KENNETT SQUARE – The popular Third Thursdays on State Street will return for the 2022 season with alfresco dining, extended shopping hours, live music, kids’ activities, pop-up vendors and more every third Thursdays from May 19 to October 20.
The first third Thursday of the season will take place next Thursday, May 19. All 100 blocks of East and West State Street, as well as 100 blocks of North and South Union Street, will be closed to traffic from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. In the event of cancellation due to weather conditions, every effort will be made to postpone the closing of the streets until the following evening (Friday). Earlier this year, Kennett Square Borough Council rejected a request for the streets to be closed weekly for the event.
Restaurant and business owners and community members are all eagerly awaiting the return of Kennett Collaborative’s third Thursday events. “Third Thursdays brings the community together and supports restaurants and small businesses on State Street,” said Bo Wright, executive director of Kennett Collaborative. “We know that everyone has missed these events over the past two years. In 2020, we were able to work with the borough to organize weekend-long street closures to allow for socially distanced outdoor dining throughout the summer months, in addition to constructing the West parklet State Street. Street closures were impossible last summer due to the proposed PennDOT bridge over Baltimore Pike, so the pivot was a pedestrian walkway in parking lots to allow restaurants to use the sidewalk for outdoor dining — but obviously none of these solutions have replaced the much-loved Third Thursday events.
Byrsa Bistro, GFG, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, Lily Asian Cuisine, La Verona, Portabellos and Verbena BYOB will all set up tables for outdoor dining on State Street (reservations are recommended) and merchants will have hours of operation extended up to 8 p.m. Each month, various vendors, organizations and activities will also set up shop on State Street.
On May 19, children can enjoy balloon twisting by balloon artist Lahtesha Antonio of JJL United Events from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. YoungMoms will also have a beautiful floral-themed photo booth set up at the corner of State and Union streets (under the clock tower). Pop-up vendors for the evening will include TEXTILE, Paiya and Hilltop Flower Design.
GFG will be offering outdoor and indoor seating until 7 p.m. “We will be offering our specialty Greek desserts, my family’s recipes with our authentic Greek cuisine and a full coffee bar with optional decaffeinated beverages as well,” says Sophia Kotanidis of GFG.
Also on the west side of State Street, Grain will offer alfresco dining, music and drink specials, including take-out wine and beer from BYOB restaurants. “We’ll have a DJ out front spinning cool tunes, plus a series of special cocktails inspired by Kennett’s businesses and landmarks, the first of which will be available next Thursday,” said Ryan Wilson, Grain’s general manager. KSQ. “We are first-come, first-served throughout the summer and will also be offering our large selection of draft and canned beers and bottled wine to accompany meals at BYOB locations.”
Other great restaurants in Kennett Square that offer outdoor seating in the evening include Braeloch Brewing, Café de Thai, Kennett Brewing Company, Letty’s Tavern and The Creamery.
“Kennett Collaborative (then Historic Kennett Square) started Third Thursdays in 2014,” says Wright. “It was the first large-scale place-making program in the borough and was designed to support restaurants and shops on State Street, but it was also a proof of concept, creating a car-free public space for so people can enjoy it. In addition to being successful foodie events, Third Thursdays allowed Kennett to experience the power of place-making. The community immediately embraced these events, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to bring them back again.