East Passyunk Will Shut Down Five Blocks for Outdoor Dining

The city's first temporary street closure pilot program will take place over five blocks of the East Passyunk business district.

Photo courtesy of East Passyunk Business Improvement District

Update 7/7/20: In an internal email obtained by Philly Mag, East Passyunk Avenue’s Business Improvement District executive director Adam Leiter has announced that, due to “a number of outside circumstances,” Open on the Ave will be postponed until further notice. 

On Friday, July 10th at 5 p.m. to Sunday, July 12th at 5 p.m., five blocks of East Passyunk will be closed to traffic to allow expanded space for outdoor dining and retail sales. The street will be closed from the intersection at Broad Street to the intersection of Dickinson.

This announcement went out yesterday, the same day Governor Wolf announced mandatory mask wearing in all public spaces in the state, partially in response to the 636 new cases of coronavirus reported state wide, the largest number of new cases reported since early June.

The event is primarily aimed at giving restaurants more space to set out socially-distant, outdoor tables. More than 20 restaurants will be open, hosting guests with a mix of reservation-based tables, and some availability for walk-ups. The list of participating restaurants includes Barcelona Wine Bar, Big Catch Poke, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Black & Brew, Cantina Los Caballitos, Essen, Flannel, Fond, ITV Philly, Isabella Pizza, Laurel, Le Virtù, Manatawny Still Works, Marra’s, Noir Philadelphia, NOORD eetcafe, Palace of Indian, Perla, Philly Bagels, Pistolas Del Sur, Pub on East Passyunk (POPE), P’unk Burger, River Twice, Stateside, Stogie Joe’s Tavern, Teas n’ Mi, and the Bottle Shop.

Open on the Ave, as the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District is calling the weekend, is the city’s first large-scale closure of streets in response to coronavirus, although it has been theoretically available since street closures were included as a possible options in the city’s guidelines for outdoor dining, which was released more than three weeks ago.

We’ve repeatedly seen that mask-wearing is difficult to enforce, but the business district says they will do so. They also request that people respect social distancing guidelines, make reservations, and wash their hands often. If the East Passyunk weekend goes well, it’s possible we’ll see more street shutdowns of this type.