The Delaware waterfront might not have quite the panache that some city planners and developers were hoping for — let’s call it a work in progress — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a cocktail and listen to live music while gazing out at river views.
Morgan’s Pier, the beer garden/restaurant/music venue on Columbus Boulevard, reopened for the season Thursday with a new menu for its 100-seat dining area (another 300 seats are available for casual a la carte eating.) But while Chef George Sabatino’s move from the East Passyunk foodie favorite Stateside over to Morgan’s Pier is getting all the attention, what we really want to know is what we’re going to be dancing to.
“There’s no constant theme — it’s lots of different artists,” says R5 Productions’ Sean Agnew, who books musicians for every intimate Philly venue you’ve ever heard of. He’s also part-owner of Morgan’s Pier and in charge of bringing in the nightly DJs. His good friend David Pianka, aka Dave P of Making Time fame, also owns a piece of the Pier. Pianka has been busy lining up bands for the free Wednesday night concerts happening June through August.
This summer’s entertainment calendar features bigger names than they brought in last year — including a few as-yet-unconfirmed ones Pianka says he’s “really excited about” but won’t disclose.
What we do know is that the DJs spinning electronic beats on the weekends — like Claude VonStroke and Julio Bashmore — are “a lot bigger, a lot more popular,” Pianka says. “These are international DJs who usually sell out huge clubs.”
The same holds true for the bands, which include We Were Promised Jetpacks, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Cold Cave, Small Black and Woods. “The shows we have on Wednesdays are going to be really popular,” says Pianka. “Some of them are bands that would sell out at Union Transfer. And this is free.”
Thursday nights will feature a rotating residency of DJs playing a mix of funk, soul, hip-hop, disco and house. As for Sundays, that’s “the infamous Sundae party with guests like Questlove,” Agnew says.