Urban Eatery is a full-service dining facility located within The Summit at University City, a mixed-use student residential tower and retail center at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The design for the 20,000-square-foot, 400-seat Urban Eatery was inspired by the tradition of a city market – a lively urban center where food and people intermix. Urban Eatery features six unique dining platforms: international street fare, a grill, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, a NY-style deli, locally sourced salad/smoothie bar, and a grab and go café. Seating areas are dispersed throughout the space, each designed to support a variety of gatherings- from friends grabbing a coffee, to small study groups. The centerpiece of Urban Eatery is an iconic, transparent glass pavilion, activating the street frontage and blurring the line between the University and the neighborhood.
The palette, interior finishes, and furniture for Urban Eatery reflect a contemporary urban sophistication with a modern fritted glass pattern, natural steel staircase, warm wood ceilings, and modern furniture. The design deliberately avoids the use of the University’s brand, which further demonstrates the space as a shared community facility, not just for the students but for the neighborhood as a whole.
The design team was challenged by Drexel to create a new model for an urban university dining hall, one that would bridge town and gown, serving students and residents of the surrounding Powelton Village neighborhood.