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James Beard-Nominated Indonesian Restaurant Is Opening at Cherry Street Pier

Hardena, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, and Birdie’s Biscuits are the first food tenants in the new waterfront destination

A view of Cherry Street Pier, in the middle, from the Ben Franklin Bridge
James Abbott

Spanning 55,000 square feet and jutting out over the Delaware River, the newly renovated Cherry Street Pier has been turned from a municipal shipping pier into a mixed-use space with shops, artist studios, art exhibits, a garden, and food and drink. The three very different food vendors announced so far are Hardena, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, and Birdie’s Biscuits.

Hardena, which has a spot on Eater’s list of the 38 essential Philly restaurants, is a tiny Indonesian eatery in South Philly, opened in 2001 by Ena Widjojo. It’s now run by her daughters, Diana and Maylia Widjojo. The three women were semi-finalists for best chef in the mid-Atlantic region in the 2018 James Beard Awards, alongside Nick Elmi of Laurel, South Philly Barbacoa’s Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller, and other notable Philly chefs.

“I wanted Hardena to be a part of Cherry Street Pier because I wanted to not only be a part of something as extraordinary as the revamping of the pier but also to bring Indonesian cuisine into a wider audience,” Diana Widjojo said in a press release.

Hardena at the pier will be serving chicken, lamb, and pork satay, rendang (traditional or as a hoagie), peanut-y gado gado salad, corn fritters with sweet and spicy chili sauce or sambal aioli, and daily rice plate specials. (Hardena’s sambal is the best in the city.)

Here’s where everything will be Cherry Street Pier
Groundswell Design Group

Birdie’s Biscuits, which also has a cart in Reading Terrminal Market, is setting up shop at the pier with sweet and savory biscuits, like blueberry cheesecake, apple cobbler, parmesan and chive, and cheddar.

The biscuit bakery will be collaborating with new neighbor Little Baby’s on balsamic blueberry cheesecake biscuit ice cream. The ice creamery, known for its out-there flavors, will be in the outdoor park space serving a rotating mix of regular and non-dairy ice cream, plus milkshakes.

Is there a bar? Yes, there’s a bar. Look for ciders from Kurant, wine from Artisan’s Cellar, and cocktails using Kiki Vodka and Five Saints Whisky, all local companies.

More food and drink vendors are coming; stay tuned.

A rendering of Cherry Street Pier
Groundswell Design Group

Cherry Street Pier opens Friday, October 12. Festival for the People, an arts fest at both Cherry Street and Race Street Piers taking place over three weekends, starts the next day.

The Cherry Street project is part of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s Master Plan for the Central Delaware, designed to make better use of the waterfront. It’s funded by the city, the William Penn Foundation, the Board of Directors of City Trusts and the Delaware Avenue Fund, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Cherry Street Pier, from the water
James Abbott
And on the other side, from Columbus Boulevard
James Abbott
This is what it looked like during construction in early summer 2018
Matt Stanley

Little Baby's Ice Cream

4903 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19143 (215) 921-2100 Visit Website

Hardena

1754 South Hicks Street, , PA 19145 (215) 271-9442 Visit Website

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