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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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