See the sights and bites on the Philly River Stroll

The Philly River Stroll from FCM Hospitality opens this weekend.
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This weekend, it’s time to take a stroll down by the Delaware River Waterfront. 

FCM Hospitality and owner Avram Hornik recently announced the debut of Philly River Stroll—a three venue concept that will take Philadelphians down a spirited culinary journey. The waterfront eateries and beer garden will connect three Philly staples—Cherry Street Pier, Race Street Pier and Spruce Street Harbor Park. 

With social distancing in full effect, this new concept will provide Philadelphians a way to admire all that the water-side area of the city has to offer while still maintaining a way to social distance and ultimately stay healthy during these precarious times. The way the whole experience is set up is for guests to start the night at one location and stroll along the river to keep the night moving and interesting. 

“Philly River Stroll is a collection of completely outdoor eateries and a beer garden, all lining the Philly Riverfront,” said Hornik in a statement. “River Beer Garden, The Garden at Cherry Street Pier and The Water Garden at Spruce Street Harbor Park were all developed to offer residents of the Philadelphia area additional options to safely enjoy the beautiful summer months. There is a big demand in the city for families that are staying close to home and not traveling. Currently, the Philly River Stroll spans Columbus Boulevard to include Spruce Street Harbor Park, Cherry Street Pier and Race Street Pier. We wanted to not only bring new open-air eateries to the river, but we wanted to compliment the amazing projects and activities that are provided by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.”

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Regulations will be put into place to help ensure that everyone can not only have an enjoyable experience, but also a safe one. Masks must be worn at all times, except when at your table and reservations are also mandatory to help keep social distancing in place. Checking-in will also be part of the experience, specifically at Race Street Pier, which currently serves snacks and beverages. This will also allow the establishment to contact trace, something that is going to become the norm as the pandemic unravels. 

Each location will have its own atmosphere and feel for guests to experience as well. The River Beer Garden helps set the stage right next to the entrance of Race Street Pier which features shaded picnic tables for up to six guests, as well as cafe seating for two to four guests. The atmosphere will be surrounded by an abundance of plants and flowers and beer will be provided from the mini-beer truck by Mainstay Independent Brewing Company. 

Moving down the waterfront to Cherry Street Pier, guests can check out the mini oasis with picturesque views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The eatery itself features floor to ceiling trees, blooming flowers, lush greenery, colorful blue tables, wooden picnic benches, modern art and an urban design that really gives guests the feel of a faraway place right in the City of Brotherly Love. According to the release, seating inside The Garden offers a number of picturesque options, including more private tucked away seating with perfect views of the water and adjacent boats just feet away in the river. All seating is shaded from the natural historic structure that currently exists that blends together raw and rough elements, including concrete and stone, iron beams and historic details.

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Food-wise, Philadelphians can snack on a ton of different options including sandwiches, salads, dips, appetizers, snacks, plus pastries and bread from Lost Street Bread Co. Drink-wise, Philadelphians can also peruse through a variety of beer, wine and cocktail options too. The Garden is also doing things a bit differently to keep everyone safe. All food and drink is ordered contactless when you enter through the pod by the host station and then the kitchen and bar will text you at your table when your order is ready to pick-up at the other side of The Garden.

If you’re not interested in dining but still want to check out all of the sights and amenities that Cherry Street Pier has to offer, there is also a special section adjacent to The Garden for those wishing to stop for a socially distanced photo and also a new resident artist cohort. According to the release, after a competitive application process that included interviews and portfolio reviews, a brand-new artist cohort has taken residence at the Pier, and these artists represent the breadth and depth of Philadelphia’s creative entrepreneurship community. The class of 2020 includes established arts collectives, emerging mixed media specialists and more. 

The third and final stop on the River Stroll is right past the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest down by Spruce Street Harbor Park sustained by Univest. The Water Garden at Spruce Street Harbor Park is a brand-new floating restaurant in the former home of the Oasis Barge. This new experience will feature over 25 socially distanced seats, plenty of shade, prime time views of the floating garden plus all of the waterfront activities, on top of the elevated menu of casual eats and dishes that showcase seasonal elements. Drink-wise there will also be a variety of beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages as well. 

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According to the release, The Water Garden is ADA-compliant and features beautiful raw metal railings and authentic boardwalk details. The cantilevered net lounge, inspired by Caribbean resorts, is a place where visitors can relax while suspended four feet above the water. The floating gardens are constructed from a durable, non-toxic post-consumer plastic, and used around the country for wetland restoration. Not only are they aesthetically beautiful, but they also serve to clean the water in the marina.

The River Beer Garden will be open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. The Garden at Cherry Street Pier will be open from Monday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Lastly, The Water Garden will be open Monday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

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