press release

New Outdoor Seating Venues Join Growing Number of Outdoor Cafés

Contact Information:
Linda K. Harris

PHILADELPHIA (September 6, 2016) – Sidewalk cafés have increased by 439% since the Center City District (CCD) began surveys in 2001 and now number 372 with 5,579 seats at restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and ice cream parlors between Vine and South Streets, river to river, according to a new report from the Center City District/Central Philadelphia Development Corporation.

The animation of city sidewalks has been joined as well by non-food retailers such as nail salons and art galleries, parks and formerly barren office district plazas. In addition, summertime outdoor pop-up beer gardens have gained popularity in recent years.

Adding together all these outdoor seating locations between Vine and South Streets, river to river, the number rises to 431, up 4.6% from 2015, with 6,322 sidewalk seats, up 4.4% from 2015. Outdoor seating continues to enhance the vitality of downtown with major new developments bringing even more activity to the sidewalks of Center City, creating an ever more thriving public domain.

With Center City District Restaurant Week on the horizon, September 11-16, and September 18-23, Center City’s sidewalk café’s will be even more enticing as more than 80 outstanding restaurants offer $35 three-course dinners and also, for some, $20 lunches.

To download the new report, Outdoor Seating 2016, please click here.


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 and on Facebookand Twitter.