When Leda and the Swan first opened in Center City in February of 2020, the concept from Glu Hospitality promised to be a mecca for the “culturally curious,” and that was true for some time—then the pandemic happened.
During the shutdowns and quarantine, Leda and the Swan still crafted up cocktails and some were even offered in other venues, but now, Philadelphians will be able to sip on the custom creations in an all-new setting.
Recently, Leda and the Swan debuted a brand-new open-air, outdoor experience in the old home of Darling’s Diner and Wahlburgers. Leda and The Swan Popup Cocktail Garden is open now through Labor Day and will feature the colorful calling card of Leda and The Swan—the drinks, specifically the cocktail program that showcases fresh ingredients and classic spirits. However, there will be more than ever before at the new venue, the bar program will also feature an Italian focused wine list with 22 selections by the glass and bottle, plus eight beers on draft, a menu of Old Fashioned drinks, and other beers, seltzers and ciders by the can and bottle. Guests will also find seating for 60 people, a giant covered outdoor bar, beer garden lighting, live music, lush greenery and floral designs to end the summertime on a high, seasonal note. For food, Glu will additionally be providing a small menu of bar bites to pair with cocktails during this popup experience.
Partners Derek Gibbons and Tim Lu created Leda and the Swan to be a place full of intrigue that went past just the menu.
“Inspiration for the name hails from a Greek myth where Zeus transformed into a swan and he seduces Leda. Together, they have a child, Helena of Troy, who was, according to mythology, one of the most beautiful women in the world. Gibbons said in a statement. “Leda and The Swan is inspired by a Greek myth which embodies values of art, myth and love. We want people to be intrigued by the name and the concept, and to be culturally curious. We want to create a social experience where patrons engage, interact and start a discussion. The unique name, cocktails and space are all first steps in that vision.”
Cocktails at the pop-up garden include the Salvation of Humanity (vodka, fresh strawberry, ginger beer, lime and Belgian wit), Shiro (mezcal, ginger and togarashi), Trobairitz (Grey Goose, yuzu bergamot tincture, sparkling brut, peppercorn syrup and sea salt), Return to Olympus (rye whiskey, rose syrup, lemon and a cabernet float), gfLilith (Blanco tequila, beet shrub, lemon, Spanish vermouth and cracked black pepper) and much more.
Live music will be offered every Friday and Saturday evening at the summer pop-up. The release also states that music and DJ programming will focus on RnB, funk, soul, disco, house, indie, jazzy hip hop and world music. Gibbons continued, “We want guests to come enjoy our space and feel comfortable. We want to appeal to many musical tastes.”
The food menu to start will feature a tight selection of lite bites, apps and charcuterie boards. Hours will be Thursday to Sundays, from 5 to 10 p.m., with live music Fridays and Saturday, from 6 to 10 p.m. Back in Center City, Leda and The Swan’s original location is now also fully reopened at 1224 Chestnut Street, in Midtown Village. That location returns with its signature cocktails, a new happy hour service, a new brunch service, live music and nightlife.
The new pop-up garden is not the only new concept coming out of Glu.
According to the release, Glu Hospitality and partners Derek Gibbons and Tim Lu are a driving force behind ten concepts in and around N. 2nd Street and the Northern Liberties Restaurant Row, including the brand-new Bagels and Co., plus Germantown Garden, Germantown Garden Grill, The Igloos at Germantown Garden, Vesper Dayclub, Hunnies Crispy Chicken, Tiny’s Burger Joint, Anejo Philadelphia, SET No Libs and the soon-to-open Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizzeria.
The duo also are partners in Glu’s Center City concepts that include the original Leda and The Swan and Vesper Center City. They will also expand to Fishtown this summer and fall. Glu is actively working on opening future locations for Bagels and Co., and will launch a brand-new dining experience at Vesper Center City.
For more information on Leda and the Swan, visit lnsphilly.com