After closing in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the former location of the Draft Horse Pub and Grill on Temple University’s main campus is being redeveloped into a new restaurant.
The Peabody is ready to open this autumn at 1431 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, offering daily lunch, happy hour, and dinner, in addition to weekend brunch. The restaurant is a partnership between Temple and Glu Hospitalitya group that operates establishments such as SET NoLibs, Izakaya by Yanaga and Figo.
Temple President Jason Wingard has also enlisted the help of the university’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management. The department plans to use the space as a career development tool where students can gain hands-on industry experience.
“We want to educate and employ these students and get them excited about working in the hospitality industry,” said Derek Gibbons, managing partner and chief operating officer of Glu. “Having a full-service restaurant on campus will allow them to learn and be part of it. We are excited to add this new dimension to this exciting project.”
The menu will feature affordable and more expensive options to serve the growing Temple community. Executive Chef Chino Change will serve classic American dishes with a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and main courses.
The bar’s beverage menu will be curated by Glu Hospitality’s beverage team and will include signature, seasonal and classic cocktails, as well as 10 draft beer options, bottles and cans.
Although the restaurant is intended to serve both the temple community and the surrounding area by offering a sit-down restaurant in an area filled with fast and casual options, it is not meant to be a replica of the beloved campus bar. .
Gibbons told the Philadelphia Business Journal that Temple was looking for the right idea, saying university officials didn’t want the “wrong concept to come to campus.” On the contrary, the school was looking for a more upscale restaurant to also serve teachers and alumni.
Over the next few months, the site will be completely emptied and renovated. The 6,000 square foot space will include 40 bar seats, 150 dining seats, outdoor seating and a large private dining room that can accommodate up to 50 people.
The legendary Draft Horse Bar/Restaurant is closed! I did a tour and was presented with plans for a new spot coming soon – stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/Tk2cyXxVLh
— Dr. Jason Wingard (@JasonWingard) May 3, 2022
The new restaurant was named for Peabody Hall, a Temple dormitory that closed in 2017. The university hopes it will be a meeting space for students to celebrate college milestones like move-in day, commencement, concerts and sporting events.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to come together and build relationships with our community and our guests right here on main campus,” Wingard said.
The Draft Horse Pub & Grill, which opened in 2001, quickly became a popular gathering spot for University of North Philly students.
The COVID-19 pandemic halted campus operations for several months in 2020, sending students home and leaving many university businesses struggling to recoup their losses. In October 2020, former Draft Horse COO Mike Frost told the Philadelphia Business Journal that the bar was bringing in just 30% of its pre-pandemic sales.
The sports bar failed to secure a new lease with the university in the early months of 2021 and eventually closed, auctioning off beer signs, pull handles and other decor ahead of its 20th anniversary and its last day of sale. Since then, the building has stood idle as the university continued to seek ways to utilize the space for the Temple community.