Dream a Little Dream: Poplar

Yesterday we gave you the hottest restaurant neighborhoods in the region. Today we’re going to highlight three that could be our next best restaurant neighborhoods.


Current state of the scene: Less apocalyptic than two years ago, but still not so nice.

What it needs: Some very smart local developers to take a weekend trip to Chelsea.

Walk one block on New York’s High Line park and you’ll never be able to look at the Poplar neighborhood in Philadelphia the same way. New York’s elevated park, built on a former train line, offers a pedestrian-friendly place for a stroll, and the neighborhood below bustles with restaurants, cafes and galleries.
In Philadelphia, the Reading Viaduct has been an urban ruin since it was decommissioned in the 1980s. Too massive to tear down, it has blighted an already downtrodden neighborhood. But that’s no longer acceptable. The blueprint has been drawn in New York: Build it and they will come. In fact, they’re already gathering. The Trestle Inn has joined the pioneering Institute bar, and the new Underground Arts bar is on the way. With North Broad happening to the west and the Union Transfer music venue anchoring the South, Poplar’s time is coming, and the potential is great.

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