12 Philly Pop-Up Beer Garden Ideas for Summer 2015
Over the last few summers, Philadelphians enjoyed a number of excellent outdoor beer gardens. But this year, it’s time to take outdoor social drinking to the next level. Here are just a few brilliant pop-up beer garden concepts that, if implemented correctly, will make 2015 Philadelphia’s best summer since Live Aid, or that time Marky Mark shot a movie here.
The PPA Pop-Up Park
Found on the south side of Spruce Street between 15th and 16th (except during snow emergencies), this pop-up offers $36 Lagers that you can order if you can figure out how to work the kiosk. Kick back on the curb and have a few. But remember, last call is exactly an hour and 59 minutes after you arrived. No exceptions.
Chip Kelly’s Off-Season Extravaganza!
Located in FDR Park, Chip’s fast-paced pop-up garden will have a constantly rotating beer list that will be served by a constantly rotating staff. Literally every time you turn around, there will be new bartenders and servers. You will have absolutely NO IDEA what is happening.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Some of Oregon’s finest microbrews.
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT: Howie Roseman, LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles, Trent Cole, DeSean Jackson, Todd Herremans, Cary Williams.
South Philly Harbor Park
This isn’t technically a harbor, per se, unless you open up the fire hydrant here at 12th and Shunk. But don’t worry. There’s something for the whole family — water ice, tomato pie, year-round Christmas lights, statues of Lions. PLUS! We’ve rounded up all of the folding chairs used to hold parking spots in the winter, so literally everyone will have a seat.
Tim Tebow Commons
No beer, no seats. Kneeling recommended.
*Location TBD: Possibly in Fairmount. Possibly in Buffalo, San Diego or Cleveland.
If you’re in your early 20s, and are coming into town from Manayunk, Cherry Hill or anywhere in DelCo, this is your spot. Conveniently located in the parking lot behind the Philadelphia Police Department’s 9th District Headquarters, this park has both bottles and cans of Miller Lite! It also offers cornhole tournaments, and a cover band that rocks “Don’t Stop Believin’” nonstop. Totally for your safety, the park is also surrounded by 20-foot soundproof walls topped with barbed wire. So scream, fight and puke to your heart’s content. School buses back to the ’burbs leave on the half hour.
LOVE Park Pop-Up Jawn
Seriously, what could go wrong when you mix microbrews and skateboards?
Divine Lorraine Gardens
Sip a finely-aged Cabernet out of a bottle wrapped in a paper bag while you argue about whether or not they’ll actually turn these 10 stories of kindling into condos, a hotel, or (fingers crossed) the world’s largest Wawa. There’s horseshoes and hammocks inside — if you can shimmy in one of the windows. Check out the craft beer list, graffitied onto the east side entrance. For a really fun afternoon, sunblock and tetanus shots are recommended.
Schuylkill Riverbank Beer Garden
Overheard at the beer garden’s opening day:
BEER GARDEN CUSTOMER: Hey, what’s that thing that’s floating out there?
POLICE OFFICER: ALL RIGHT, NOTHING TO SEE HERE. EVERYONE BACK TO CHIP KELLY PARK.
676 Overpass Park!
Grab a beer, grab a jackhammer! The city is spending the next four years to replace seven bridges over the Vine Street Expressway. It’s going to be a disaster. But if we all pitch in, we can get this jawn done by the time the pope shows up this fall. Sure, it’s hard work and really unsafe to be using heavy machinery while slugging back IPAs. But I think we’re all willing to take that chance if it means avoiding traffic snarls through the next half decade. No experience necessary! Oh, and since you’re not union workers, the giant inflatable rat will be there — bring the kids!
Wawa’s Hoagiefest Pop-Up Spot
Forget the new Wawa at Broad and Walnut. This is going to blow your mind. Picture this: an outdoor Wawa the size of a vacant lot. Wood chips on the ground, tiki torches, and a check-out counter in the middle of the space. Order your drinks and sammiches on the touch screens made from coconut shells. The rest of this shaded spot is filled with hammocks, picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and aisles and aisles of Tastycakes.
I believe I have just described Heaven.
Phillies Tailgate Garden
Situated in a parking lot off of Cottman Avenue, this beer garden gives you an authentic tailgating experience: asphalt, SUVs with stereos blasting Pearl Jam, frisbees, grills, and red solo cups of something. The mood is light and festive, until — as per regulations of the garden — you have to sit through watching at least a couple of innings of the game on the big screen around back. Because it’s your duty.
The Spring Garden Summer Garden
Look, it’s not so much a “garden” as it is a “vacant lot.” But there’s beers, music, grills, a view of the Elverson Building clock tower that you can convince tourists is City Hall, and much more.
RECOMMENDED: Visit early in the season, before everything on Spring Garden becomes too expensive for all of us.
Chip Chantry is a Philadelphia comedian and writer. Follow @ChipChantry on Twitter.