Tomorrow, University City gets a pop-up garden for the summer, and you won’t need to ask “is there space on the patio?” because it’s all damn patio.
The garden was put together by the non-profit Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) in a space at 36th and Filbert streets in University City. The society already opened another similar space for the season in Center City, on 15th and South.
It’s part of an attempt to revamp vacant spaces in the city: The garden’s land belongs to Drexel University, which is currently developing other sections of the same space. According to the PHS, the vibe is to be like an “urban orchard,” with rows of apple trees, vines, flowers, and plenty of communal tables — check this glimpse from above.
The project is part urban renewal initiative, part restaurant and bar — PHS has a mission “to transform the City of Philadelphia through horticulture and the creation of green spaces,” but serving booze and food will obviously act as a drawcard for citizens to make use of the space.
Jet Wine Bar (of “wine to go” fame) are running operations and promise wine (obviously), craft brews, hurricanes, and frozen margaritas, and mega importer Constellation Brands is also involved, meaning big name Mexican beers they import (Modelo Especial, Pacifico).
The food menu will be Tex Mex, featuring aspects of Cafe Ynez’s Mexican eats, and Rex 1516’s Southern fare (both restaurants are owned by Jet). Rex’s executive chef Justin Swain put together the menu, which, fitting with the garden’s informal vibe, looks casual: barbecue sandwiches, tacos, pimiento cheese, and other snacks.
The garden holds its grand opening Wednesday (May 31) at 5:30 p.m. (Thursday at the same time in case of rain).
STATUS — The uCity Square PHS Pop-Up Garden will be open at 36th and Filbert daily, from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
UPDATE: Due to the weather, the grand opening is moved to Thursday (June 1).