With outdoor dining currently the only option for those looking to eat at a restaurant in Philly, the opening of the entirely open-air Juno feels perfectly timed. The new restaurant, from the team behind waterfront bar Morgan’s Pier, makes its debut at 1033 Spring Garden Street on Friday, July 10, with a Mexican menu and frozen cocktails.
Juno, located across from Union Transfer in what was previously Llama Tooth, isn’t just a response to pandemic dining rules: Owner Avram Hornik of FCM Hospitality bought the property years ago, though he didn’t have the concept for it ready right away. The project was then put on hold because of COVID-19 — until Hornik realized now would be a good time to open an outdoor restaurant, with indoor dining prohibited until at least August 1.
The venue is fenced in, with tables set amid trees between two tall murals by artist Frito Bastien (the murals were already there). For now, there’s room for about 80 diners in the main part of the restaurant and along the sidewalk. Tables are spaced apart, in keeping with social distancing guidelines, and, even though there’s more of a bar than a restaurant vibe, with loud music, reservations are required to avoid lines and crowds.
The kitchen is led by chef Miguel Angel Hernandez Mota, who’s putting out nachos, queso fundido, tacos, sandwiches, and salads, with some vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options. To drink, there’s beer, wine, and cocktails, including frozen margaritas. Rosy’s Taco Bar, also part of FCM Hospitality, has been the most successful restaurant in the group during the pandemic, which is part of the reason why the team went with another Mexican spot.
Along with Rosy’s and Morgan’s Pier, FCM Hospitality runs beer garden Parks on Tap, indoor/outdoor restaurant Harper’s Garden, and Craft Hall.
Juno plans to stay open until at least October. The hours are Monday and Tuesday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Take a look at the fenced-in dining area and the sidewalk picnic tables:
And here are some items from the menu: