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Artist Opening Pop-Up Coffee Shop in Vacant Philadelphia Lot

the freeshop coffeeshop in philadelphia

Rendering by Kathryn Sclavi

Art and artists have long been associated with the coffee shop environment. But what if the coffee shop is not merely a host for art, but the art itself? A Philadelphia artist envisions just that.

With partial funding from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Fund for Art and Civic Engagement (FACE), Kathryn Sclavi is opening the Freeshop Coffeeshop, a pop-up bar designed to engage the community and serve as a creative space in what would otherwise be a vacant lot.

Philly’s Greenstreet Coffee will be providing the coffee service, and there will also be an open mic at each of the scheduled pop-ups, beginning weekly August 7 and running through Sept. 21. Here’s more from Sclavi:

This temporary coffeeshop is set up only once a week and imitates the appearance of an outdoor brick-and-mortar teashop, with portable upcycled tables and chairs, a bright canopy and hand painted signage. Attendees enjoy free coffee and watch or participate in the open mic meet-up.

So why did the artist envision a coffee shop project?

Throughout history and in many different cultures, the act of enjoying a warm beverage with a group of people creates a natural community gathering space. In light of recent innovative projects and ideas circulating around the idea of pop-up spaces, I feel this project is part of the dialogue existing currently in contemporary art about activating spaces through pop-up, temporary, interactive spaces.

Click here for more on Kathryn Sclavi and updates on the Freeshop Coffeeshop.


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