Students hoping to celebrate the end of the semester with dinner at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar may see their plans go up in smoke.
Despite earlier reports from CEO Dave Magrogan indicating that the Harvest location at 200 S 40th Street will undergo repairs and eventually reopen after a fire in January forced it to suspend operations, there has still been little sign of activity at the property. Now, business review websites Yelp and OpenTable list Harvest as either closed or permanently closed.
Neither the Dave Magrogan Group, which owns Harvest, nor Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services, which leases the building in University City that Harvest is located in, have responded to requests for comment on the restaurant’s future.
College senior Luke Barbour said he was a regular at Harvest before the fire, citing its comfortable and lively ambiance. He added that he is disappointed by Harvest’s apparent closure.
“Honestly I’m pretty bummed about it,” Barbour said. “It [was] a nice vibe — you [could] chill with your friends and chat in a booth or go hit the dance floor.”
Barbour added that the inexpensive drinks were also an important draw for Harvest.
“Three-dollar long islands on Thursdays is a great deal — like a great deal,” he said.
Other students aren’t as mournful.
College juniors Sam Muneton and Red Joseph don’t usually eat at restaurants like Harvest. Their typical meals are something they can order quickly for a low price.
“I rarely go to restaurants around here,” Muneton said. “I’m more of a food-truck and dining hall kind of guy.”
“I don’t really care too much one way or the other that it’s closed,” Joseph added. “I guess it’s kind of sad that the business isn’t doing well because they contribute to the neighborhood, but besides that, I don’t have an opinion about it specifically.”
Some students who prefer to eat at restaurants say they do not always like on-campus restaurants like Harvest. College senior Dustin Fitzpatrick prefers to venture out into Center City for higher-end meals.
“The only thing I really liked about Harvest is their Happy Hour on Thursday nights,” Fitzpatrick said. “I definitely go off campus more because I don’t want to be stuck in the Penn bubble.”
Wharton sophomore Jeffrey Bai said food prices at Harvest were too high for students, so he only ate there when his parents visited. Now, Bai said he and his parents opt for restaurants in Center City.
“I only went to Harvest like twice, just with my parents. It’s not something I’d go to with friends,” Bai said. “But after my first year, [my parents] wanted to explore Philly a bit more. So now we typically go to Dim Sum Garden [in Chinatown], or maybe Green Eggs Cafe for brunch.”
But Harvest still has fans on campus, and they are frustrated by the restaurant’s lack of transparency about plans for its future.
“[Harvest] has just sort of always been ‘the thing’ my friends and I do on Thursdays since we turned 21.” Barbour said. “So that’s been an annoying part for us. We want to know if it’s ever going to re-open.”