Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017, 10:15 AM
Outdoor bars have become popular in recent years, as the concept of the beer garden has taken hold.
The map below wraps up some of the better outdoor drinking venues, both permanent and pop-up. Note that this is not a guide to "outdoor dining," per se. It's a guide to bars.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's annual pop-up beer gardens are big draws. This year, the South Street location (near 15th Street) opened May 5 and is operated by Cantina Los Caballitos. New this year -- opening Memorial Day weekend -- will be a second pop-up location at UCity Square, on a vacant lot at 36th and Filbert Streets in University City. PHS is going for an open-air, European-style garden. Jet Wine Bar will operate the garden, with food by sibling restaurants Rex 1516 and Café Ynez.
The season's big newcomer, due sometime this spring, will be Tria Wine Garden, set up on a new patio outside the United Plaza (31 S. 18th St.). It will be a partnership between the popular Tria and Four Corners Management, which oversees several local bars, including the outdoor destination Morgan's Pier.
The other major undertaking is a second season for Parks on Tap, the traveling beer garden -- sponsored by the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and FCM Hospitality -- that spends a few days in various verdant locations. Here are details.
Also new this year is the Cira Green Beer Garden, a Friday night pop-up above the Cira Centre South parking garage in University City (129 S. 30th St.; take the parking garage elevator to the top floor and walk up a staircase to the rooftop). World Cafe Live runs the 21-and-over venue, which sells beer, cider, wine, and a cocktail. For free, you get spectacular views of Center City from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, through June 21.
Some warm-weather highlights:
SkyGarten (now open): The 51st-story views from Three Logan Square (1717 Arch St.) really jazz up this indoor/outdoor beer garden. New this year: a slushy machine for frozen cocktails and pagers that buzz when patrons' food orders are ready.
Morgan's Pier (now open): Chefs Michael Griffiths and Kevin D'Egidio of Helm and South Helm are at the stove this summer at this massive playground under the Ben Franklin Bridge. Menu includes puffy, pizza-like "fatbreads" by baker Alex Bois.
Conshohocken Beer Garden (now open): The beer garden at Ash Street and the Schuylkill, marking Year 2, will run Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. through June. After a break, it will return Sept. 8 and run into October. The GPS address is 2 Ash St., Conshohocken.
Evil Genius Brew Garden (now open): The Fishtown brewpub's outdoor setup springs to life.
Uptown Beer Garden (now open): The pop-up outside BNY Mellon (1735 Market St.) adds a fourth bar this season.
Spruce Street Harbor Park (now open): The hot venue along the Delaware at Penn's Landing will have 25 more reasons to chill this year -- as in, 25 new hammocks, bringing the total to 50. The park also will add eight draft lines to the beer garden -- two of which will be dedicated to a selection of rotating draft cocktails. The restaurant lineup includes Chickie’s & Pete’s, Federal Donuts, Franklin Fountain, Frozen Delights, and Garces (serving new boardwalk-style pizza).
The Deck at the Moshulu (now open): The floating restaurant at Penn's Landing, whose decks offer incredible views of the river, the city skyline, and Ben Franklin Bridge, opens its bars from 3 to 10 p.m. weekdays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for Sunday brunch, followed by 3 to 11 p.m. for dinner.
East Falls Beer Garden (through September): On the third Thursday of the month at 4100 Ridge Ave. (in the parking lot between In Riva and the Trolley Car Diner), a collection of food trucks and vendors pops up from 6 to 11 p.m.
Dilworth Park Café & Air Grille (now through fall): Outside City Hall, there's beer, wine, and cocktails after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
The Creamery (May 26): Kennett Square gets into the swing with a second season of this setup, open Thursday to Sunday with beer, wine, music, and food from trucks.
Also note that Point Breeze will not have a beer garden from John Longacre this year. His "beer itch" is being scratched by his ties to Second District Brewing Co. at McKean and Bancroft Streets.
And of course, there's Center City Sips, a Wednesday after-work discount promotion among bars and restaurants. This year, it begins June 7 and wraps Aug. 30.
Know of a bar/lounge with a great outdoor scene? Email me.
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