Death Of Fun: State Legislators Express “Grave Concern” Over Pop-Up Beer Gardens


Because they apparently didn’t have anything better to do with their time, four state legislators–John Taylor, R-Philadelphia, Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, and state Sens. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, and Jim Ferlo, D-Allegheny–sent a letter to the PLCB on Thursday expressing their “grave concern” over the loophole allowing a whole bunch of restaurants and bars to open temporary-but-kinda-sorta-permanent pop-up beer gardens around Philly.

Their problem with it? That these no-good scofflaws are circumventing the spirit of the law (though not, it should be HUGELY noted, the actual law itself) in a brazen attempt at bringing a little brightness (and booze) to the city at a time when, obviously, what we all want is for it to be more grim and draconian. Because mobs of adults drinking beer in the sun is obviously just the first step on a slippery slope which will inevitably end with happiness and a more vibrant, fun city. And who wants that?

But seriously, guys? Grave concerns? Save your “grave concerns” for issues that actually come with a little in-built weightiness. Like under-funded schools, gun violence, that pee smell in South Philly or murder cats. What you really mean to say here is that you have “petty, wheedling concerns” over the fact that a few clever business owners in town have figured a way to game the laws that legislators wrote in order to make a few bucks and bring some good times to the people of Philadelphia. That you (and maybe a few bar owners worried over the competition) have gotten your undies in a twist over a technicality being exploited by someone other than a lawyer or, you know, a politician.

But hey, you wanna play that game? With your letters to the PLCB and feigned anxiety over such worrisome rogue operations as the Philadelphia Horticultural Society beer garden or the Spruce Street Harbor Park? That’s just fine. Because over at, someone has already started a petition to oppose changes to the PLCB rules. Granted, they’ve only got about 400 signatures now, but we’re calling on every Foobooz reader to get on over there and sign their name so that we can show the politicians that, just this once, we’d like a loophole that benefits us–the drunken, sun-loving day-drinkers of the world–and not just the rich, the powerful and the connected.

Oh, and also? If you could do something about those murder cats? That would be nice, too.

Protect Philly’s Pop Up Beer Gardens []

So What’s Up With All These Beer Gardens?

phs pop up garden

Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack, answers the question I was afraid to know the answer to, “how are all these beer gardens legal?” Turns out the answer is in an LCB loophole created in a 2012 law change that was meant to make it easier for caterers to operate off-site. What has happened is establishments with liquor licenses have been able to set up beer gardens that operate as catering operations and in some cases, piggybacking permits from multiple establishments to create a full-time beer garden at a fraction of the cost of a full liquor license.

There’s no doubt the beer gardens are great for the city, and a recent trip to this season’s PHS Beer Garden at 15th and South not only saw hundreds enjoying the new outdoor space but the overflow filling Sawatdee, Cambridge, Rex 1516 and Jet Wine Bar as well. The Spruce Street Harbor Park and The Oval are both pushing the city and its residents to reimagine how they interact with areas of the city. But it is interesting to see how these beer gardens have all come about.

And hurray for loopholes.

Pop-up gardens take advantage of legal loophole [Philadelphia Daily News]

Today: Independence Beer Garden is Here


Ever since the release of the menu that made us salivate, we have been waiting ever so patiently for Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden. And it’s finally here (for real this time). The highly anticipated garden is set to open today at 4 p.m, regardless of the weather.

From delicious bites to scenic views, Independence Beer Garden is looking to spruce up the summer. The menu will feature Philly favorites, like Pretzel bites, along with many BBQ-friendly items, including Corn on the Cob with Chili Butter & Cojita Cheese and a Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. In addition to all of the eats, IBG will have ping-pong tables, a table-top Jenga, and a 10-foot projection TV for you to enjoy, as well.

But we can’t forget about the piece that brings the entire garden together: beer. And with a beer menu almost as big as the location itself, you might have a tough time narrowing things down. We know we will. Check out the entire drink menu here. Now, go ahead and start counting down the hours with us.

IBG is located at 100 S. Independence Mall West and, after today, will open daily at 11 a.m.

Independence Beer Garden [Foobooz]

10 Things To Do in Philly This Week: PHS Pop-Up Garden Returns, Independence Beer Garden Debuts, and More

It’s Becoming a Beer Garden City

Garden Variety Beer Garden

Garden Variety Beer Garden

It doesn’t take much to realize that Philly loves its beer gardens. From Fishtown to the Art Museum, beer gardens are popping up everywhere. And Joe Sixpack took notice; today he wrote an article on the phenomena. “Beer gardens are suddenly so popular, the city’s tourism marketing agency is promoting a series of visits on Friday afternoons this summer.”

Read more »

5 Ways to Spend the Long Weekend in Philly: PHS Pop-Up Beer Garden Returns, Cupid’s Undie Run and More

Every Friday we round up five of the best ways to spend your weekend in Philly.

Summer’s dreamy Pennsylvania Horticultural Society pop-up beer garden is back for a three-day President’s Day weekend romp. The vacant lot on South Broad Street will be cleared out and blazing with heated tents (thank God!), suds from Yards Brewing Company, nibbles and an LED light forest by Brian Hoffman Design. Fri.-Sun., Feb. 14-16, 4 p.m.-9 p.m., 313 S. Broad St. 

More events after the jump

Appetite for Awareness, a Gluten Free Festival, Hits Philly This Sunday

Appetite for Awareness, the signature event of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, is coming to Philadelphia on Sunday September 23rd from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Strawbridge Building. The event is in its eighth year and continually brings together physicians and chefs from the area’s top restaurants to serve up information and gluten-free dishes.

Participating Restaurants »

Early Warning: 5th Annual RiverCity Festival

Saturday October 6th from 12 to 5 p.m. Fishtown will host the 5th Annual RiverCity Festival at Penn Treaty Park. Fishtown’s best goods and food vendors will be in attendance selling their wares. All day long there will be live musical acts performing as well as children’s activities like moon bounces, arts and crafts, magic shows, and games. Bottomless beverage cups will be available for a $20 donation to the Fishtown Neighbors Association, to be filled by Philadelphia Brewing Company and Saint Benjamin’s. A $50 donation receives a FNA pint glass as well as fills.

The RiverCity Run will take place at 12pm, and the course will move through Fishtown and end back at the festival. Registration for the run includes a t-shirt and entry to the festival’s Beer Garden.

More information on food concessions and the beer garden are to come as vendor registration is still going on now. For more information, check out RiverCity Festival’s website.

« Older Posts