by Moriah Kelley
There seems to be a longing for human connection, to restore the old, and to gather in beautiful spaces. The newly renovated Bourse in Old City far exceeded my expectations and in my opinion has met all three of these needs. Originally known as a trading post founded in 1891 by George Bartol, the building has gone under many transformations, from being an office building to most recently a neglected tourist trap that housed souvenir shops and an outdated mall type food court. Then, MRP Realty, a DC firm, purchased the historical building and changed everything. They saw a vision to restore the glory that the Bourse once was.
Last night, I had the opportunity to preview the Bourse before tomorrow’s official opening. Each individual vendor space flows, blending in seamlessly with the original flooring and 125 ft ceiling. Housing 28 vendors within 280,000 square ft. of space without overcrowding in one area or being sparse in another is not an easy task, but MRP Realty pulls it off.
The Bourse vendors each have a picturesque store front. Behind the beautiful aesthetics are outstanding staff and food to warrant the hype. Everything I tried was delicious. The drinks were delectable. Favorites included The Old Fashioned by Bluebird Distilling, everything made by Chocodiem (especially their dark chocolate gelato), the chicken sandwich from Freebyrd Chicken, green bean (yes, green bean) tacos from TaKorean, the tuna Poké from Abunai Poké , and the meatball sandwich by Bronze Table by Vera Pasta.
Not all the vendors are from Philadelphia. Yet, the owners and managers I met from businesses outside of Philly are excited to be here, share their food, their stories, and connect with the people living and visiting our wonderful city.
Stop by tomorrow, November 15th at 9am, for a kickoff “The Bourse Bonanza”! The day starts with a ribbon cutting led by Mayor Kenney, followed by two full days of giveaways, pop-up performances from the Eagles cheerleaders and Swoop, Philadelphia Mummers, and more.
A complete listing of vendors can be found here.
Welcome back, Bourse, we missed you.