Come hungry, Philadelphia! Starting this week, Philadelphia Zoo debuts a oversize new dining destination and urban oasis called The Urban Green. Philadelphia Zoo’s new open-air air food and drink marketplace debuts just in time for the start of spring and summer seasons. I, guests will find three brand-new food trucks including The Fry Bowl (fried favorites), Root to Leaf (vegetarian-based fare) and Pressed (paninis and wraps). Lancer Hospitality’s Executive Chef Oleg Zelonko has designed an array of delicious options from fresh, delicious sandwiches and custom fries to frequently changing craft beers and vibrant wines. Groundswell Design Group, known for their work on Spruce Street Harbor Park, partnered with Philadelphia Zoo on the design of the project. Other features of The Urban Green include a 132 feet long giant mural by Groundswell Design Group as a backdrop, hang out space for the family, numerous spots for the perfect photo to remember your visit, and a boardwalk to connect the market area and food trucks with the play and dining areas. The Urban Green will be open seven days per week from 9:30-5:00pm. Access to The Urban Green is included with the price of a regular admission ticket. For more information, visit philadelphiazoo.org.
“Philadelphia Zoo is happy to present a great new outdoor dining destination for our guests and members,” said Philadelphia Zoo Chief Marketing Officer Amy Shearer. “The Urban Green is a hip new al fresco spot to enjoy lunch/early dinner plus a drink with your friends and family during your visits this season.”
The Urban Green is one of Philadelphia’s hottest new al fresco dining destinations - bringing together everything you love about Philadelphia parks, food halls, top tourist destinations and urban beer gardens. Enjoy top-quality, quick serve food options - along with your favorite beer and wine - under the blue skies and shady green trees of the Philadelphia Zoo.
Groundswell Design Group, a full service design firm specializing in place-making, public space and hospitality, partnered with the Zoo on The Urban Green. Groundswell Design Group are the creators of some of the most popular beer gardens in Philadelphia - including Spruce Street Harbor Park. Together, Groundswell and the Zoo set out to create something extra special for the new season.
Groundswell Design Group CEO David Fierbend said. “It’s as if a neighborhood park with great food and a cool atmosphere just sprang up in the middle of the Zoo.”
Notable design elements include a contemporary boardwalk to create easy access from the food trucks and marketplace to the dining area; logs, trees and natural elements in a dry creek bed to enhance beauty, play and water infiltration; colorful cafe umbrellas; seating for over 200 guests; market lights for lighting of the space for evening events; play and chill zones for kids of all ages, and a giant 132 foot mural.
The mural is over 132 feet long and is centered on the old monorail building - and it is the backdrop for the entire site. The design is a playful demonstration of wildlife within city environments, with some iconic representations of Philadelphia included.
Also notable is the addition of a vertical farm in an eight by forty foot shipping pod container. The Zoo is piloting a program using the latest technology in vertical farming to grow food on-site for its animal collection. The vertical farm will provide locally grown, sustainable sources of food for Zoo animals and continue to ensure the nutritional health and wellbeing of the animals in our care.
Food offerings at The Urban Green are presented by Lancer Hospitality and Chef Oleg Zelonko. As Lancer’s Executive Chef at the Philadelphia Zoo, Chef ensures that offerings to Zoo guests at The Urban Green are tasty, delicious and high quality, using fresh ingredients, with options for a variety of lifestyle choices.
Opening menus for the food trucks are as follows:
Root to Leaf Food Truck
- Baked Sweet Potato
Topped with stewed beans & toasted pumpkin seed salsa
(Pumpkin seeds, tomato, onion, arugula, olive oil, cilantro)
- Vegan Dream Salad
Spring Mix, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Edamame, Grape Tomato, Garbanzo beans, Carrots, Sunflower Seeds, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Spinach and Feta Salad
Baby spinach, feta cheese, strawberries, candied walnuts,
Red onion, Raspberry vinaigrette
Romaine, Napa cabbage, carrots, edamame, peppers, green onions, cilantro, crispy wontons and Sesame-ginger vinaigrette topped with Spicy peanut dressing
Mixed greens, roasted squash, cauliflower, beets,
Apple, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, sherry-mustard vinaigrette
- Roasted Beet Hummus 4.99
Served with cucumbers, carrot planks
Fry Bowl Food Truck
- Three Little Pigs
Seasoned Waffle Fries, Pulled Pork, Chopped Bacon, Fried Pancetta, House made Cheese Sauce, Korean BBQ
- Idaho Nachos
Seasoned Waffles Fries, House made Cheese Sauce, Chopped Bacon, Tomatoes, Scallions, Jalapenos, Sour Cream
Seasoned Waffle Fries, Shaved Ribeye, Caramelized Onions and Peppers, House Made Cheese Sauce
Seasoned Waffle Fries, House Made Cheese Sauce
Pressed Food Truck
Paninis & Wraps
- Pork Roll
Pork Roll, Mozzarella, Cheddar Jack
Shaved Ribeye, Caramelized Onions and Peppers, Mozzarella, Cheddar Jack
- Zesty Vegetable
Broccoli, Peppers, Carrots, Zucchini, Red Onions, Tomatoes and Spinach, Mozzarella, Cheddar Jack
- Butternut Squash and Bacon
Butternut Squash, Bacon, Mozzarella, Cheddar Jack
Craft beer and wines will be available at the food trucks, along with soda, water and non-alcoholic beverages.
The Urban Green will serve as one of the Zoo’s main areas for lunch and early dinner during regular hours, but the space is also lighted and designed for evening events. For information about private events in the space, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Urban Green joins the Watering Hole as two of the areas top beer gardens during summer months. Look for information about the grand opening of the Watering Hole for the 2019 summer season.
Access to The Urban Green is included for free with the regular admission to the Zoo. For more information about The Urban Green, visit Philadelphia Zoo at www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org. Facebook: PhiladelphiaZoo; Instagram: @philadelphiazoo; Twitter: @phillyzoo.
ABOUT CHEF ZELONKO
Originating from Russia, Chef Oleg came to Philadelphia in 1998 where he started working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. As his English progressed so did his career. Since then he has worked as a Chef in some of the best restaurants, country clubs, hotels, and landmarks in the Philadelphia area. As Lancer’s Executive Chef at the Philadelphia Zoo, Chef Oleg ensures we are offering our guests high quality, fresh ingredients, menu offerings for a variety of lifestyle choices and delicious tasting food every day. He has been married to his wife Maria for 12 years and has a 14 year old son Daniel and a 7 year old daughter Ivanna.
ABOUT LANCER HOSPITALITY
Lancer Hospitality has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality management industry. We are committed to providing professional food management services in a variety of settings and serving a diverse group of clients. As an Elior North America company, Lancer is small enough to care by building strong client partnerships while also being big enough to make a difference by leveraging globally supported resources.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA ZOO:
Animals are on the move like never before at Philadelphia Zoo with Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of see-through trails passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, giving animals like amazing big cats, majestic primates and marvelous meerkats the opportunities to travel and explore. Visit our new baby western lowland gorillas, baby giraffe, hippos, white rhino, zebras, red pandas, Amur tigers and more at America’s first Zoo. Explore our 42-acre Victorian garden and enjoy award-winning exhibits like KeyBank Big Cat Falls, PECO Primate Reserve, McNeil Avian Center and KidZooU, a wildlife academy that offers dynamic displays, rare breeds and hands-on experiences. Philadelphia Zoo is the second highest ticketed attraction in Philadelphia, one of the region's foremost conservation organizations and home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats.a
The Zoo welcomed more than 1.25 million visitors last year. Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.