Your guide to eating outdoors in the River Wards

The list is by no means exhaustive or fully comprehensive, but we called around as many establishments as we could to get the deets for your outdoor eats.

Jerry’s Bar in Northern Liberties is one of a variety of River Wards restaurants that has outdoor seating now. | Photo by Tom Beck.

At last! As Philadelphia gradually slides into the yellow phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the city, as of Friday, has officially allowed restaurants to reopen outdoor seating as long as they possess the necessary permit. Even though residents won’t be able to eat inside at their favorite bars and restaurants any time soon, they’ll now have the opportunity to regain some semblance of pre-pandemic summertime normalcy as they dine on the sidewalks and outdoor plots of their favorite eating and drinking establishments. Since you’ve been cooped up in your house for so long, you may have forgotten all of the scrumptious options you have for dining out (literally) in the River Wards. Lucky for you, the Star did you the favor of compiling a list of some of your choices. The list is by no means exhaustive or fully comprehensive, but we called around as many establishments as we could to get the deets for your outdoor eats. The following bars and restaurants will have outdoor seating:

Northern Liberties:

  • Jerry’s Bar: Reservation required, which can be made by clicking on the “reservations” tab at jerrysbarphilly.com. The restaurant kindly asks that tables stay for only an hour and a half.
  • Yards Brewery: No reservations or time limits required.
  • Druid’s Keep: Will have outdoor seating starting on Friday, June 19. No reservations or time limits required. “Finally the government decided to give us some money,” said owner Al Klooda when he answered the phone. “We’re using the time until then to get our floors redone.”
  • Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge: Those familiar with Silk City will know that the diner has a small outdoor area to the side of the building called ‘the garden,” however the garden will still be closed despite the reopening of outdoor seating. “We’re using that section to facilitate our to-go orders and cocktails,” said bartender Eric Guth. Guth said that there are picnic tables in front of the building where guests can stay and eat/drink their takeout orders on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Bourbon & Branch: No reservations or time limits required.

Fishtown: 

  • Barcade: Reservations and walk-ups will both be accepted. No time limit for tables. 
  • Cedar Point Bar and Kitchen: Only walk-ins will be accepted (no reservations) to eat on Cedar Point’s outdoor deck. The last seating will be at 8 p.m. The establishment kindly asks that people limit their time at the table to an hour. One other change is that they won’t be permitting dogs on the deck like usual.
  • Frankford Hall: No reservations or time limits required. People can seat themselves on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each table seats eight people. 
  • Sancho Pistola’s: No reservations or time limits required.
  • Johnny Brenda’s: No outdoor serving, but guests who order takeout are welcome to use the outdoor seating along the Girard Avenue side of the building. 
  • Suraya: Suraya’s outdoor seating will be amenable by reservation only, and the reservations will be available to book seven days in advance via a link on the restaurant’s website, surayaphilly.com. Reservations for 1-2 guests are allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes to dine, 3-4 guests are allotted 2 hours to dine, 5-6 guests are allotted 2 hours and 30 minutes to dine and 7-10 guests are allotted 3 hours to dine.
  • Kraftwork: As of right now, Kraftwork isn’t doing any reservations or time limits, but that could change. When the Star called the restaurant on Thursday, general manager Brian Dunn said he’d use the weekend to test things out. “It’s basically going to be just takeout, but people can sit down [at the tables and chairs outside] and I’ll ask them if they want more beer or something,” he said. “But it’s not going to be full-on service.” He said there isn’t enough money at the moment to hire an outdoor server.
  • Lloyd Whiskey Bar: Lloyd is essentially doing the same as Kraftwork – it’s offering takeout, but people will be able to use the chairs and tables on the front sidewalk. “We’re basically going to continue to offer takeout,” said bar owner Scott Coudriet, “but allow people to stay and hang out and order more drinks.”

Port Richmond: 

  • Mercer Cafe: Mercer’s owner, Tom Woltjen, bought tables and chairs for outdoor use on the Thursday before outdoor seating was allowed to open back up. The rules are first come, first serve, with no reservations necessary. Woltjen said the cafe will serve food like takeout, and guests will be welcome to use the outside tables and chairs. “In the beginning I can’t afford to pay anybody” to serve guests outdoors, said Woltjen. “If it takes off, then I’ll have to have [somebody] attending the outside and the inside.”
  • Hinge Cafe: Hinge currently doesn’t have an outdoor permit, but is “working on it.”

Bridesburg:

  • Krick Wuder Saloon and Restaurant: No reservations or time limits required.

Kensington: 

  • Martha: Martha started its outdoor seating on Monday. The tables will be available via a waitlist on the restaurant’s website, marthakensington.com
  • Memphis Taproom: Will have outdoor seating. No reservations will be accepted – first-come, first-serve basis only. The establishment’s owner, Ken Correll, said there will be distance markers for people waiting for tables. As for time limits, “We’ll ask that people be respectful rather than institute an actual rule,” Correll said. “We prefer to handle things that way.”
  • Franny Lou’s Porch: Franny Lou’s will have outdoor seating starting on Sunday, June 21. The details as far as reservations or time limits have yet to be worked out. 
  • Green Eggs Cafe: The cafe doesn’t yet have a permit for seating on the sidewalk, but its rooftop deck will be open. There won’t be any rules as far as reservations or time limits go, but that could change.
  • Philadelphia Brewing Company: PBC will have its beer garden open. There won’t be any rules regarding reservations or time limits.