Over the last five summers, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has taken over underused properties in neighborhoods around town, greened them, and created pop-up beer gardens. Last year, pop-ups operated on South Street West and at the base of the finally under construction Rail Park. Previous incarnations have appeared on South Broad Street, on Walnut Street near Rittenhouse, and at the bottom of the Italian Market. This summer, PHS is looking to partner with NKCDC to open a pop-up beer garden at 1825 Frankford Ave., a 10K sqft lot that's used as a garden center by the community organization. Sounds fun, right?
A thread on a Fishtown Facebook group gives us an indication, unfortunately, that the plan could encounter some pushback. Several near neighbors have posted that they are not excited about the proposition, citing worries about noise, trash, traffic, etc. To a certain extent, these folks have a point. We don't know that we'd be loving life if we lived immediately next door to a pop-up beer garden. On the other hand, if a beer garden doesn't work on Frankford Avenue, where does it work? We don't live in the area so our opinion doesn't count for much, but we hope to see the pop-up happen here. This is a great opportunity for NKCDC to better utilize a prominent lot on a commercial corridor while at the same time raising money for PHS and the community.
The pop-up will require two special exceptions from the ZBA, which is why the property was posted with zoning notices the other day. A letter has gone out, notifying near neighbors of an upcoming community meeting on April 4th at 7pm at Frankford Rec Center. If you'd like to learn more information about the plan for the pop-up and register your vote (of support), we encourage you to attend. The ZBA hearing is the next day, on April 5th.