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Linda K. Harris, Director of Communications

Since 2010, Center City has seen 73% increase

PHILADELPHIA (September 10, 2014) — In 1995, downtown Philadelphia did not have a single outdoor café. Twenty years later, there are 369 cafés animating the sidewalks between South Street and Vine Street, river to river, according to a new report released today from the Center City District. These cafés can accommodate 4,423 people, with 16 sites offering outdoor seating for 40 or more.

The growth of outdoor cafés is a strong indicator of the vibrancy of the downtown as it has evolved into a live-work-play environment that is active 24 hours a day and is a clear sign of Philadelphia’s rebound from the national recession, with a 73% increase in cafés since 2010.

The burgeoning café scene is supported by a large downtown workforce, a thriving hospitality sector, and strong population growth in Greater Center City. The densest clusters thrive where upper-floor uses are a mix of offices, hotel rooms, and residences, typically found south of Market Street, where 86% of the outdoor seating is located.

To read the new report, Outdoor Sidewalk Seating in Center City, please go to centercityphila.org/docs/CCR14_cafe.pdf [PDF].


The Center City District, a private-sector organization dedicated to making Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive, is committed to maintaining Center City’s competitive edge as a regional employment center, a quality place to live, and a premier regional destination for dining, shopping and cultural attractions. Find us at www.centercityphila.org and on Facebook and Twitter.

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