February 14, 2016
As we all bundle up or barricade ourselves inside for what could be the most numbingly cold day of the year (Happy Valentine's Day!), it won't hurt us to take a peek forward at the warmer months ahead in 2016. There's good reason to do so: Philadelphia's Department of Parks and Recreation recently announced plans to partner with the Fairmount Park Conservancy on a series of temporary beer gardens at select parks throughout the city.
The Mobile Food & Beverage Program, expected to run from June through October, aims to encourage Philadelphia residents and visitors to get out and get engaged with the city's park system.
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Last year, we saw pop-up gardens appear at South Street PHS, in Point Breeze, at Independence Mall, and even in Center City. In 2016, we can expect to find them in some of Philly's most beloved parks. According to Foobooz, the Department of Parks and Recreation is considering food and beverage events at Schuylkill Banks, FDR Park, Belmont Plateau, Paine's Park, Lemon Hill Mansion, and Hawthorne Park, among several others.
At each event, vendors would stick around for up to five days and serve anywhere between 50-200 people. Even better, the refreshments won't be limited to beer. Per Michael Klein of The Insider, the mobile bars at these "consecutive pop-up residencies" will also serve wine and spirits.
Vendors interested in participating in the program must meet a few requirements:
• A minimum of three years of experience operating one or more successful food and beverage venues that are still in business
• Vendors must have a current Liquor Control Board License in good standing.
The city will hold a mandatory pre-proposal meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 18, at the One Parkway Building on 1515 Arch Street. The meeting will take place in the City Planning Commission Meeting Room on the 18th floor. All proposals must be submitted by 10 a.m. on March 31. Interested vendors can check out the Mobile Food and Beverage Garden Program's RPF and other important paperwork to get the ball rolling.
As for everyone else, blink long enough and it'll be June before you know it.