Northern Liberties Is Closing Its Streets for Outdoor Dining

A half-mile of North 2nd Street will be blocked off for outdoor dining as part of the city’s street closure pilot program.

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On Saturday, July 11th, from noon until 8 p.m., a half-mile of Northern Liberties’ North 2nd Street will be closed to traffic to allow neighborhood restaurants to expand outdoor seating options as they recover from coronavirus-induced shutdowns. The streets will be closed from the intersection at Germantown Avenue to the intersection at Spring Garden Street. 

Branded as “Easy StrEats” by the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District, the new outdoor dining initiative is part of the city’s street closure pilot program, which planned (and since postponed) the closure of five blocks of East Passyunk for outdoor dining as part of the city’s economic recovery efforts. Easy StrEats isn’t a food festival, but rather an opportunity for diners to come together in celebration of Philadelphia’s surviving restaurants while social distancing, so don’t expect any games, entertainment or large crowds.

The event aims to maximize restaurants’ socially-distanced, outdoor dining capacities. Over two dozen restaurants will be open, requiring guests to make reservations ahead of time. Participating restaurants include Bourbon & Branch, Catina Dos Segundos, Dolce Caffee, Green Eggs Cafe, Rustica Pizza, Soy Cafe, Standard Tap,  and Urban Village Brewing company, as well as preview of Añejo, a sleek Mexican bar and restaurant out of New York City that’s slated to open its first Philadelphia location later this month.

Modeled after Philly Free Streets, a City of Philadelphia-backed program that shuts down 8 miles of road between North Philly and Center City each year, Easy StrEats has left several blocks restaurant-free for bikers, runners, and rollerbladers to roam. 

Still, amid all these offerings is a call for safety. While we’ve seen patrons and restaurants shrug off statewide mask-wearing requirements, the business district maintains that all guests must wear a mask to be seated. They also request that people uphold social distancing measures, wash their hands frequently, and take advantage of hand sanitizer and other personal hygiene products offered at restaurants.