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May 05, 2015

University City District announces 'The Porch 2.0'

Public space to be revamped for summer season

Public Spaces Development
The Porch 2.0 University City District/for PhillyVoice

A rendering of "The Porch 2.0" coming to 30th Street Station.

University City District has released details on its upcoming makeover of The Porch at 30th Street Station. Set to be completed by late May, The Porch alluded to the overhaul of the outdoor public space, dubbed "The Porch 2.0," on social media Thursday, April 30. Now we know that the new-and-improved space will feature more seating, decorative lighting and a permanent food and drink concept from Michael Schulson. 

Schulson, the man behind Sampan, Graffiti Bar and Independence Beer Garden, is creating Rotisserie at the Porch with UCD. It will include a parked food truck with a rotisserie (naturally) serving lunch seven days a week. A "beverage trailer" will offer beer and liquor options Wednesdays-Saturdays from 4-9 p.m., too. Revenue from Rotisserie will benefit the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a program that connects West Philly employers with local residents seeking employment.

In the tradition of Schulson's own Independence Beer Garden and the very successful Spruce Street Harbor Park, the new Porch is looking to create an attractive, Instagram-friendly social space for locals and tourists to mingle. Groundswell Design Group, which created the atmosphere at those popular spaces and Morgan's Pier, is behind the redesigned landscape.

The space will combine the existing hardscaping at The Porch with vine canopies, tiered wooden platforms and planters, plus Groundswell's signature festive overhead lighting. San Francisco-based Gehl Studio is creating bright, wooden swing chairs for the space, too. 

Of course, as Billy Penn pointed out, it looks like this means The Porch's food truck rotation has essentially been eliminated. Hopefully, Rotisserie will be able to satisfy the lunch-going crowd.