It seems like a wand was waved and the whole city transformed into a mecca of holiday cheer overnight. From Christmas Village and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market posting up in Center City, to neighborhoods now being decked out in a slew of colorful lights, the spirit of the season is everywhere. However, U-Ville at Uptown Beer Garden might just be among the most surprising additions to the line-up this year.
The newly located and updated venue from Craft Concepts has undergone another transformation, and it looks like it’s straight out of the North Pole.
When the popular beer garden first set it’s sights on the new location at the Penn Center it came with a refreshed menu, drink list, and atmosphere. Typically, that area is filled with offices and traffic, but with the recent changes and now U-Ville, that section of the city has undergone some vibrant changes. Uptown/U-Ville is under the Craft Concepts family with owner Teddy Sourias behind many other popular venues and “Instagramable” locations (something the brand is known for) such as Bru, Fin Mccool’s Trademan’s, Tinsel and the newly reopened/refreshed Blume Burger just to name a few.
Before, Uptown felt a bit congested (especially on those summer Wednesday nights), but now the new location can house approximately 350 people, with some private space available. Eventually, the space is going to be able to house much more, up in the hundreds, for private events.
It’s lush — which is an odd description when referencing a venue in Center City — but with the fountains, added greenery and the layout, there are some real oasis vibes going on here (there’s even a koi pond to add to the atmosphere), even without a park layout or more natural elements to add to the space. It also offers a perfect canvas for holiday decorations to be added as well. Foodies and beer lovers will enjoy the elaborate layout with seven different seating and event situations, featuring two open-air bars, traditional table seating, high tops, swings, benches, private cabanas, rustic designs, slab top tables and a water fountain and koi pond made from recycled beer taps.
The menu has also undergone a bit of a transformation with both food and drinks for the reopening, including an exclusive line-up of taps and an Uptown food truck, serving up a variety of bites ranging from some Philly classics such as cheesesteaks, pretzels and wings to a little bit fancier fare such as butterscotch cake, crab gravy poutine, Japanese eggplant, roast pork, a whole grain bowl and cannoli dip. On the cocktail side, Philadelphians can expect to find an assortment that ranges in liquors and added flavors — but they all have a twist on summertime classics. Some even come in the frozen form, popsicles, or in pouches, which are as fun to drink out of as they sound.
As a release states, inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic, Uptown Beer Garden’s brand new space this year will be converted from top to bottom into a giant outdoor-indoor pop-up bar just in time for the holidays. The two million visitors coming for Christmas Village and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market will be able to warm up under the giant tent, take in the thousands of sparkling lights, enjoy the festive tree decorations, warm up by the fire-pits and enjoy a trip down U-Ville lane. There’s even fake snow. Plus, there will be plenty of holiday fare in both the food and drinks section to indulge in — so you could say it’s a no-brainer.
For more information about Uptown and U-Ville, follow @uptownbeergarden on social media or call 215-397-3308. Services to start include outdoor seating, dine-in, take-out and bar service. Reservations are not required and Uptown Beer Garden is walk-up only.