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June 27, 2024

Picnic, a new East Kensington restaurant, offers a wine shop, oyster bar and rotisserie chicken

The latest establishment from the group behind Suraya and Kalaya is located in a brewery that dates back to the 19th century.

Food & Drink Restaurants
Picnic Restaurant Kensington Mike Prince/Peter Breslow Consulting & Public Relations

Defined Hospitality, the group behind Kalaya and Suraya, is opening a new restaurant, Picnic, at 2421 Martha St. in East Kensington. The eatery boasts a wine shop, oyster bar and wood-fired rotisserie.

A new restaurant in East Kensington wants its guests to feel like they're on a picnic – just indoors, where they can escape the summer heat while still dining casually with their friends. 

Picnic opens Wednesday, July 3, in a 19th century building that boasts a wood-fired rotisserie, an oyster bar and a wine shop that sells bottles made by sustainable producers. It's the seventh restaurant from Defined Hospitality, which runs acclaimed Philadelphia restaurants like Kalaya, Suraya and Pizzeria Beddia.

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Upon entering, guests find themselves in a wine shop framed by an "exposed kitchen" that houses the rotisserie and oyster bar. The main dining area sits 225 people and has a 40-foot-high ceiling, skylights, greenery and a mezzanine overlooking it. There also are private dining rooms, a large walk-up bar and a stage for live entertainment.

"The idea is that you're stopping at the wine shop on the way to a picnic. The wine shop is meant to act like a live wine list," Al Lucas, a partner at Defined Hospitality, said in a news release. "Service will be low-touch, but the team will be ready with high levels of knowledge about the food and wine. A relaxing vibe is the pursuit."

picnic wineMike Prince/Peter Breslow Consulting & Public Relations

Picnic, a new bar and restaurant in East Kensington, sells and serves a wide variety of wines from its wine shop.

The wood-fired rotisserie, which Picnic's owners call the "equipment star of the kitchen," is used to roast whole chickens. It eventually will be used for lamb, pork and vegetables. Picnic has a partnership with Fishtown Seafood for its oysters. The beverage menu includes frozen drinks, cocktails, mocktails, beer and wine.

Picnic's building at 2421 Martha St. dates back to 1890, when it opened as the Weisbrod & Hess Brewery, the restaurant's owners said. After their idea for Picnic formed in the spring of 2022, the building was restored and stabilized for a year so it could be preserved ahead of the restaurant's construction.

Picnic will be open daily beginning Wednesday. Parties of eight or more can book reservations through Resy, but Picnic otherwise only seats guests on a walk-in basis.

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