This February, in honor of Black History Month, a number of Philadelphia’s renowned restaurants, bars, and hotels are recognizing and honoring the diverse experiences and culture through unique multi-course menus, charitable sit-down dinners, and showcases of artwork by local Black artists. We’ve rounded up a variety of commemorative happenings throughout the area, from locales including The Dutch, Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia, Ocean Prime, and Red Owl Tavern.
The Dutch, the popular breakfast-through-dinner eatery with a focus on reinventing the Pennsylvania Dutch classics, is bringing back its much-loved Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up on Monday, February 19, a one-night-only sit-down meal curated by Executive Chef and Co-Owner Kevin Watters, with two seating times at 6pm and 8pm. The multi-course menu is inspired by the cherished memory of Watters’ late grandmother, Jillian Lewis, who was known in her community as “everybody’s Mom Mom” – sparking the muse behind the event’s name. Priced at $75 per person, the dinner includes creative takes on popular southern fare, including Roasted Garlic Deviled Eggs with pan seared cajun shrimp, Mac & Cheese Cornbread with braised short ribs and creamy cheese sauce, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with collard greens, turkey, and oven roasted candied yams, and Banana Pudding Parfait served with a shortbread cookie and whip cream.
A portion of the proceeds from Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up will be donated towards the local charity Everybody Eats, a West Philadelphia-based, BIPOC-owned and chef-led foundation with a mission to increase food security and build the community. Reservations for this special night are highly encouraged and can be made by emailing email@example.com or via Tock.
Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8am – 3pm, and Saturday & Sunday 8am – 2pm (brunch), Wednesday & Thursday, 5pm – 9pm, Friday & Saturday 5pm – 10pm (dinner)
Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia, the upscale lifestyle hotel nestled in bustling Rittenhouse Square, is celebrating Black History Month by showcasing a mix of artwork by local Black artists at its first ever Black History Month Showcase, running now through the end of February. Produced in collaboration with notable local curator Ginger Rudolph, the multi-media exhibit encompasses a range of media including textiles, paintings, photography, illustrations, and sculpture. Locals and hotel guests can expect to see a diverse collection of works from the following Philadelphia-based artists:
- Caff Adeus, a self-taught black American painter, mixed-media artist, and photographer currently focused on creating paintings from an autobiographical point of view that defies norms, stereotypes, and monolithic rhetoric by using a blend of cultural references and iconography.
- Jillian Rock, a self-taught multidisciplinary artist focusing on the exploration of place and placemaking – specifically the intersection at which the past, present, and future play on the narratives of Blackness and memory. Rock’s art teaching practice is centered in creating curricula around social justice, identity, and creating an experience that deepens community and encourages expression individually and most importantly collectively.
- Devon Harrison, an animator specializing in glass and chocolate sculpture trained at Delaware College of Art and Design, as well as University of the Arts. Harrison hopes to help his community find their voices through crafts and avoid being shoved into “checkbox” careers.
- Steven CW Taylor, also known as “The Time Thief,” is an award-winning visual artist and photographer. Taylor’s transformative art captures the essence of his extensive travels and cultural experiences, earning him prestigious placements as a 2023 Mural Arts Black Artist Fellow as well as the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) Visual Journalist of the Year.
- Kendra Dandy, an illustrator and social media sensation whose designs are licensed worldwide in categories that include home decor, beauty, apparel, and lifestyle. With a style and voice that is uniquely her own, Dandy has been profiled by Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, InStyle and PopSugar. She is a champion for up-and-coming artists and protecting the copyright of digital creators.
The exhibit is free to attend and open to the public, located on the second floor of the Hyatt Centric lobby. A Hear the Makers discussion panel featuring Ginger Rudolph and the exhibited artists is tentatively planned for early February.
Ocean Prime, the classic steak and seafood-forward modern American restaurant and lounge located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, is honoring Black History Month by participating in the Uncle Nearest HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge. Beginning Thursday, February 1 and running through the entire month, Ocean Prime will donate $1 from each old fashioned sold to a scholarship fund that supports Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Uncle Nearest will match every donation with one of their own, with a goal of raising up to $1.4 million for these important, but underfunded organizations. The Uncle Nearest Old Fashioned is comprised of Uncle Nearest 1884, aperol, simple syrup, and Angostura Bitters.
Hours of operation: Sunday through Thursday, 4pm – 9pm, and Friday and Saturday 4pm – 10pm
Red Owl Tavern, the contemporary kitchen and bar located across from Independence Hall in Old City, is honoring Black History Month with an exclusive lunch and dinner menu. Crafted collaboratively by Chefs Ron Hicks, Phillip Kizer, Morgan Revell, and Rasheen Young, the special menus will be offered beginning Thursday, February 1 through Thursday, February 29. The lunch menu, priced at $30, and dinner menu, priced at $40, are available both à la carte and prix fixe style – each dish represents its own unique narrative, representing different stories that are rooted in African American experiences and culinary heritage. Selections include, but are not limited to:
- Pan-Fried Salmon Cakes ($19): Fries and cajun aioli (lunch item curated by Sous Chef Ron Hicks)
- Milk Chocolate Parfait ($12): Peanut butter mousse, crushed pretzels, salted butter brittle (lunch and dinner item curated by Sous Chef Morgan Revell and Pastry Chef Rasheen Truong)
- Southern Chicken Cassoulet ($28): Smoked chicken, black-eyed peas, braised collards (dinner item curated by Sous Chef Phillip Kizer and Sous Chef Morgan Revell)
Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made via OpenTable.
Hours of operation: Monday through Friday 7:30am – 10:45am, Saturday and Sunday 8am – 10am (breakfast); Monday through Friday 11:30am – 4:30pm (lunch); Monday through Friday 4:30pm – 10pm, Saturday 5pm – 10pm (dinner); and Saturday 10am – 4pm and Sunday 10am – 2pm (brunch).