, the cocktails surprise you, and you feel like this is the ultimate stop in the post apocalypse. We want you to lose yourself in a futuristic world that stimulates both your imagination and your taste buds.”

Mad Rex opening hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11:00am to 12:00am, and Friday and Saturday 11:00am to 2:00am. Lunch service is available daily from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Dinner service is available 3:00pm to 10:00pm Sunday through Thursday, and to 11:00pm on Friday and Saturday.  Down the road, Mad Rex will launch an “Hour After” themed happy hour, late night bar menu, children’s menu and weekend brunch service. Mad Rex is fully handicap accessible.

Grand opening festivities on Friday, October 6th and Saturday, October 7th include a futuristic ribbon cutting ceremony, firebreathing performances, DJs and much more.

For reservations, call 267-773-7566. For more information, visit, follow @themadrex on Twitter and Instagram, and like Mad Rex on

Mad Rex


In the heart of Fishtown, a new world begins. Mad Rex (short for Restaurant Entertainment Xperience) was the brain-child of Pavel Rathousky, a master butcher from Prague, and his fellow partners. They wanted to create a new meeting place, dining haven, and watering hole for revelers from “all walks of life.”

Rathousky had a personal interest in the post-apocalyptic theme - and noticed it had been gaining momentum and traction as movies (Matrix, Terminator, 12 Monkeys, Book of Eli, I Am Legen, Resident Evil, Insurgent and Mad Max), television shows (The Walking Dead), video games (Fallout), and international events gained mainstream popularity.

With the idea in hand, next the search was on for a space. In 2016, the opportunity presented itself in Penn Treaty Village, in the former home of Travina Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar. The space was adjacent to exciting entertainment destinations (The Fillmore, Revolutions, Fulton Street Brewery, Philadelphia Distilling and Punchline Comedy Club) and was located down the road from respected restaurants (Root Restaurant and Wine Bar, Kensington Quarters, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons, Helm, Martha and Memphis Taproom).

Mad Rex would aim to showcase the best of both worlds with a dining, drink and entertainment experience unlike any other - right in the heart of Fishtown.

“We wanted to create a ‘first in the world experience’ in a city that is famous for many historic firsts,” said Rathousky. “There is no other place in the world right now where food-goers can experience this unique style of venue, entertainment and cuisine all in one place.”

Construction for Mad Rex began in 2016 and took nine months to complete. The first official day of service and the ribbon cutting on the new venue will take place on Friday, October 6th.


Indulge in the cuisine of the new world. Mad Rex’s all-scratch menu will feature Modern American cuisine based around classic world techniques with new and old world flavors. The kitchen will focus on high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, ranging from farm fresh vegetables, the highest grade of organic meats, and custom spice blends from the heart of the Italian Market. The menu will also feature several vegetarian offerings, as well as dishes rich in antioxidants, nutrients and minerals tailored to the diet of a true survivor.

Executive Chef and Butcher Peter Rule, whose resumes includes experience at notable restaurants Brigantessa, Fork, and Avance, will oversee the kitchen. Diners can watch Rule and his team preparing their meal through the wall of glass that gives an intimate view of the cooking experience. Everything served in the dining room, from flat bread dough to the pastries, will be made in-house.

In the front part of the kitchen, Rule will showcase artisan butcher-to-table cuisine sourcing from George L Wells Meat Co., located across the street. The kitchen also features a special oven for the black rock dining that heats special black rocks to over 500 degrees.

Mad Rex

Black lava rock dining is the perfect tie-in with the restaurant’s overall post-apocalyptic theme. Survivors will be able to grill, heat and flavor their own slabs of meat over the 500 degree rocks. Each Survivor’s Menu will include a choice of protein, a slab of Himalayan salt, lemon, seasonings and sauces.

“We want our patrons to feel like they are truly immersed in our post apocalyptic environment so we created a dining experience for customers to finish their own meals at their table on 500-degree slabs of rock and salt slabs,” said Partner Michael Johnigean. “The natural theater of this method, combined with the juiciness of taste, and health benefits of this ensures that the diner has an unforgettable culinary experience.”

Another item of note on the menu is the Pink Himalayan Salt Ice Cream that features a rotating selection of house-ice cream served alongside a Pink Himalayan Salt Bowl. Guests will mix and turn their ice cream in the bowl, where it will absorb the salt and minerals. Again, the dish is a tie-in not only with a desire to add unexpected healthy elements to the meal, but ties in with the survival theme in a post-apocalyptic world.

When ordering, customers will have alternatives to “cooking” on their own through the guidance from one of our in-house chef’s or by choosing one of our scratch kitchen menu selections.

“While we are a theme restaurant and bar, food comes first,” added Johnigean. “Customers want healthy options made from scratch while also having entertainment at their fingertips. Our entertainment doesn’t just come from the Virtual Reality lounge or post-apocalyptic theme, but from the cooking itself.”


Quench your thirst in the new world. The "Survivor Bar" is expansive holding hang out where "Survivors" can get a fill/pint from a wide range of twelve draft beers served from a mini-refinery constructed from a steam pipe. Unique cocktails designed by Front of House and Bar Manager Juan Almeyda are aptly named to tie in with the theme, like The Debacle/ End of Time / Scorched Earth. All syrups and shrubs are made in-house, and all garnish is prepped and pickled in house. By opening day, look for an expansive wine list to debut, with wine being showcased in the scorched-earth showpiece temperature controlled wine case adjacent to the VRex Lounge.

The expansive Survivor Bar features two dozen lush chairs nestling under a custom designed bar top showcasing exhibits and props to enhance the post-apocalypse theme.

Above the bar, look for high definition televisions that will feature Sunday football and other sporting games on weekends. During off-game times, the televisions will run post-apocalypse themed movies and clips. Look for game day specials to be announced.

In the bar lounge, look for seating for 20 guests on high tops. The bar lounge can also close to the public and double as an event space for private special events.


The post-apocalyptic journey begins even before entering the doors. In front of Mad Rex look for a battle truck that will sit 14 foot high on pilings outside the restaurant - with a fire pit and outdoor seating underneath for shelter. During block parties and other special events, look for a DJ and live musicians to ascend into the truck to perform for revelers seeking a new world order. (The truck installation is set to be completed later in the fall)

Back down on the ground, roll-up garage doors give inquisitive onlookers a curbside view into the Mad Rex urban landscape. Inside the front doors (main entrance at Laurel and Frankford), look for the post-apocalyptic world coming to life through urban industrial and wasteland themed graffiti murals, hanging art, weapon displays and elaborate exhibits - designed by some of the world’s most renowned costume and prop designers, as well as hometown “survivor” and artist Alloyius Mcilwaine. Along the exhibits and art lining the walls, look for artifacts and museum-quality tools, weapons and masks to enhance the experience.

Survivors will check in at the host/hostess stand and wait for their journey in the lobby that comes complete with a built-in selfie station, scorched earth stadium seating, weapons display and a genuine aircraft seat.

While finding your shelter in the new world, beware of the 17 foot airplane that “crashed” through the dining room ceiling, and the suspended helicopter high above the bar and private event space.

Seating and event space specs at Mad Rex are as follows:

* Bar - 24
* Bar Lounge - 20
* Bar and Bar Lounge Private Event Space - 34
* Dining Room and Banquets - 105
* VRex Dining/High Tops - 28
* VRex Lounge - 20+  
* Outside Seating (Coming soon) - Approximately 48


Escape to the reality of a new world. Mad Rex will feature a virtual reality lounge (VREX) where patrons can escape the doldrums of normal life and immerse themselves in augmented reality. Mad Rex is the first restaurant to fully infuse VR technology into their concept. Patrons will be able to experience a new dimension of storytelling and gaming that will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

“Not only do we differentiate by our food and our restaurant theme, but we plan to host a VR gaming lounge to cater to the exponentially growing market of Virtual Reality,” added Stefanou. “Virtual reality is the future. Our VRex Lounge will be a major part of pushing that future into the present.”

When you arrive at Mad Rex, to the right is the restaurant, live stage, bar, and patio. To the left is the VRex Lounge filled with couches, chairs, and even a private VR chamber for a customer’s intimate VR desires.

VR is best experienced with other people, but Mad Rex understands that some people might want to experience it in private which is why there will also be a VIP Chamber where guests can partake in VR behind a closed glass door. In the VIP room, guests will be greeted by a lab technician that will lay you down in a chair inspired by an old-fashioned physicians chair. The technician will hook you up, pour a drink (if desired) into the nearby IV rack, and let you experience a world created at your leisure.

The VRex Lounge doesn’t end once you leave Mad Rex. Mad Rex has also created an online community where members can engage with other fans and frequent guests about their favorite alternate reality. The goal with the VRex Lounge is to provide customers with a comfortable environment to experience, engage, and enjoy the immersive VR experience.

Mad Rex

VRex is also available as a group event - where corporate, school and other teams can partake in a unique experience together that includes high technology, great food and live entertainment.

Mad Rex welcomes families to partake in VRex together. Children are allowed into the lounge when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Mad Rex and the VRex lounge is proud to partner with Drexel University. Current enrolled technology students are assisting in running the lounge while gaining experience in a technology new to Philadelphia.

“Picture a post-apocalyptic themed restaurant environment,”  added Stefanou. “Then, imagine around the corner from your dining table, is a VR lounge that turns that theme into reality. Our goal is to give new meaning to going out for dinner and entertainment.”


The dawn of a new day is upon us. Mad Rex will make its public debut this Friday, October 6th with a futuristic ribbon cutting at 10:45am. The restaurant will also open to the public officially on Friday at 11:00am.

Grand Opening festivities include:

* Friday, October 6 - 10:45am Ribbon Cutting
* Friday, October 6 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm Rebel Rabbitt Hula Hoop
* Friday, October 6 - 7:00pm to Midnight Rev the Firebreather
* Friday, October 6 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm Photo Booth by Insta Shack
* Friday, October 6 - 10:00pm to 2:00am DJ Mixology
* Saturday, October 7 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm Rebel Rabbitt Hula Hoop
* Saturday, October 7 - 7:00pm to Midnight Rev the Firebreather
* Saturday, October 7 - 10:00pm to 2:00am DJ Ronnie

Mad Rex is currently serving food this week during “soft opening” and “Survivor’s Training” leading up to Friday’s Grand Opening.


The opening of Mad Rex will create up to 80 full and part time jobs in the Philadelphia marketplace. As the restaurant moves past opening phase, there is potential for expansion and an increase in staff.


Philadelphia native Alloyius McIlwaine (CEO/Founder of Cultures Clothing Co.) is a self-taught artist that has been creating art since the early age of three. Alloyius' artwork incorporates aspects of graffiti, street art, pop art, contemporary art, comic book art and abstract art.  Alloyius enjoys creating freestyle art.  This style of art is serendipitous in nature...with no predefined concepts, ideas, or rules. The art that is manifested on the canvas or wall is influenced by mood, environment and emotion.  Some of Alloyius' most well known projects include: the "Skid Row Cornucopia" mural (Los Angeles, CA), the "Reclaim the Classroom" mural for Mastery Connect (in Salt Lake City, Utah), the "Twisted Splatters" mural for Coda Night Club (Philadelphia, PA), the Dave & Busters (Philly) Dockside Mural, and Alloyius’ three murals painted in Vitry-sur-Seine, France. See more of Alloyius Mcilwaine's work at:, or on my facebook page for my art,

Mark Cordory is a Designer and Maker for Film, TV, Theatre, Exhibition, Stage and LARP. Cordory took his degree in Theatre Design (BA (hons)) in Nottingham, at Trent Polytechnic in the UK in the early ’80’s (now Nottingham University). His first job was creating a company called Mythlore LARP in 1985. (LARP - Live Action Role Playing - a young hobby in those days, now a world-wide one). His aim was to create the best-looking events available in the early days of LARP - hopefully they succeeded!

Cordory ran Mythlore (with the help of various good people) until ’89 before moving to Cardiff to join ‘Talismen Studios’ - a small company providing work for film and television, where I had the opportunity to work on the wonderful Knightmare (Anglia TV) and projects such as Iron Maiden’s ‘Eddie’ and various theme parks around the country.

He moved into freelance work in the early ’90’s and has continued in that vein to this day, working for Film, TV, Theatre and the Exhibition Industry, including a two year position as Head of Department for props fabrication at Dr Who (BBC Wales).

“In the past 3 years the Apocalypse seems to have taken over much of my workshop and I have to say it’s become a real passion for me with the SALVAGED Ware range taking up an increasing amount of my schedule each year,” said Cordory. “Post Apocalyptic commissions for festivals, bands, escape rooms, LARP - and now a restaurant in Philadelphia - have all come through my workshop in the last couple of years - long may it continue.”

For more information about Cordory, visit



Pear and endive salad $10
Bosc Pears, candied walnuts, manchego,
pomegranate vinaigrette

Rock grilled caesar salad $10
wedge of char grilled romaine, parmesan
croutons, housemade caesar ( add chicken $5)
Rock charred octopus and fennel $11
grilled on lava rock,  balsamic reduction, panzanella salad in a
citrus vinaigrette

Sea green salad $11
Japanese seaweed,  kale, roasted  ginger garlic carrots in a
buttermilk vinaigrette

Quinoa salad $10
cucumbers,  fresh basil, tomatoes, and
shallots in a citrus vinaigrette

Mad Rex


Wild mushroom flatbread $12
wild mushrooms, parmesan, fresh arugula salad on a homemade crust

Tomato basil flatbread $12
tomato sauce,  fennel mozzerella, fresh basil on a homemade crust

Pear brie and onion flatbread $12
Bosc pears, Brie, garlic oil, caramelized onions on a homemade crust

Seasonal vegetable tempura $9
soy ginger chili sauce

Whole Wings $10
Mad Rex hot sauce, Mad Rex BBQ Sauce , or garlic butter parmesan

Beef Kabobs $8
onions, peppers, tomatos, mushrooms
house made salsa verde (Medium spicy)

Chicken Kabobs $8
onions, peppers, tomatoes
house made salsa verde (Medium spicy)

Shrimp kabobs $10
onions, mushrooms, tomatos
house made salsa verde (Medium spicy)

Home Made pretzel bites $7
cheese sauce and Mad Rex hot sauce


du jour $6


14 oz. NY Strip $28
8 oz.Culotte $24
8oz Flank $20
10 oz.Filet $30

7oz. Cobia $22
7 oz. Tuna steak $23
7 oz. Salmon $20

Chicken $20
chicken strips

all protein served rare
and sliced for convenience
except chicken
other proteins to be added as daily and weekly specials for market price


“Wasteland” $3
hot pepper relish
horseradish crème fraiche
Mad Rex BBQ
w/ spice rub

“Guts and Glory” $3
Mad Rex Hot Sauce
tzatziki sauce
w/ spice rub


Pan Seared 1/2 Green Circle Chicken $22
Free range chicken, fresh whole artichokes, potatoes, broccoli, laveder chicken au jus

Pan Seared Salmon $20
Salmon pan seared, wild rice, wild mushrooms, hoisin buerre blanc

Grilled Kale Pappardelle $18
Homemade papparadelle,  parmesan, pecans, pickled mustard seeds, kale pesto sauce

Grilled Pork Chop $24
10oz grilled, sauté greens, rice & beans, in a pork au jus

Grilled NY strip $28
14 oz NY Strip glazed roasted carrots, roasted fingerling, red wine au jus

Pan Seared Scallops $24
thyme butter, celery root puree, white caponata
apples and seaweed


Sauteed Broccoli and Grain $5
garlic, wheatberries, butter, fresh lemon

Grilled Asparagus $6
lemon olive oil, pecans,  shaved cured egg yolk

Rice and Beans $5
seasoned rice, eye of the goat beans
cranberry, cannellini beans

Roasted Potatoes $5
rosemary, thyme, garlic

Sauteed Seasonal Vegetables $5


Handcut French fries $5
Housemade seasoned hand cut fries

one side included in rock entrees

prices are for additional only

All Sandwiches comes with fries or side salad

8oz blended caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato
cheddar and house made pickles, w/ garlic aioli
onion poppy seed bun

Grilled Chicken Parmesana $10
tomato sauce, house made mozzarella, chicken breast
in a Vietnamese French baguette

Pulled Pork $11
Pork shoulder, house made pickles, raw red onion, Mad Rex BBQ Sauce in a Vietnamese French Baguette

Pork Bahn Mi $12
pork belly, chicken liver pate,  house made pickles, cilantro, jalapenos
in a Vietnamese French baguette

Roast Beef $12
garlic rosemary au jus, provolone, roasted peppers,  and sautéed onions in a garlic aioli.
in a Vietnamese French baguette

Mushroom Tomato Goat Cheese $12
sautéed wild mushroom, peppers, and onions, w/ slices of tomato, balsamic reduction
goat cheese in a toasted Vietnamese French baguette

Vegetarian Reuben $12
carrot spiced in a pastrami blend, sauerkraut, melted swiss, w/homemade thousand island dressing


Chocolate cremeux $5
Goat cheesecake $5
Cannoli shooter $5
Berry parfait $5
Quinoa cake almond milk icing $5
Spiced rice pudding $5
Chocolate cake cherry jubilee sauce $5


Lava Rock Bananas Foster $7
vanilla ice cream, waffles, rum brown sugar

Himalayan Salt Rocks Ice Cream $8
Toppings du jour

Mad Rex


The Debacle $10
Vodka, ginger liquer, grapefruit juice, ginger simple syrup, & topped with an IPA Float.

Twelve Mile Hike $11
White Rum, rye whiskey, blackberry brandy, cherry liquer and fresh lemon juice.

Brine Yard $11
Gin, homemade pickle juice with homemade pickled veggie skewer.

The Last Sunrise $10
Tequila, orange & pineapple juices, jalapeno simple syrup with a blackberry brandy float.

Scorched Earth $11
Rye whiskey, Campari, orange liquer, orange juice and ginger simple syrup w/ spiced rim.

The Dark Saying $10
Bacardi dark & light Rum, ginger simple syrup, fresh lime juice topped with a porter beer.

The Mehmet $10
Apple Infused Bourbon, apple cider, cider vinegar, cinammon simple syrup with a dash of hot sauce and bitters.

The Coming $10
Habanero vodka, citrus liqueur, fresh lime and passion fruit puree.

The Outcast $10
Muddled sage, bourbon, Aperol, citrus liqueur agave with grapefruit and orange juices.

Second Sight $10
Gin, elderflower liqueur, herb honey simple syrup fresh lemon juice and Pom juice.



Austin Cider $5
Bells Lager of the Lakes $5
DockStreet Rye $5
Double Nickel Rye Porter $6
Evil Genius Adulting $6
Flying Dog Bloodline $6
Goose Island Sofie $6
Southern Tier Coffee Pumpking $6
Troegs Chocolate Stout (Nitro) $6
Victory Golden Monkey $6
Yards Pale Ale $5
Yuengling $4


Asahi 1L $7
Avery El Gose $5
Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin $5
Bells Two Hearted Ale $5
Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion $6
Guiness 16oz $7
Heineken 16oz $7
Kentucky Barrel Aged $5
Naraganset $4
PBR $4
Shiner OktoberFest $5
Sly Fox Helles Lager $5
Tecate $4
Terrapin Hopsecutioner $5
Troegs Troegenator 16oz $6
Two Roads Honeyspot IPA $5
Yards Love Stout $5


Amstel Light $5
Angry Orchard $5
Blue Moon $5
Bud Light $4
Coors Lite $4
Corona $6
Corona Light $6
Michelob Ultra $5
Miller Lite $4
Sam Adams Boston Lager $5
Stella $6


White Wines

Pinot Grigio
Ca Donini, Italy - G$8.5 B$32
Anew, Columbia Valley - G$10 B$38
Lechthaler, Italy - G$13.5 B$52

Sauv Blanc
Magnificent Wine, Col. Val. - G$9.5 B$36
Ranga Ranga, New Zealand - G$11.5 B$44
Emollo, Napa Valley - G$15.5 B$60

Carmenet, California - G$9.5 B$36
Met Soeili, California - G$11 B$42
Folie a Deux, Rus. River - G$14 B$54

Other Whites
Pacific Oasis Rslng, Col Vlly - G$9 B$34
Domino Moscato, California - G$9 B$34
Terra D'Oro Ch Blnc/Viog, Clrkbrg - B$42

Charles de Fere Brut - Splt$12
Martini & Rossi Prosseco - Splt$9

Red Wines

Pinot Noir
Lost Angel, California - G$9 B$34
The Crusher, Clarksburg - G$10.5 B$40
Trin Hill Hawkes Bay, NZ - G$13.5 B$54

Seven Falls, Columbia Valley - G$10 B$39
Bonny Doon $%&*#! Merlot, CA - G$13 B$50

Concannon Founders, CA - G$9 B$34
Francis Coppola Claret, CA - G$10.5 B$40
Penfolds Max's 2015, South Australia

Other Reds
Vina Robles "Red 4" Blend, CA - G$12 B$46
Smoking Loon Malbec, Chile - G$9 B$34
Aruma Malbec, Argentina - G$17 B$65
Querceto Tuscan, Italy - G$11.5 B$44
Luigi Righetti Amarone, Italy - B$108
Terra D'Oro Zinfandel, CA - B$75


For reservations, call 267-773-7566. For more information, visit, follow @themadrex on Instagram and @madrexusa on Twitter, and like Mad Rex on

Mad Rex