Chef Kevin Watters

Pop-Ups: Philly Bars and Restaurants Shift Gears During Pandemic

February 4, 2021 — Across the world and right here in Philly, complications from COVID-19 have undoubtedly re-shaped the culinary, tourism and hospitality industries – But that hasn’t stopped kick-ass Philadelphia bars and restaurants from pivoting business operations to produce a variety of fun, diverse, and charitably-minded pop-ups. Check out the details below to learn more about how teams of culinary pros have showcased creativity and know-how in navigating these uncertain times.  

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Chef Lee Styer’s The Dutch, the popular breakfast and lunch eatery with a focus on reinventing the Pennsylvania Dutch classics, is delving into the world of southern fare in honor of Black History Month with Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up benefiting a local charity led by Philadelphia-based Chef Kevin Watters every Friday in February starting February 5, 2021.    

West Philadelphia native Kevin Watters has been the Executive Chef at The Dutch since April 2016, cranking out Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch classics to locals and tourists at the bustling South Philadelphia café. For the month of February, Watters has crafted a soul food pop up as a nod to Black History Month, and has named the event “Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up” in remembrance of his grandmother Lillian Lewis, who was 81 when she recently passed, and was known in her community as “everybody’s Mom-Mom ”.     

The takeaway meal consists of a platter with two sides, cornbread, and one meat, all for $35 per person. The southern offerings include the following:    

  • Meat: (choose 1)   

o       Buttermilk Fried Chicken    

o       Braised Short Ribs with gravy    

  • Sides: (choose 2)   

o      Three Cheese Mac n Cheese    

o      Collard Greens cooked with turkey butts    

o      Black-eyed Peas    

  • Layered Strawberry Shortcake (add on dessert +$5)   

Watters and The Dutch are contributing 10% of sales to West Philadelphia based charity Mill Creek Farm. Founded in 2005, Mill Creek Farm is an educational urban farm led by people of color who are dedicated to improving local access to fresh, chemical-free produce at sustainably low cost for the local community and surrounding areas.    

Orders can be placed on online  here. Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up pick up will be from 12 – 6pm every Friday in February.  

1537 S 11th St | 215.551.5000 | www.fondphilly.com  

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 In addition to Mom-Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up, Chef Lee and the team at Fond have been hustling since the pandemic began. Now, operating out of his self-built outdoor grilling station, Chef Lee is serving up Sausage in the Street, the latest pop-up where hungry guests can flock to enjoy sizzling gourmet sausage sandwiches, artisanal cheesesteaks, jaw-dropping burgers and other casual fare streetside South Philly.

Guests can stop warm by the toasty fire pits outside of Fond to enjoy a hot meal during hours of Friday 3-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11am-7pm.  

1537 S 11th St | 215.551.5000 | www.fondphilly.com 

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The Twisted Tail, the popular Southern-inspired restaurant, bar and (pre-pandemic) live music venue on Headhouse Square, has launched a to-go pop-up titled What’s The Catch featuring customizable options on a classic English dish: Fish ’n’ Chips! For the base, guests can choose between cod, catfish, haddock, mahi mahi, and more – Guests can also select their choice of batter as well a side dish, such as Battered Pineapple Rings or Mushy Peas, a traditional accompaniment to fish ’n’ chips. The pop-up is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-8pm. Takeout orders can be placed by calling the restaurant at 215-558-2471, or through Caviar and Doordash. Interested diners should keep up with The Twisted Tail and What’s The Catch on Instagram to learn about the catch of the day and other special programming.  

Instagram: @whatsthecatchphl | @twistedtailphl 

509 S 2nd St, Philadelphia | 215-558-2471 | www.thetwistedtail.com  

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Devil’s Den, the South Philly hub for elevated bar fare with an expansive beer selection, now hosts a weekly Pop-Up Shop ⁠featuring a bevy of feel-good wintry food items, all available for pick-up!
 

Every Saturday from 12-5pm, guests can swing by the Devil’s Den to pick up portions of soups and snacks, including Tomato, Maryland Crab, Housemade Chili and more — Including booze. Imbibers can choose from the large selection of beer, wine and cocktails available at Devil’s Den to enjoy at home.  
⁠Additionally, lovers of Girl Scout Cookies are invited to order a Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing from Devil’s Den. Fans of the revered cookies can choose from four different cookie pairings, featuring the all-new Toast-Yay!, Lemonades⁠, as well as classics Thin Mints ⁠and Caramel DeLites. Canned beers include Ommegang Rose Cider, Left Hand Brewing Nitro Milk Stout, Victory Golden Monkey, and Eight & Sand Coffee Porter.  

Girl Scout Cookie and Beer pairing kits are $25 and include three canned beers, one canned cider and eight cookies – two of each flavor. Guests can stop by for a pairing kit during Pop-Up Shop hours, listed above, or order online here and pick-up at Devil’s Den on Saturday, February 6 on Saturday, February 13.
 

1148 South 11th Street | 215.339.0855 |  http://www.devilsdenphilly.com 

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Another successful pop-up borne out of the pandemic comes from Philadelphia-based Chef Mark McKinney operating out of the kitchen at the Khyber Pass Pub – Enter Primary Plant Based, the spot for elevated and health-forward vegan food with major Asian and global influences. 

Delicious dishes crafted for Primary Plant Based by Chef McKinney include Maple Glazed Mushrooms ($9) served with cheesy heirloom polenta (GF), Yuba Noodle Salad ($12) made with tofu skin, rice noodles, arkansas black apple, carrot, turnip, bird chilies, peanuts, basil, and mint (GF), and a Mushroom & Eggplant Umami Burger ($15), served with calabrian chili chimichurri, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a multigrain bun. 

Guests can order pickup by calling the restaurant at 215-238-5888 or online here, with delivery orders placed through DoorDash. Restaurant hours are Monday – Sunday from 12-9pm. 

Khyber Pass Pub + Primary Plant Based | 56 S 2nd St | 215-238-5888 | www.primaryplantbased.com 

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MilkBoy, the iconic Philadelphia-born brand consisting of a legendary recording studio in Northern Liberties and bar, restaurant and music venue concepts has recently pivoted MilkBoy South Street into a festive and winter-perfect music-infused streetery, aptly dubbed Rock Salt. The effervescent street scene keeps guests cozy and festive with a myriad of twinkling lights, wintry decor, gold and platinum records, hot beverages and a heat lamp for every table. 

While seated under toasty heat lamps, guests can enjoy an array of hot beverages, including: 

  • Rock ‘n’ Rye Toddy ($13) 
  • Fireside Cider($12) 
  • Boilo ($14) 
  • Hot Buttered Rum ($13) 
  • An array of hot chocolates including S’more Please, Peanut Butter Sundae, and more.  

MilkBoy South Street’s Rock Salt is open Monday-Thursday from 3-11pm, and Friday-Sunday from 11am-10pm.  

401 South St | (215) 925-6455 | www.milkboysouthst.com  

  Below: Rock Salt at MilkBoy South Street

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