Operators Announced for PHS Pop-Up Gardens

Khyber Pass Pub, Jason Cichonski and Sylva Senat are all involved.

The PHS Pop Up Garden will return to the 1400 block of South Street | Photo via PHS

The PHS Pop Up Garden will return to the 1400 block of South Street | Photo via PHS

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has announced its designers and culinary teams for its two PHS Pop Up Gardens this summer. PHS returns to 15th and South for a third year on June 1st. The garden is being designed by Karen Regan of Tallulah & Bird. Regan created last year’s garden and this year is planning aged woods, inventive planters, antiques, flea market finds and curiosities to conjure a magical retreat. Plantings will include roses, fragrant herbs, cocktail cucumbers, a canopy of pink crape myrtles, climbing vines of hops, wisteria and clematis. As a centerpiece, there will be an illuminated, towering mulberry tree.

The food and drink is being handled by the Khyber Pass Pub crew of Stephen Simons and David Frank. Simons and Frank handled the food and beverages at the South Philadelphia pop up last year. Expect craft beer, cocktails and a menu reflecting the diversity of South Philadelphia. Among the items:

  • Sweet potato summer rolls with chipotle-hoisin sauce
  • Italian charcuterie and cheese with roasted olives
  • Artichoke salad
  • Pickled mushrooms and fig toast
  • Bacon guacamole
  • Fire-toasted salsa and spicy corn chips.

On holidays and weekends, the garden will be firing up the grill for barbecues. Look for additional specials by day of the week:

  • Margarita Mondays with Mexican treats to eat
  • Brewsday Tuesdays, highlighting breweries, special releases, chef collaborations, and live music and games;
  • South Street Gulps on Wednesdays, featuring sangria, Hendricks Gin and Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails, and craft drafts.


The horticultural society is also going to be opening a Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park in early June. A lot at 10th and Hamilton will be transformed into an urban oasis. With a grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, this garden will feature installations by designers, artists and historians who will introduce the public to the rich history of the proposed Rail Park. The design is inspired by railroad cars and remnants of what had been an abandoned site.


On the culinary front, Top Chef alum Jason Cichonski, of Ela, 1100 Social and Gaslight will join up with chef Sylva Senat (formerly of Tashan) of Dos Tacos and the upcoming Maison. The pair is developing Bun Box for the garden. Expect an array of steamed buns. The menu also will include:

  • Guac: smashed avocado, lime, black truffle cream, kim chi salsa and chips
  • Buffalo Chicken Nugget Boa: crispy chicken, hot sauce, Bayley Hazen blue cheese and celery
  • Tikka Masala Curry
  • Warm Churros: with ginger-cinnamon-sugar and salted sweet sesame dulce de leche

The bar will feature six beers on taps plus canned beers, wines and cocktails including Blood Orange Margarita, Fish House Punch, Pimm’s Cup, and Summer Sangria.

Themed dinners and events, including a ‘90s Night and acoustic musical performances, are planned throughout the season.


A site-specific sound installation is being created by artist Abby Sohn, a Philadelphian now living in Wales UK. The artwork makes use of the iron structure to create a sonic experience that explores the cultural heritage and the rail site’s creative potential. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will provide historical images of the Reading line mounted in the garden gallery. There will also be an are for Stones, a new ball toss game created by the Philly Stones League. The game is said to borrow from bocce, chess and other games.

Victory Brewing Company, will brew a new PHS Beer for 2016. Look for an American wheat ale with orange blossom honey to be served at both PHS Pop Up Gardens.

Both gardens will be open throughout the summer and till the end of September.

PHS Pop Up Garden on South Street [Foobooz]
PHS Pop Up Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park