How we’re checking out Philly’s beer gardens
It’s summer, so we all could use a trip to a beer garden. Visit Philly just came up with a long list of great spots to check out. Here are our favorites, but go to visitphilly.com for the whole list. And remember: It’s 2020. Things change daily. Be sure to contact the beer garden before you go to check times, reservation requirements, safety precautions, etc.
In the warm-weather months, the rooftop of South Philadelphia’s former Bok High School turns into a spacious rooftop bar with unreal skyline views, a variety of drinks, fun programming and bites from big-name rotating food partners like Kalaya and Mission Taqueria. Those who want to snag those epic sightlines in 2020 need to make a reservation before visiting. 800 Mifflin St. | Bok-bar.com
Located across from the Liberty Bell Center, the aptly named Independence Beer Garden brings 20,000 square feet of outdoor drinking and eating space to America’s most historic square mile. The seasonal beer garden serves up an all-American food and drink menu, while outdoor chairs, lights and pergolas add to the atmosphere. Reservations are recommended. 100 S. Independence Mall West | Phlbeergarden.com
The Drury Beer Garden expands for 2020, with courtyard and ”streetery” seating available for those looking for yummy food (octopus ceviche, anyone?), a variety of beers, fancy desserts (via a pop-up collab with Craftsman Row Saloon), and creative specialty beverages like All About the Benjamins, Baby, a Jim Beam Black-based cocktail that comes with an edible $100 bill. Opa, 1311 Sansom St. | Drurybeergarden.com
Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall offers ample outside seating, exposed brick walls and reclaimed industrial materials, creating a casual, laid-back and socially distanced place to chill out. Classic German foods are available, as is a hefty beer menu that includes everything from traditional German beers to craft specialties available by the half-liter or liter. 1210 Frankford Ave. | Frankfordhall.com
Harper’s Garden, a venture by the beer-garden experts behind Parks on Tap and Morgan’s Pier, provides guests seated in its verdant outdoor veranda with a serene experience just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square. Note that reservations are required to visit in 2020. 31 S. 18th St. | Harpersgardenphilly.com
Morgan’s Pier draws people for barbecue and seasonal favorites in a casual setting with close-up views of the Delaware River and Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The expansive outdoor space holds wooden picnic tables, umbrellas, twinkling lights and Linden trees. Diners and imbibers come for dozens of draft and canned beer options and food executed by chef Joe Adair. For 2020, note that reservations are required. 221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd. | morganspier.com
How we’re doing The Living Room Outdoor Concert Series
The Living Room at 35 East, the listening room in Ardmore, has announced the continuation of The Living Room Outdoor Concert Series with four outdoor concerts in September. Visit thelivingroomat35east.com for all of the details, but here’s who you’ll hear – along with a few other updates.
An Evening with Jim Boggia
For more than 20 years, Jim Boggia has been winning over fans, critics, contemporaries and luminaries alike with his uncompromising devotion to the sort of winsomely nostalgic, emotionally direct songcraft that’s impervious to age. His sonically intelligent retro-pop manifesto informs three studio albums and he’s worked with a startling array of artists, including Aimee Mann, Joan Osborne, David Byrne, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Bernadette Peters, NRBQ’s Big Al Anderson, famed Beach Boys lyricist Tony Asher, MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Attractions drummer Pete Thomas and countless others. | Saturday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.
Trevor Gordon Hall with Adam Monaco
Rated one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 years of age by Acoustic Guitar magazine, Trevor Gordon Hall is an instrumentalist from Philadelphia whose style ranges from edgy, driving rhythms to delicate, melodic themes. Adam Monaco makes songs for the human spirit. His music is lush and colorfully melodic. Lyrically, his work is personal, deep, sometimes funny, but often evocative. Delivered with such thoughtful introspection that some have called him the “Soul-Whisperer.” | Saturday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.
The Fractals are one of the Philadelphia area’s most unique and interesting bands. Guess what happens when a trio of three-martini lunches staggers toward a ragged copy of “Respect For Acting,” stumbling over bell-bottoms into plasticine porters, hissing like 8-tracks, knocking over emo kids with Flying Vees … The Fractals, that’s what happens, and they have been happening for over 10 years. | Saturday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.
Women’s Singer-Songwriter Showcase
Emily Drinker is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Philadelphia. She blends folk, soul, and pop with a ukulele, backing band, and soulful three-part harmonies through live looping. Polished and precise, yet buoyed with airy grace. Joy Ike paints with a broad palette that defies easy categorization. Born to Nigerian immigrants, the singer-songwriter’s music, voice, and writing have drawn comparisons to female musicians such as Nina Simone, Laura Nyro and Regina Spektor. Valentina Sounds is an Italian born/Philadelphia based singer-songwriter. Valentina’s music is a fusion of catchy melodies and pop tunes perfectly blended with a background in jazz vocals and a love for composition. | Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
The concerts will continue to be held at a large, private location. Customer seating areas are pre-assigned with a minimum of six feet between each site. Masks are required in all public areas on the property. Customers are asked to bring their own food and beverages. All special instructions and ticketing information are posted on the website.
The Boutique and more shows
Want something new? The website features The Living Room Boutique. Now you can order your favorite Living Room–branded T-shirts, baseball caps and stickers and also Laura Mann T-shirts. Merchandise is also available for sale at events. The Living Room also plans to host indoor concerts this fall and are in the process of securing a location that suits its needs and that will allow for social distancing.
Here are a few updates on reopenings, events and more
It’s 2020, so every week things change. Places reopen. Events are held online. Special happenings change where they take place. Here are a few updates we’ve heard about.
Museum of Art, Rodin
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will reopen to the public on Sunday, Sept. 6, following a nearly six-month closure. The Rodin Museum will also be reopening on this date. Admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be Pay-What-You-Wish on opening day, which will follow three members-only days (Sept. 3, 4, 5). Both museums will operate with reduced hours and visitors are strongly advised to reserve admission tickets in advance online. Temporary exhibitions have been extended, including Fault Lines: Contemporary Abstraction by Artists from South Asia (though Oct. 25); A Collector’s Vision: Highlights from Dietrich American Collection (through Nov. 15); Horace Pippin: From War to Peace (through December); and Marisa Merz (through July 2021). philamuseum.org
Stratus Rooftop Lounge
Stratus Rooftop Lounge, located atop the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, reopened recently amid a bevy of health and safety precautions, including strictly limited capacity and social-distanced tables arranged in an open-air environment. It’s also following an extensive renovation begun in January. Stratus, for now, will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 8pm to 2am for outdoor dinner service only. COVID precautions are extensive so check the website and call ahead for details. 215-925-2889 | 433 Chestnut St. | www.stratuslounge.com
The Clay Studio
Join Jennifer Zwilling, curator of artistic programs at The Clay Studio, for a Lunch and Learn on Thursday, Aug. 20 to celebrate the opening of “100 Years 100 Women,” an exhibition on display at The Clay Studio. “100 Years 100 Women” is an exhibition consisting of 100 commemorative plates, honoring heroic and inspiring women, from 50 different artists. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women in the United States the right to vote, while acknowledging the work that remains in the pursuit of equal rights for all women. Join the Zoom call to hear from the artists, and ask a question, live! theclaystudio.org
The Moth’s Regional GrandSLAM
This will be The Moth’s first-ever, multi-city Eastern GrandSLAM Showdown with storytellers from eight StorySLAM cities – including Philly – competing for the crown. Cheer on our city’s contender in a battle of wits and words – fierce, hilarious, heartbreaking and all points between. Aug. 24 | 7:15pm on Zoom | $15 per household | themoth.org
Rittenhouse Art Show
The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, the oldest outdoor art show in the nation, will bring the healing power of art to all with a virtual event Sept. 10-13. The 93-year-old tradition of annually sharing original fine art in Rittenhouse Square of Center City will be transformed to an online art exhibition. The virtual format will allow art patrons to visit the show while social-distancing, and moreover, to reap the invigorating, inspiring and empowering effects that art can have on the viewer. The show will feature the work of 101 jury-selected professional artists from all over the U.S. and Canada. Artwork will be available for purchase. rittenhousesquareart.com
Franklin Square Summer Splash
Franklin Square Summer Splash opened last week, and there’s too much going on there to list here, but some highlights are: Through Labor Day, the Franklin Square Fountain Show will run performances on an expanded schedule every 30 minutes from noon – 9pm daily. The African American Museum in Philadelphia is partnering with Franklin Square and Keepers of the Culture to offer Griot Tale Fridays. A Griot is an African oral historian that passes on their culture through the practice of storytelling. Perfect for children ages 5-12. The Yoga Garden offers a full range of classes from beginner to experienced. www.historicphiladelphia.org
Virtual events we’re looking forward to attending
As the city continues to emerge from the coronavirus closures, there still are a lot of great things happening online. Here are a few upcoming events we are excited about. Visit eventbrite.com for all of the details.
Why Buy Black?
This a panel discussion about how to create equity in the entrepreneur ecosystem. According to the Economy League, only 2.5 percent of all employer firms were non-Hispanic, Black-owned. Additionally, Black female-owned businesses receive less than 1 percent of venture funding nationally. How do we drive equity in the entrepreneur ecosystem post-COVID when Black-owned businesses have been the hardest hit? Presented by Venture Café Philadelphia. Thursday, Aug. 20 | 4:30– 5:30pm | Free
Attend an online event sharing techniques and strategies for successful neighborhood-based activities among committee persons, block captains, civic and community organizations, and volunteers working for voter engagement across Philadelphia block by block in every neighborhood and division. The program will address effective COVID safe actions, including voting safely from home. Hosted by 22nd Ward Open Caucus. Tuesday, Aug. 25 | 7– 8pm | Free
The N-Quisition: A Battle of Wits
The N-Quisition is a new format inspired by classic panel quiz shows like “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” “To Tell the Truth” and “What’s My Line?” Play along at home with members of the N Crowd as they test the bounds of their quick wits in this livestream panel show. This is a free show, but purchasing a $5 ticket helps to maintain the services the group needs to produce the online show. Follow on Twitch to get notified when they go live. Presented by The N Crowd. Friday, Aug. 28 | 7 – 8:30pm
Virtual LifeSharing Day
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (IDS) Interim Director Charlotte Wroton will welcome everyone to an educational, networking and fun event. Voting Commissioner Lisa Deeley will share how we can all let our voices be heard on Election Day. Learn why everyone needs to wear a mask for safety to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. Enjoy music, dancing, a scavenger hunt, travel info and much more.
Presented by Networks for Training and Development, Inc. Friday, Aug. 28 | 1 – 2:30pm
The Wadsworth Constant
Check out improvised absurdist one-act plays by Portland’s Kristen Schier and Philadelphia’s Nick Gillette. Professional idiocy in a world of amateur idiots. Absurd theater cum digital cinema word salad. Improvised and mainlined straight off the tap of the electric muse. Drawing from the theatrical traditions of Albee, Ionesco and Beckett, two veteran improvisors launch themselves into a newly generated world of absurdity and existentialist themes. Since its inception in 2014, the Wadsworth Constant has continued to astound and delight audiences from coast to coast. Friday, Aug. 28 | 9 – 10pm | $5-$15
50 Years of Kulu Mele Dance & Culture
This discussion digs into Kulu Mele’s history and new resources on Philadelphia culture and history. Explore the relevance of excellent Black pasts, presents and futures with Kulu Mele’s Dorothy and John Wilkie in a conversation hosted by Chris Rogers of the Paul Robeson House and freelance journalist John Morrison. Presented by Paul Robeson House & Museum / West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Saturday, Aug. 29 | 3:30 – 5pm. Free but donations are encouraged.