Support Local Restaurants with Help from UCD!

Customers dine at Renata's Kitchen

Mar 15, 2020 7 days ago Notes (9)

Please note: We’ve added new details to hopefully clear up some confusion over how this promotion will work. We are asking customers to support local restaurants by purchasing gift cards for personal use, and then UCD will also purchase gift cards that we will use in future promotions and giveaways and double your support up to $250 per restaurant. All accounting will happen between the restaurant and UCD. 

University City’s rich and diverse restaurant scene is facing a unique challenge as we all struggle to deal with the impact of the Coronavirus. During these trying times, many local restaurants and eateries are suffering reduced business or facing temporary closures. University City District wants to help local restaurants, local employees, and the public by offering our support through a limited time promotion.

Through March 31st, 2020, UCD will join you in supporting local restaurants by purchasing up to $250 in gift cards per participating restaurant to match customer purchases. UCD will keep the gift cards to use in future promotions and giveaways, and the restaurant keeps the additional revenue. All customers need to do is purchase a gift card at any of the participating restaurants below–UCD will work directly with restaurants to track sales through March 31st, and purchase gift cards to match the total sales, up to $250 per restaurant.   

To put it simply:

  • Support your favorite restaurants by puchasing gift cards to use later. More restaurants are signing up each day. If you contact a local restaurant and they haven’t signed up, please tell them to reach out to us! 
  • If a restaurant opts-in to our program and provides us gift card sales receipts, UCD will purchase as much as $250 in gift cards per restaurant to match your purchases, which we will use in future promotions and giveaways.
  • The goal of this program is to inject revenue into local restaurants during this tumultuous time. We encourage you to continue purchasing gift cards even if the $250 number has been reached. 
  • UCD will work with each restaurant to track sales and purchase the cards at the conclusion of the program. 

Purchasing a gift card from a favorite local restaurant or coffee shop is a great way to show your support and help keep favorite local eateries in business during these difficult times. Customers must contact restaurants directly to see if gift cards may be purchased online or via the phone. We recommend using Yelp to find contact info for local restaurants, or view a list of restaurants we partnered with in the past through Dining Days

This promotion is open to all independent restaurants, coffee shops, and chains with fewer than 10 total locations that operate within our district (from the Schuylkill River to 50th Street, and generally speaking Woodland Avenue to Spring Garden). If you are a restaurant operator located within our boundaries and wish to participate, email margaret (at) universitycity (dot) org for more details and certain restrictions. 

Although this current promotion is aimed at helping local eateries, please remember that all local businesses, from barbershops to nail salons to pet stores to gift shops and everything in between, are in need of support right now. Please consider purchasing gift cards from all of the businesses that contribute to the overall vibrancy of our wonderful neighborhood.

Participating Restaurants 

May Fair Canceled

The Spruce Hill Community Association canceled this year’s May Fair – scheduled for Saturday, May 16 in Clark Park – due to public health concerns associated with the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision was made based on the City of Philadelphia’s guidance to limit large gatherings in an effort to slow down the spread of the deadly virus.

“It’s not a decision we take lightly,” reads a statement from the May Fair Planning Committee. “May Fair has been a community tradition for 62 years and we hate to disappoint our neighbors, local organizations and businesses who look forward to this annual spring event. However, considering any emerging health risks, and our responsibility to the community, we feel this is the right decision.” 

Most of the primary components of May Fair, including live music, moon bounce, petting zoo, food trucks, and vendor tables, are being canceled. Vendors who have already submitted table fees will receive refunds.

However, if the risk is reduced enough to allow large social events, the planning committee will discuss the possibility of hosting a much more scaled-back event in Clark Park on the scheduled date, May 16. Stay tuned for more details when they are finalized closer to this date.

2020 Events

The SHCA board meets at 7:30 pm, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in 257 S. 45th St. The meetings are open to the public. Any changes to the following calendar will be announced on our Email list. ([email protected])

Jan 14: David Forde, VP of Community Relations at USP, and Brendan Taliaferro from Valley Youth House a program to develop a host homes for LGTBQ youth experiencing homelessness.

Tue, Feb 11: Tierra Thompson – Human Relations Representative
                    Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
                    Brendan Taliaferro – Founder and Executive Director The Homeward Initiative

Tue, Mar 10: Cathy Davis, Host for Hospitals: Click Here
                    Ken Steif, Zoning Overlay: Click Here

Tue, Apr 14: Virtual Meeting

Sat, May 16: Cancelled: May Fair in Clark Park

Tue, May 12: TBA

Tue, Jun 9: TBA

Tue, Sep 8: TBA

Tue, Oct 13: Jamie Vann: Halloween Parade

Tue, Nov 10: Annual Meeting summarizing our year

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who came out this weekend to support the 61st Annual May Fair in Clark Park! With a day of beautiful spring weather on our side, we were able to have a jam-packed day filled with some great music, kids activities, food, and more than 70 different vendors. A special note of thanks to all these local businesses that generously donated an amazing array of prizes for our raffle:

Common Beat MusicFlute & FriendsKeswick Bicycle
Firehouse BicyclesPAYSA BaseballNesting House
Donuts PlusGreen Line CafeLil Pop Shop
Metropolitan BakeryVientiane CafePhilly Homebrew
Renata’s KitchenSaad’s HalalLocal 44
ClarkvilleZests Pizza & GrillBistro Perrier at the
Restaurant School
Honest Tom’sBlarney StoneMonarch Hardware
House of Our Own
Vix EmporiumStudio 34
Red Lotus SpaUniversity City Family Fun CenterPhillies
Baltimore Avenue Pet Shoppe

Don’t miss these May Fair vendors!

May Fair is just days away and we have an exciting array of more than 70 local vendors – many your very own neighbors! – participating in this year’s event. Join us this Saturday, May 11 in Clark Park from noon to 6 p.m. to see many returning favorite vendors alongside fascinating new additions. Enjoy shopping for handcrafted home decor, bath items, jewelry, and apparel. Learn about the important work, resources and volunteer opportunities of many local community organizations, schools and camps. Discover health and wellness opportunities. You can even meet and learn about some candidates in our upcoming election.* Several organizations will host kid friendly activities, in addition to our petting zoo, bounce house and obstacle course. You don’t want to miss these booths. Click on the links below to learn more.

See you at the Fair!

*NOTE: SHCA does not endorse or support political candidates. Participation in the SHCA May Fair is open to any and all candidates .

May Fair Raffle

Welcome to the 61st Annual May Fair online raffle ticket sale! The May Fair is SHCA’s only fundraiser – your participation helps us support neighborhood organizations and events.

Online tickets are sold in bundles of 6 for $5. Each ticket earns you a chance to win a basket filled with exciting prizes (up to $500 value) generously donated by local businesses and organizations. Baskets include:

     – Family Fun

     – Neighborhood Eats and Treats

     – House and Home

     – Take Care of Yourself

     – Surprise Me! (includes baskets and individual items)

Click here to see the growing list of items in each basket – check back regularly as we are continuing to add new items as we receive them!

Winners need not be present to win, but we hope to see you at the Fair, Saturday May 11, noon to 6 p.m. (rain date Sun May 12), Clark Park, 43rd & Chester.

Buy your tickets now for a chance to win! Online ticket sales will close Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m.


May Fair, Sat May 11, Noon-6

The annual May Fair is the association’s main fundraiser and a neighborhood tradition. It is held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day in Clark Park and the funds are used to support neighborhood schools, non-profit community organizations, and cultural events.

Spruce Hill’s 61st annual May Fair will take place on Saturday, May 11 this year in Clark Park 12-6pm. Our popular family friendly favorites will return including petting zoo and moon bounce, live music and delicious food, raffle drawing with tons of prizes contributed by local businesses, a plant sale, and lots of vendors with crafts, artwork and community-oriented services. Plus, we’ll have some exciting new musical guests joining us for this year’s event!

Vendors, artists and crafts people, community groups and organizations seeking to do outreach and promotion are invited to be part of the SHCA May Fair. Space is limited this year and priority will be given to local crafters and artisans, community groups and organizations doing outreach. The fair supplies vendors with tables and chairs for very reasonable prices: $30 for non-profits not selling, $40 for all others.

Get Involved

We’re currently looking for vendors, artists, craftspeople and other community groups to participate in May Fair!

To apply to be a vendor at the 2019 May Fair, please submit our online form by May 1 for consideration.

If you’re interested in volunteering at May Fair 2019 please contact Vicki McGarvey. We’re always in need to extra hands to help out during the event!

Keep your eyes peeled for our May Fair raffle with tons of great prizes. A link will be posted soon! For all other questions, please contact Evan Johnstone

Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit 2018

This toolkit is a resource for individuals and organizations throughout Philadelphia. It recognizes the importance of sustaining the city’s older buildings and sites — with a broad definition of what makes something “historic.” From grassroots to the government, community members have the power to preserve and revitalize the older places that matter in the city of neighborhoods.

This toolkit is based on the knowledge and input of community members from across Philadelphia, inspired by conversations about how current public policies affect or harm the character of their neighborhood.

This toolkit can be used by anyone in your community: homeowners, renters, business owners, developers, and neighbors of all ages and education levels.

Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit_DRAFT for distribution

4601 Market Street

Dear Neighbors, . . . . . . . . . Fri,Aug 17, 2017

Today, we joined with the Boards of Directors of Garden Court Community Association and Walnut Hill Community Association and sent the attached letter to Mayor Kenney to voice our collective disappointment over the City’s recent decision to move the police headquarters redevelopment project from 46th and Market St in West Philadelphia to Center City. We also offer key points for the City to consider with the respect to the future of this property, including an opportunity for the community “to discuss in a public forum how we got where we are and where we can expect to go from here.”
With best regards,

The SHCA Board

Spruce Hill Community Association:
Email List: [email protected]

Read Mayor Kenny’s response letter: KennyLetter 4601Market