News  |  Jun 05, 2018  |  Arora

Earth & Elm: Work Begins on the Philadelphia Zoo’s New Restaurant

  • Zoo Restaurant Groundbreaking
  • Zoo Restaurant Groundbreaking

The Philadelphia Zoo officially began work on Earth & Elm Restaurant with a ceremonial groundbreaking on Monday, June 4. Set to open in Spring 2019, the new 20,000 square foot, two-floor dining facility will include seating for 650 guests, a rooftop deck, and a glass-enclosed pavilion. The restaurant is the latest effort in the Zoo’s push to enhance their dining options and provide innovative ways for visitors to experience this prominent tourist attraction.

Several project officials were on hand to speak and to take part in the groundbreaking, including Karen Daroff, President of Daroff Design + DDI Architects, Peter Sukalo, TutorPerini Corporation, Richard Faris, Philadelphia Zoo Board Member, Vikram Dewan, Philadelphia Zoo President & CEO, and Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo Chief Operating Officer.

“Designed from the inside out to provide visitors with a unique dining, event, and learning experience oriented to the surrounding landscape and exhibits, we hope the restaurant reinforces the Zoo’s mission of connecting children and families with nature and wildlife,” says Daroff in a statement on this exciting development. When it comes to the symbolic name of the restaurant, Dewan explained that “Earth” is to remind us of our planet’s dwindling resources and “Elm” is a reference to the Elm Tree, the oldest tree on the 42-acre property.

The restaurant is set to be constructed next to the Philadelphia Zoo Treehouse, where diners will have a beautiful view of the tree canopy and the Zoo’s Bird Lake. On the team led by Daroff, Arora has been retained to provide mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm/fire suppression, and special systems design and construction administration services for this very exciting project.

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