A Socially Distanced Parks on Tap Is Here for Summer 2020

Philly’s favorite mobile beer garden has a plan in place to serve you socially safe brews this summer.

Parks on Tap 2019 at Schuykill Banks | Photo by Albert Yee

Starting this weekend, Parks on Tap is back for the summer in a new form. Instead of moving around each weekend as it has in past years, FCM Hospitality will be running a season-long outdoor restaurant outside the Fairmount Park Horticultural Center at 100 North Horticultural Drive. Opening day will be Friday, June 12th.

FCM Hospitality’s Avram Hornik said the pre-pandemic plan was to go forward with Parks on Tap in the form it has taken in previous years, as a traveling event in locations across the city. In the context of COVID-19, though, the Horticultural Center offers enough space to control lines and crowd flow.

According to state outdoor dining guidelines, the space, which is over 70,000 square feet, could hold over a thousand people, but it will open with seating for just 200. Whenever lines stretch to more than eight or ten people, Hornik says, people will be able to put their names on a digital waiting list and explore the rest of the park while they wait for a text message alerting them to their ability to enter.

In addition to draft and canned beer from local breweries like Evil Genius and Mainstay Brewing, there will be a full menu of food available, with snacks like soft pretzels and hummus served alongside hot dogs, salads, and hoagies. Bread and pastries will be provided through FCM Hospitality’s partnership with Lost Bread Co.

Safety precautions include six-foot markers to help guests maintain social distance, sanitizer sprays and wipes to allow guests to wipe down chairs, and the implementation of a free membership program required for entry to aid with contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. Guests will be asked to wear masks whenever they are not seated.

All staff will be masked. Beer will be served from open-air tents, and food will be served out of a trailer with windows on three sides, as well as a roof that can open, providing plenty of ventilation to protect cooks. Hornik explained that all food is prepped off-site at a spacious commissary kitchen, and will be prepared by just two cooks. All employees will have access to paid sick leave and are being provided access to free telemedicine. Each shift, all employees will receive a $15 ride share credit, so that they are able to avoid public transportation.