-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Glu Hospitality presents a limited-edition end-of-summer experience with the grand opening of Leda and The Swan Pop-up Cocktail Garden at 1033 N. 2nd Street, running from Saturday, August 21 to Sunday, September 5, 2021. The new al fresco cocktail and music hideaway will pop-up outside of the former home of Wahlburgers, next to the Piazza and across from El Camino and SET No Libs. This outdoor space come September will be part of one of the city’s largest openings of the year when Glu will debut two side-by-side restaurant concepts Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizzeria. While partners Derek Gibbons and Tim Lu put the finishing touches on the new restaurants, they wanted to activate the gorgeous outdoor patio and covered bar with a cocktail garden featuring the best of Leda and The Swan’s carefully curated menu that was designed by well-known cocktail veterans Ryan Fenton and Zach Kessler. The pop-up concept will feature more than a half of a dozen cocktail creations inspired by stories from mythology. Guests will also be able to enjoy vodka club specialty drinks, a menu of Old Fashioned varieties, twenty-two wines by the glass, and eight beers on draft, plus beers, seltzers and ciders by the can and bottle. The food menu to start will feature a tight selection of lite bites, apps and charcuterie boards. For vibes, Leda and The Swan Popup Cocktail Garden will blend together the modern, industrial and floral elements of the original Leda space in Center City, and tie-in design elements with the existing covered bar and nearby street art. Reservations are not required, and bar/table seating is first come, first served. Hours will be Thursday to Sundays, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, with live music Fridays and Saturday, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Back in Center City, Leda and The Swan’s original location is now also fully reopened at 1224 Chestnut Street, in Midtown Village. That location returns with its signature cocktails, new happy hour service, new brunch service, live music and nightlife.
Glu Hospitality and partners Derek Gibbons and Tim Lu are a driving force behind ten concepts in and around N. 2nd Street and the Northern Liberties Restaurant Row – including the brand-new Bagels and Co., plus Germantown Garden, Germantown Garden Grill, The Igloos at Germantown Garden, Vesper Dayclub, Hunnies Crispy Chicken, Tiny’s Burger Joint, Anejo Philadelphia, SET No Libs and the soon-to-open Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizzeria. The duo also are partners in Glu’s Center City concepts that include the original Leda and The Swan and Vesper Center City. The duo will also expand to Fishtown this summer and fall with a major new restaurant and bar that will be announced before the end of summer. By fall, Glu Hospitality will own, operate and partner one 13 hospitality concepts, with others on deck for next year.
With Leda and The Swan Popup Cocktail Garden, Gibbons and Lu celebrate one of Glu’s most well received and creative ventures. The original Leda and The Swan opened to much public and critical buzz right before the pandemic. The cocktail and music hideaway was quickly closed down weeks later when the pandemic shut down hospitality concepts around the city, state and country. That location is now fully opened with new happy hour and brunch service. This new popup pays homage to that while bringing the elements of that concept to a temporary outdoor space. For Glu this represents yet another major outdoor pivot, following the nationally recognized Igloos at Germantown Garden and the Princess Brunch at the Igloos family series that sold out every single weekend during the height of the pandemic from November 2020 to February 2021.
LEDA AND THE SWAN – CONCEPT
Leda and The Swan is all about offering a unique and beautiful space, with meticulous design, seasonal craft drinks, and genre-defying entertainment. The owners’ vision for Leda is to create an experience for the culturally curious, that honors the creative types and artists, that comes with personal connection and strong storytelling. Core values for Leda include art, culture and beauty; engagement and interaction; intimacy and sensual pleasure; living in the moment (no phones); diversity; and mystery.
“Myth, art, love, & beauty paired with our reverence for hospitality have inspired us to create a comfortable space for the culturally curious to experience life in the here and now, “said Gibbons. “Leda and The Swan is a hideaway for couples, close friends, and the adventurous lone wolf. We provide artistic entertainment & menu offerings to guide guests through our ever-evolving story.”
Inspiration for the name hails from a Greek myth where Zeus transformed into a swan and he seduces Leda. Together, they have a child, Helena of Troy, who was according to mythology one of the most beautiful women in the world. Gibbons said, “Leda and The Swan is inspired by a Greek myth which embodies values of art, myth and love. We want people to be intrigued by the name and the concept, and to be culturally curious. We want to create a social experience where patrons engage, interact and start a discussion. The unique name, cocktails and space are all first steps in that vision.”
For the popup cocktail garden version for the concept Glu will take those guiding principles and adapt them to an outdoor space by transforming a section of N. 2nd Street into a cocktail and music hideaway. Guests will find summer vibes, unique design elements, outdoor seating, live music, lite bar fare and an extensive bar program. The beer garden lights will light up, the flowers above the bar will start swaying and the cocktails will start pouring this weekend through Labor Day. The popup will feature seating for around a dozen guests at the main bar, with table seating for around 48 other guests in the outdoor adjacent patio area.
The crown jewel of Leda and The Swan is the craft cocktail program designed by well-known cocktail veterans Ryan Fenton and Zach Kessler. Each creation was designed with inspiration taken from stories of mythology. Lu said, “Story-telling and evoking emotion is part of the overall Leda and The Swan experience. We aim to offer an original blend of cocktails drawing from inspiration from classics and neo classics alike.”
House Cocktails $12-14
salvation of humanity
vodka, fresh strawberry, ginger beer, lime, belgian wit
mezcal, ginger, togarashi
slow the sun
rum, campari, white vermouth, strawberry, whole egg
irish whisky, pickled ginger, lychee, lemon
grey goose, yuzu bergamot tincture, sparkling brut, peppercorn syrup, sea salt
blanco tequila, beet shrub, lemon, spanish vermouth, cracked blak pepper
return to olympus
rye whiskey, rose syrup, lemon, cabernet float
vodka club specialties (zero sugar)
grey goose blended with your choice of Leda and the swan tincture and club soda.
spearmint-watermelon, yuzu-bergamot, blueberry-honey, grapefruit-chocolate-smoke.
rye , madagascar vanilla
rye, pineapple rum, angostura
anejo, jamaican bitter, peppercorn syrup
Many wines are also available!
Live music will be offered every Friday and Saturday evening at the summer pop-up. The music and DJ programming will focus on RnB, Funk, Soul, Disco, House, Indie, Jazzy HipHop, & World Music. Gibbons said, “We want guests to come enjoy our space and feel comfortable. We want to appeal to many musical tastes.”
BACK AT THE ORIGINAL
In Center City, Leda and the Swan original and permanent home is back fully open with cocktails, live music, nightlife, brunch service and a new happy hour. Hours in Center City for the original location are every Thursday and Friday, from 5:00pm to 2:00am. On Saturdays, Leda is open from 11:00am to 4:00pm for new brunch service and then it reopens at 5:00pm to 2:00am for evening bar service and entertainment.
For more about Leda, call 267-214-0086, visit lnsphilly.com, like LSPhilly (Leda and The Swan) on Facebook, and follow lnsphilly (Leda and the Swan) on Instagram. For more about Glu Hospitality, visit www.gluhospitality.com and follow @gluhospitality on social media. For more about Figo, follow Figo on social media at @FigoItalian.
FIGO COMING SOON
Figo is now confirmed to open in early to mid September, after Labor Day, at the former home of what was Wahlburgers and Darlings Diner. When fully opened, the indoor-outdoor restaurant will offer a fine dining restaurant with Figo Ristorante for a full service dining experience and bar program, while Figo Pizzeria will offer a fast-casual pizza, Italian sandwich and grab-and-go menu. Glu has been renovating the space since the early pandemic, and the final details are being worked on, and the pizza over is currently under construction. When opened, this will bring new life back to a major dark section of N. 2nd Street in one of the largest restaurant footprints on the exciting restaurant row. This will also open as the single largest outdoor space in the neighborhood – with the fast casual option for daytime, lunch and early evening, and the fine dining and bar option for dinner, late night and weekend brunch. Glu will soon reveal more menu direction and details, chef background, and interior information for both concepts in the coming weeks.
“We are full steam ahead and are targeting the week after Labor Day to open both of our Figo concepts in the former Wahlburgers space,” said Gibbons. “We are waiting on final equipment and inspections, so while we wait we wanted to pay homage to one of our most exciting new concepts. Timed with the reopening of Leda and The Swan in Center City, we will take our cocktail and music hideaway on the road for our first-ever pop-up cocktail garden and debut in Northern Liberties for something special to end the summer. We have continued to pivot during the pandemic at Vesper Dayclub with our open-air steakhouse and the Igloo dining experience. But this is the first time we are extending our popup licensing to do a limited edition popup. We are excited to active the space, welcome new customers to the Leda brand, and continue to offer additional and expanded opportunities for our family of staff.”
Glu is actively working on opening future locations for Bagels and Co., and Glu will soon announce they will open a new restaurant in the adjacent red hot food neighborhood of Fishtown. Back in Center City, Glu will launch a brand-new dining experience at Vesper Center City. Stay tuned as Glu continues to evolve and pivot out the pandemic as a more food-focused hospitality group with over a dozen concepts open or on the way.
For additional info on the opening of the Igloos at Germantown Garden Grill and associated family programming for the holidays, please stay tuned for more info after Labor Day.