Piazza at Schmidts a growing hotspot

The thriving Northern Liberties piazza features mostly free events every night of the week.

The thriving Northern Liberties piazza features mostly free events every night of the week.

The Piazza at Schmidts has become a hugely popular evening hangout for many Philadelphians who like free events.

The Piazza at Schmidts isn’t your ordinary hang out. It is not a casual club or a tasteless bar, but it embraces elements of both, all while being conveniently accessible and free of charge.

At Second and Hancock streets, just off Girard Avenue, the Piazza is a vast concrete core of open space, surrounded by three contemporary condominium complexes. Founder Bart Blatstein made a strong commitment to invest in the community by staffing the ground levels of all three complexes with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and anything and everything else that seems to personify hipsterdom.

In the heart of Northern Liberties, the Piazza was designed for festivities. The space is equipped with a large stage and even larger HD LED screen. In true Philly fashion, the 40’-by-20’ jumbotron is sometimes referred to as the “jumbo-jawn.”

Some events the Piazza hosts include the outdoor dance festival, Sundae, which kicks off every Sunday and features a special guest disc jockey.

For the crowd not looking to boogie down, the Piazza features a weekly Phillies game every Tuesday. Featuring free hot dogs and burgers, the event would make for an enjoyable autumn evening.

Other activities include bingo and movie nights, but more than likely, a DJ will be present throughout the week, or there will be some type of sports game on the jumbotron.

The Piazza made an exciting addition this summer with the opening of party promoter Tommy Up’s new restaurant, P.Y.T., a trendy and moderately priced burger joint meets bar. Aside from serving up delectable burgers and shakes, P.Y.T. often hosts a variety of small parties itself, and certain events at the Piazza will head to P.Y.T. for after-hours partying.

The Piazza at Schmidts might be the cookie cutter image of gentrification. It is a beacon of information-age culture, it maintains a thriving community through free activities, and it is indeed one of the most enjoyable places to spend any summer afternoon or evening.

For anyone who has experienced the fear and anxiety that is often associated with parking in the city, the Piazza at Schmidts offers free parking right next to its condominiums.

One of the best aspects of spending some time at the Piazza is that the space is never restricted to one kind of sound.

Parties and events have ranged from Michael Jackson memorials to local bands performing, trying to make a name for themselves. DJs have included everyone from the Roots’ ?uestlove to Lee Jones.
Admission is free, and it serves as a great outlet for an all-around good time.

Kathryn Moran can be reached at kcmoran@temple.edu.

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