Known as America's most historic square mile, Old City Philadelphia is flush with great architecture, timeless shops and a fascinating backstory. It also offers some wonderful meeting space that allows corporations and groups to enjoy a little history while they work.
Where to Eat
Zahav serves modern Israeli cuisine that brings the authentic flavors of Israel’s cultural heritage to Philadelphia. “The soul of Zahav is the laffa bread, baked to order in our woodfired taboon; the creamy and nutty hummus that will transport you to Jerusalem; and the sizzling skewers of meat grilled over charcoal,” says Neira Jackson, private events manager. “Zahav offers a small plates menu that encourages guests to sample the large variety of cultural influences on the cuisine of Israel.” The restaurant offers two private dining rooms— one has a capacity of 24 seats and the second has a capacity of 50 seats. The small room has a projector ($50 rental) and screen ($50 rental). The large room has a large-screen TV.
Fork is a contemporary American restaurant known for its commitment to sustainability and its support of local farmers and artisans. Owner Ellen Yin notes Fork has consistently garnered praise for its delicious food and service and retains its relevancy after 20 years. “Fork has a private dining room that can accommodate eight to 45 people seated or up to 55 people for a reception,” Yin says. “Our main dining room is available for buyout as well.” The restaurant is near the convention center and offers discounted parking at the Bourse Garage. A/V and floral services are available for any meeting or event.
Situated in the landmark Old Original Bookbinder’s building, The Olde Bar is a contemporary oyster bar and cocktail lounge serving oysters on the half shell alongside a smart menu of modern and traditional bar snacks. Judy Moore, associate VP, sales and marketing, notes it offers two great spaces for meetings and events. The Blackburn Room can host 200-250, while the smaller Vessel Room accommodates 40-50. “Smaller groups are encouraged to set aside space within the main bar itself, and larger groups should consider a full buyout of our historic, landmark space,” she says.
Where to Stay
Only steps away from renowned Philadelphia landmarks, the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill is a great place to stay and an even better place to hold a meeting. With 8,000 square feet of meeting space in 20 meeting rooms, the hotel is ideally designed for groups of 10-300. “Our Grand Ballroom (7,800 square feet) is surrounded by multiple breakout rooms and three outdoor patios,” says Stephen Charamella, director of sales and marketing. “Our hotel has maintained a positive reputation in the market for 30 years, having been rated No. 1 in Meeting Planner Satisfaction Scores for Sheratons in our region and No. 4 in all North America Sheratons.”
Romina Magana, director of group sales for the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District, notes the hotel boasts more than 8,000 square feet of flexible function space, including a 4,687-square-foot Grand Ballroom, perfect for any event or corporate meeting. “The hotel has 10 meeting rooms of various sizes and our multiuse breakout rooms are ideal for executive meetings and trainings sessions,” she says. Event coordinators are available to assist with catering menus, room selection, A/V equipment and agenda planning.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, which opened in October 2012, is the boutique hotel company’s second LEED Gold-Certified hotel and has a coveted location right in the heart of the “Birthplace of America,” across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. “The Monaco boasts over 13,000 square feet of flexible meetings and events space, the highlight beings its luxurious Lafayette Ballroom with expansive 18-foot ceilings and 12-foot windows facing Independence Park,” says Christina Paonessa, area PR coordinator. “In addition, the hotel’s junior ballroom, Girard, makes a perfect pairing for meetings and events with breakout sessions and tiered receptions.”
What to Do
Known for its dedication, education and enjoyment of craft beer through its all-inclusive, interactive experience highlighting the art of brewing for beer drinkers, connoisseurs, enthusiasts and home brewers alike in Philadelphia, City Brew Tours offers unique and engaging ways to increase company productivity through its suite of corporate events, each fully customizable. “Consider our tours for a company outing, team-building activity, off-site client meeting or awards dinner for groups of all sizes,” says Chad Brodsky, founder. “With a wide range of options and add-ons, our dedicated staff will work in building a craft beer-focused event that’s right for them, and memorable for their guests.”
The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s tours take guests off the beaten path into neighborhoods to learn about the stories behind some of the nearly 4,000 murals in the city and how they relate to the culture of the neighborhood. “Tours are unique onlyin-Philadelphia activities that give insight into the program and understanding of the power of art igniting change,” says Jane Golden, executive director. “Because of the unique model of involving communities in the creation of public art, Philadelphia has come to be known as the ‘City of Murals.’”
Historic Philadelphia, Inc. has created two evening tours in Philadelphia’s Historic District: Independence After Hours and the Tippler’s Tour. “The Independence After Hours tour allows visitors to step back in time to Colonial Philadelphia and witness the Founding Fathers deep in debate over the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall when no other crowds are in the building,” says Cari Feiler Bender, spokesperson. “It’s a goosebumps moment to see Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin right where history happened.” Past and present meet the weekly authentic Colonial pub crawl, the Tippler’s Tour, where visitors join a Colonial host to hear stories and enjoy drinking traditions with fun, lighthearted songs and toasts of the era.