February 10, 2022
Blackbird Pizzeria will be shutting its doors for good after more than a decade as one of Philadelphia's most popular vegan restaurants.
The shop's Northern Liberties location will close Feb. 20, Chef Mark Mebus announced on the restaurant's Instagram account. Mebus wrote that the current unpredictably facing the restaurant industry makes Blackbird Pizzeria unable to renew its lease when it expires at the end of the month.
"It has been such a pleasure being able to add to the vegan food scene in Philadelphia and play whatever role we did in pushing veganism forward," Mebus wrote. "Huge thank you especially to everyone who worked with me in the early days at 6th Street. Getting Blackbird going meant more to me than anyone can ever know. Thanks so much Philadelphia!"
Many fans took to Instagram to share their disappointment about the news of the closing. Among those who commented on Blackbird's post was New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
"This is truly heartbreaking," Booker wrote. "I love your restaurant and have such good memories of my visits."
A new vegan restaurant will move into the space at 614 N. 2nd St. in Northern Liberties, Mebus wrote. Details on the restaurant's name, menu and arrival were not disclosed.
Blackbird Pizzeria, like other restaurants, was forced to close indoor dining for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent surge in coronavirus infections caused by the omicron variant, the shop pivoted to takeout only and delivery service for an undetermined amount of time.
Customers have until next Sunday to pick up one last vegan cheesesteak, sandwich or order of wings from Blackbird Pizzeria. Unfortunately, the shop's vegan pizza is unavailable on its limited menu.
Blackbird Pizzeria's sister restaurant, 20th Street Pizza, will remain open and continue serving vegan pizza slices at 108 S. 20th St. in Rittenhouse Square. Blackbird Foods frozen pizzas will still be available for purchase through retail food stores like River Wards Produce in Fishtown.
Blackbird became Philly's first all-vegan pizzeria when it opened its original location at 507 S. 6th. St. in Society Hill in 2010. The shop became popular for its meatless pizza and sandwiches over the last decade.