Spring is in full bloom and with the summer season starting to appear on the horizon, plenty of outdoor activity is popping up around the city. One outside staple, Morgan’s Pier, is gearing up for the opening of its Delaware River Waterfront venue and for their 10th season, there is a lot in store.
Philly’s largest open-air restaurant will officially kick off its 2021 season on Thursday, April 22 at 4 p.m. In all, the waterfront destination will open up with 250 seats and a new chef at the helm of the kitchen. Chef Val Waldemar (with past credits from a.Kitchen, Le Bec Fin, opus 251, Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, Kensington Quarters, Lloyd Whiskey Bar, Silk City and Brasserie Perrier) will be debuting a brand new menu for the eatery along the return of a few fan favorites from years past. Menu highlights include an expanded selection of seafood, snacks, small plates, flatbreads sandwiches, sweets and kids’ options, along with some new dishes that include fried scallops, salmon crudo, chicken empanadas, a lobster roll, grilled chicken and pulled pork (from the Craft Hall’s new BBQ menu). While at Morgan’s Pier, diners can also find flatbreads made with the dough from Lost Bread Co. (options include Margherita, spinach and chorizo) and the new additions of a tenth-anniversary cocktail, brand-new boozy popsicles in six flavors and the addition of beer selections from the new Two Locals Brewing.
Similar to the food menu, the drinks from Morgan’s Pier will include some new options paired with some of their signature libations, including the Watermelon Rickey (a 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat Ale poured over watermelon puree). Frozen favorites will rotate throughout the season, but frozen margaritas and non-alcoholic lemonade will be consistently offered. Cocktails will be available for on-site consumption, as well as for legal cocktails to go with the special tenth-season cocktail (featuring Jalisco Bloom with Patron Silver, hibiscus syrup, lime juice and topped with soda) included in that line-up. For beer lovers, anticipate a variety of local and Pennsylvania-based beers, including Mainstay Independent’s “Pier Bier” created with Morgan’s Pier specifically in mind.
Specific cocktails released for the new season include their Rose’ Sangria (made with Rose’ wine, blackberry brandy, triple sec, OJ, Sprite and fresh fruit,) the Stateside Splash (made with Stateside Vodka, seltzer and watermelon puree,) the Blackberry Smash (made with Jim Beam Eight Star Whiskey, blackberry and strawberry syrup and lemon juice) and more. The Claffey’s Frozen Alcoholic Popsicles mentioned before also come in Apple, Cherry, Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Mango and Grape.
According to the release, for entertainment, while you enjoy drinks and food from your tables, diners can listen for beats from local and national DJ’s every Friday and Saturday. As safety permits, the Morgan’s team is eagerly anticipating being able to offer live acoustic music entertainment and bands, such as The Business and Ear Me Now, the Philly-based reggae band, on a regular basis. Dana Canalichio, Director of Operations of FCM, is most looking forward to one local favorite, The Soul Cruisers.
Canalichio explains, “with limited capacity and social distancing, it is hard to safely plan for entertainment. While we can not wait for all of our local favorites to be able to perform, we couldn’t plan our 10th season without incorporating the Soul Cruisers.” Currently, Soul Cruisers are set to take the stage on Wednesday, May 26, to kick off Memorial Day weekend and there are reportedly various other dates in the works.
Morgan’s Pier is also brining back a special partnership. The hotspot is teaming back up with the PSPCA and Tito’s Vodka to offer a monthly “yappy hour” from 4 to 6 p.m., where guests can sip for a cause with a portion of signature cocktails during that time being donated to PSPCA. During this specific hours, Morgan’s Pier will be dog-friendly from noon to 8 p.m.
Opening weekend for Morgan’s Pier will run from Thursday, April 22 at 4 p.m. to Sunday, April 25 at 11 p.m. Season starting hours and days of operation are Monday to Sunday, from noon to last seating at 9:30 p.m. Hours will expand as the city expands regulations. For more information, visit morganspier.com