Harvest to follow trend toward fresh, local food options
Many students reacted positively to the presence of a healthy, upscale restaurant on campus
January 11, 2012, 11:14 pm·
Ben Rosenau | DP
Though many students on campus have never heard of Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, they are excited to try the new types of food that it will offer.
The restaurant will open in June on the corner of 40th and Walnut, where Marathon Grill and MarBar used to occupy. Marathon closed last May.
Harvest, which uses ingredients from local and sustainable farms, offers dishes that are under 500 calories, following a trend of healthy eating on campus.
“People want to put their money toward sustainable and local food,” said Erin McCarthy, program associate at the Eat Well Guide, an online directory for local and sustainable food. “Young people are becoming aware of that.”
McCarthy added that this trend is “definitely happening in Philadelphia.”
Wharton freshman Jessica Stone believes the restaurant will do well because of its healthy options. “It’s good to have healthy food,” she said, believing Harvest may draw in “the Sweetgreen crowd.”
“There are so many fast food places on campus,” she added.
College sophomore Sarah Schelde and College freshman Allie Bienenstock agreed. “The locally grown, local ingredients will probably be popular,” Schelde said. Bienenstock supports the idea of having a healthy, upscale restaurant located right on campus so students “don’t have to go downtown now for a nicer restaurant.”
Some students, however, are concerned about the portion sizes of the low-calorie dishes. “I’m not a fan,” College junior Sean Torpey said when asked about the 500-calorie limit.
Others are more concerned with the overall taste, and comparison between Harvest and Marathon is inevitable. “I loved Marathon. I loved their brunch,” Wharton junior Greg Oliveras said. “If [Harvest] is tasty, I’ll be there.”
In addition, some students are worried that the upscale-casual restaurant will be overpriced.
Harvest’s owner Dave Magrogan, however, called his menu “affordable,” which may factor largely into the restaurant’s success.
College junior Erik Hummel said he will go to Harvest “as long as it’s reasonably priced.”
On its second floor, Harvest will have a wine bar to complement the downstairs dining area and outside patio.
Students’ responses toward this renovation have generally been positive. “People like wine,” College freshman Brooke Rascoff said. “It’s unique to have a wine bar above a health food place.” Oliveras also said the wine bar will be “delightful.”
However, Harvest was not necessarily what Hummel had in mind for Marathon’s replacement.
He wishes there had been three smaller restaurants that are “reasonably priced” instead of one in the large space.
Senior staff writer Prameet Kumar contributed reporting to this article.