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New options for Restaurant Dining

Center City restaurant Harper’s Garden grows outdoor dining setup with private greenhouses

Outdoor dining has been a saving grace for Philly’s struggling restaurant scene, and with colder temperatures fastly approaching, business owners are getting creative.

First there were the heated plastic igloos in Northern Liberties, and now starting this weekend, enter Center City greenhouse pods.

Harper’s Garden — a cocktail bar and restaurant at 18th and Ludlow streets — has always had an outdoor beer garden set up with twinkly lights and shrubbery abounding in its veranda.

With its 10 heated, individual greenhouses, Harper’s will be able to keep their outdoor dining afloat through the wintry weather. The weather-resistant greenhouses come in two sizes: one which accommodates a table of four to seven and another that accommodates a table of six to nine.

They’ll be available on a first-come, first-served basis for no additional fee. Reservations for the greenhouse spots can be made here.

“Restaurants are fighting for their survival right now and we have worked with our teams for months to find safe, healthy and socially distanced ways to continue to offer outdoor dining experiences for our community,” said FCM Hospitality and Harper’s Garden owner Avram Hornik. Hornik added that over the summer, the hardest parts of their outdoor dining experiment were ones with unexpected rainy days or miscellaneous showers. “We couldn’t operate outdoor dining in these cases for our tables and venues that didn’t have a covering,” Hornik said. “This means a loss of revenue and a challenge in terms of any restaurant’s survival with a reliance on outdoor dining. Navigating the pandemic, as whole, while keeping the priority of our employees and guests has been challenging.”

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