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What about a South Philly food pod? Squilla’s on it

In what could be an interesting, delicious development, Councilman Mark Squilla is planning to introduce legislation that would create “food pods,” or locations where clusters of food trucks could gather regularly. And one of them could very well be in South Philly – that is, if we all let Squilla know we want one down here.

Vendors in a Portland food pod. Photo: Ryan Briggs, via

The pods have popped up in Oakland and most notably, Portland, where 20 pods around that crunchy city (ever seen “Portlandia”?) have become a successful tool for neighborhood revitalization. The pods could create a weekly or even daily festival atmosphere, something like a smaller, more regular version of the popular Night Markets run by the Food Trust. If you remember, the first Night Market was held near the fountain in two years ago.

In Portland they’ve created destinations where there wasn’t much before.

Anchored by a brick-and-mortar German gastropub, the marketplace is essentially a parking lot jammed with food carts offering everything from Southern barbecue to Korean fusion to microbrew booze from some of the city’s well-loved brewers. One of more than 20 “food pods” scattered around the city, the pop-up food court is part of an explosive phenomenon in Portland that has radically expanded dining options in growing neighborhoods.

Squilla says that he plans to introduce legislation by November to create the pods as part of an effort to ease restrictions on where food trucks can set up shop around the city. No locations have been selected but he told the website Next American City that he has Northern Liberties and South Philly in mind as possibilities. We followed up with him to ask if he was open to suggestions. He is.

So, could the anchor for a food pod at, say, the Acme parking lot be the POPE? Do we even need an anchor? What about Columbus Square at 12th and Reed, plus a beer garden? Since you probably have better ideas, email Squilla at Email him with your support even if you don’t have an idea.

“Hopefully, we can incorporate some of the ideas we get,” Squilla told us. Sounds promising.

Spread the word. Put a link to this post on your Facebook page instructing your neighbors to email Squilla, or click the Recommend button below. The more ideas Squilla hears, the more likely this will come down South.

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12 Responses to What about a South Philly food pod? Squilla’s on it

  1. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    West Passyunk! Plenty of room and we need some love on this side.

  2. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Seconded. I sent that suggestion to Squilla.

  3. P'unk September 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    West Passyunk. That’s a really good idea. They could do it on that block of nothing between Broad and 15th. That’s out of Squilla’s district, though, so now you have to get Kenyatta Johnson involved.

  4. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    I sent Kenyatta Johnson an e-mail about it. Hopefully others will too if they agree that West Passyunk is a good idea. (I just hope Kenyatta Johnson thinks it’s a good idea.)

    You know, we were supposed to get the Lucky Old Souls restaurant over here on 17th and Mifflin but some day care and a luncheonette blocked it. So bring on the Food Pod and suck it, cranky Newboldians.

  5. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Yes, between Broad and 15th! Wait, Lucky Old Souls got blocked? Grrr…

  6. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Yes, I heard that the day care center on that block and Brunic’s complained that the late night traffic/people would be bad for the neighborhood and fought against it. I don’t know all the details–maybe I’m wrong. But how someone could think that such a great restaurant/entertainment plan for that neighborhood would be a bad idea is beyond me! Infuriating to say the least. “No, we certainly don’t want to improve our neighborhood and we certainly do not want nice people enjoying themselves in it!”

  7. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    I’d LOVE something at the Acme lot. (Actually, if it could replace the Acme, that’d be better…) There are two nice coffee spots nearby and POPE, but lunch with the kids and such isn’t really covered.

  8. Anonymous September 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    whats about the trash from the food containers? Its hard enough now for people to use trash cans

  9. P'unk September 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Food trucks have traditionally been pretty good at cleaning up after themselves, but that could be an issue you could raise with Squilla. Ask him to write trash regulations like providing extra receptacles and disposing of the trash into the legislation.

  10. Anonymous September 20, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    only loser fat slobs would want something like this. typically fatladelphians!

  11. P'unk September 20, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    Don’t be an asshole, Anonymous

  12. S.D September 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Brunics umm..”changed” their stance on Lucky old souls after a a little more convincing… I was under the impression it was still a go and just being held up for other reasons. But Brunics no longer opposed it from what I gathered.

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