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December 16, 2020

Bridget Foy's rebuilds after fire, switches to outdoor cafe during indoor dining ban

Temporarily operating as East Philly Cafe pop-up, the restaurant offers dining on South Street through the winter

Food & Drink Restaurants
East Philly Cafe pop up Courtesy of/Society Hill Films

East Philly Cafe will operate outside Bridget Foy's until indoor dining is no longer prohibited by COVID-19 restrictions and the South Street restaurant can fully reopen. Bridget Foy's has been rebuilt after a fire three years ago.

Bridget Foy's on South Street plans to soon reopen after the devastating fire in 2017 destroyed the restaurant.

The newly revamped space was set to open its doors this week, but with indoor dining currently banned in Philadelphia due to COVID-19, the restaurant has decided to push back the date until possibly February or March.

Instead, there will be a pop-up at the building called the East Philly Cafe, which pays homage to the restaurant's original name.

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When owner John Foy took over the space at the corner of Second and South streets in 1978, he called the restaurant East Philly Cafe. Later, he and his wife re-named it Bridget Foy's after their daughter.

The pop-up will operate as an outdoor restaurant until Bridget Foy's fully opens.

East Philly Cafe pop upCourtesy of/Society Hill Films

On the menu are things like a burger, mac 'n' cheese, chili and other hearty dishes for wintertime dining.

On the menu are dishes by chefs David Gilberg and Carla Goncalves of Cry Baby Pastaowned by Bridget Foy and husband Paul Rodriguez. The emphasis is on warm comfort food and items that work well as takeout. Drinks include classic and holiday cocktails, wine and beer.

"While pushing back is another blow, we wanted to open a pop-up to ensure we had jobs for our staff over at Cry Baby Pasta. With indoor dining closing, Cry Baby Pasta will still operate takeout, delivery and outdoor dining, but we would still lose a number of jobs and our dining capacity would be greatly diminished especially heading into the cold weather," Foy explained.

The pop-up offers outdoor dining under the permanent roof of the patio with heating, and is currently decorated for Christmas.

Reservations can be made by calling (215) 922-1813. Starting Friday, they can be made online through Resy. The East Philly Cafe website also will launch on Friday. Until then, online orders for pickup can be placed using this link. Delivery through DoorDash will begin Thursday.

"East Philly Cafe pop-up is our way of adapting, pivoting, getting excited for better days ahead, and most importantly keeping our employees working through the holidays and harsh winter months," said Foy.

The pop-up will be open 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. On its opening weekend, East Philly Cafe will host a special event. It will open at noon on Sunday for the Sisterly Love Food Fair taking place until 2 p.m. The traveling holiday food market features pre-packaged goods from female owned and operated locations across the city, encouraging people to shop local and support women in the restaurant industry.

The Sisterly Love Citywide Food Fair also will be at Jet Wine Bar and REX 1516 on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.

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