July 11, 2012
Our Guide To The 2012 Bastille Day Festival, Returning To Eastern State Penitentiary This Saturday, July 14: Storming Of The Bastille, Street Cabaret And Plenty Of After Parties
Eastern State Penitentiary’s iconic Bastille Day Festival 2012 hits the streets of Fairmount this Saturday, July 14.
To make sure you don’t miss a moment of it, check out our guide to Bastille Day 2012, below. And keep your eyes peeled right here for additional opportunities to celebrate the French holiday throughout Philadelphia this weekend.
Bearded Ladies Cabaret: 4:30 p.m.
The Bearded Ladies, Philadelphia’s experimental cabaret troupe, will present the entire French Revolution in a brand new two-hour spectacle of song, dance and beheading for this year’s festival. Street admission is free, but exclusive VIP seating (including beer and food) is available for a donation fee online.
Storming of the Bastille: 5:30 p.m.
This is the festival’s main act, during which dozens of French revolutionaries, armed with muskets and cannons and singing “La Marseilles,” storm the stone walls of “the Bastille” (Eastern State) and drag “Marie Antoinette” (Terry McNally, co-owner of Fairmount‘s London Grill) to a functioning guillotine built for the occasion. Oh, and then they rain down 3,000 Butterscotch Krimpets from the towers.
Bastille Day After Parties
Following the beheading, surrounding Fairmount restaurants come alive with French-themed entertainment and food and drink specials, and the Penitentiary will reopen for rare twilight tours at a discounted admission price ($10 Adults, $5 Students, Seniors and Kids). Take the opportunity to explore some of Fairmount’s new additions to its already great dining scene, plus a few standards that never disappoint. A few of our favorites:
Belgian Café: 601 N. 21st Street
The Belgian Café will offer French specialties including mussel and fennel bisque and Beet Napoleons. The bar will be pouring several bieres francophone.
Bridgid’s: 726 N. 24th Street
Bridgid’s will offer two select French wines, a specialty French cocktail, Kronenbourg 1664 beer and three premiere French entrees. Stop by for live music from 7-10 pm.
Flying Saucer Café: 2545 Brown Street
Enjoy French Roast cold-brewed iced coffee, cafe frappe, “oeufs au bacon avec fromage” on homemade croissants, and freshly made, organic fruit smoothies.
Hickory Lane: 2025 Fairmount Avenue
Hickory Lane will feature a French-themed 3 Course $30 Prix Fixe Menu. Call (215) 769-2420 for reservations.
More great ideas for Bastille Day after parties, below.
Jack’s Firehouse: 2130 Fairmount Avenue
Head directly across the street from the penitentiary to catch the action from a comfortable seat.
Lemon Hill: 747 N. 25th Street
A little further away (read: quieter), Lemon Hill we will be pouring French beers. Enjoy light-style, French-inspired dishes throughout the weekend.
London Grill and Paris Wine Bar: 2301 Fairmount Avenue
Stop by London Grill and sister restaurant Paris Wine Bar for a street party and a French menu all day (10 a.m. -10 p.m.). Stop by after the storming of the Bastille for The West Philadelphia Orchestra 6:30-9 p.m., The Hot Club of Philadelphia 9:30 p.m.-midnight, and Mike Kennedy performing 9-midnight.
Mugshots CoffeeHouse & Café: 1925 Fairmount Avenue
Stop by Mugshots for a free coffee tasting at 4 p.m. where you’ll compare a French press to a pour-over brewed coffee. Plan for a mid afternoon snack and enjoy a French soda and croissant for just $5.
Rembrandt’s: 741 N. 23rd Street
Enjoy Sweetbread Croquettes with a truffled buerre blanc sauce and a Robespierre’s Revenge drink special.
Urban Saloon: 2120 Fairmount Avenue
Enjoy $3 Kronenbourg 1664 drafts from the Kronenbourg beer truck all day Saturday.
Bastille Day Festival 2012
Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2020 Fairmount Avenue
When: Saturday, July 14, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
More info: www.easternstate.org