The University City District will switch things up in coming weeks at the Porch at 30th Street Station, the popular weekday lunchtime destination outside the transit hub.
Part of Porch 2.0 is aesthetic: It will be landscaped and lit, with operation every day for lunch and four evenings a week.
The procession of food trucks that worked the crowds over the last three years were ousted last week, a point that led to grumbling among their ranks in this feature today on the Billy Penn site.
The new plan calls for one permanent food outlet, Rotisserie at the Porch, run by Michael Schulson (Sampan, Graffiti Bar, Independence Beer Garden, Izakaya, and the coming-soon Double Knot).
Similar to Independence Beer Garden, the Rotisserie will be a parked food truck serving lunch every day plus a beverage trailer offering beer and liquor Wednesday to Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m.
Groundswell Design Group (which gussied up Spruce Street Harbor Park, Morgan's Pier, and Independence Beer Garden) will install a series of tiered wooden platforms intermingled with planters and vine canopies that offer various spaces for people to eat and chat. Also planned are overhead "festoon" lighting fixtures and brightly painted wooden "porch swings" designed by Gehl Studio.
The UCD said revenue from the Rotisserie will benefit University City District's West Philadelphia Skills Initiative program, which connects West Philadelphia employers and prospective employees.
Matt Bergheiser, the UCD's executive director, called the Porch a "creative experiment from the start. We set out to create a great public space. This is the next stage in that experiment. We will have a more permanent attachment to food."
Bergheiser declined to specify the financial terms of Schulson's relationship to the Porch.
Food trucks had paid a flat fee to vend. Schulson will share a percentage of proceeds with the UCD, which maintains for Porch, and by extension the skills program.