Avram Hornik to transform vacant Rittenhouse lot into outdoor garden restaurant

This is really exciting news for the city of Philadelphia!

Avram Hornik to transform vacant Rittenhouse lot into outdoor garden restaurant

Avram Hornik, a restaurateur with FCM Hospitality, plans to open a seasonal outdoor garden restaurant in a vacant lot close to Rittenhouse Square.

The unnamed concept will occupy the 11,500 square-foot site at 1706-1710 Walnut St.

The developer Brookliv, based in Brooklyn, New York, purchased the three properties separately and intends to build a high-rise luxury residential tower.

The restaurant is scheduled to open in late spring or early in summer, and will close in fall. The restaurant will have 500 seats and also include a children's playground, a tent and a large TV screen to broadcast Phillies and Eagles game and show movies for kids.

The concept is still being developed, but Hornik says the restaurant will "be in the style of beer gardens" and will include a full-service bar, including wine, cocktails, food, and ice cream, in addition to the beer.

The menu for the restaurant hasn't been finalized yet, but it will be served from food trucks, similar to Hornik's Parks on Tap concept. The site will have everything mobile so that it can be moved at the end.

Hornik stated that the vacant lot had been leveled and filled in preparation for the upcoming concept. He added that trees, flowers and other landscaping materials will be used to "garden up" the lot.

"We are only doing temporary site improvements." Hornik explained that everything is temporary and will be used within the six-month period, as required by the city.

Hornik said that the pop-up might return in future years depending on the length of time it takes to develop and permit the site.

The concept for the restaurant was born when Center City District CEO Paul Levy, and the Center City Residents Association met the developer in order to propose a temporary use of the space as a pop-up.

Hornik stated that he will fund the project himself, but he does not yet have a cost estimate for the project.

Early May is expected to bring more details on the concept.

Hornik is also the restaurateur behind other Philadelphia bars and restaurants, such as Morgan's Pier, Liberty Point and Harper's Garden. These were all opened last year. He is planning to open a sportsbar at 1720 Chestnut Street this fall.