The Drexelbrook in 2020

December 31st, 2020

While so much has happened in 2020, The Drexelbrook team is grateful for so many things we were able to participate in and accomplish throughout the year. Here is a look back on some things that happened this year that you might have missed:

Drexelbrook Catering Becomes “The Drexelbrook”

Drexelbrook has expanded so much over the decades, and this year we wanted to bring everything under one title: The Drexelbrook. The Drexelbrook envelops the catering company, event venue, Holiday Inn & Suites, Franklin Commons, and Streetlight Kitchen & Bar. All of these facets make up The Drexelbrook and our role in hospitality.

The Drexelbrook

At The Drexelbrook, you can celebrate a wedding in our Grand Ballroom, followed by a late night bite at Streetlight Kitchen & Bar, and finaling ending the night in a room at the Holiday Inn & Suites. Looking for a different style? Franklin Commons in Phoenixville is a great choice for those looking for an artistic, rustic venue, paired with Drexelbrook’s award-winning catering. The Drexelbrook is a one stop shop for all of your hospitality needs.

Interior Redesign of Streetlight Kitchen & Bar

Streetlight Kitchen & Bar has endured a massive interior redesign this year. To incorporate the history of The Drexelbrook, the artwork throughout the restaurant and ground floor of the Hotel showcases some of The Drexelbrook’s most memorable and iconic moment through its 70 year history. Surrounding the top of the bar, you can see a wrap of multiple news articles from the 1950s to the 2000s.

Streetlight Kitchen & Bar

The back wall of the restaurant also shows historic and present day pictures of important events from The Drexelbrook. The old streetlight lamplighter (where Streetlight gets its name) pulls together all of the pieces. The lamplighter was originally an icon for the Drexelbrook’s news mailer: The Lampost, “To enlighten you on the latest news of Drexelbrook.”

Food for the Frontline

As the pandemic started to affect the U.S., we wanted to find a way to help out the frontline workers. We paired up with Visit Delco, PA to create the “Food for the Frontline” initiative in April. Each donation included a “power meal” that was made with plenty of protein, and a small treat to get workers through their long days. We wanted to give hospital workers, emergency responders, and all frontline workers something that could be eaten hot or cold, anywhere and any time, while giving them a boost of energy.

Food for the Frontline

Donations flooded in from Delaware County and beyond. We delivered hundreds of meals to frontline workers across the county. In the holiday season, we adjusted the meals for those working on Thanksgiving and Christmas. These meals were more traditional with turkey, gravy, roasted vegetables, and a piece of pie. This initiative was a great part of 2020 and sparked more organizations to do their own version. J Scott Catering also did a Food for the Frontline in Chester County.

Streetlight Tent and Curbside Cocktails

When COVID-19 restrictions began, we had to get creative. Streetlight had been a fairly new addition to The Drexelbrook, and we celebrated our grand re-opening in January. After the original isolation period, our wood-fired restaurant came back better than ever in Delaware County’s “Green” status. Prior to this, we introduced our “Curbside Cocktails.” Our bartenders created cocktails to go for people to pick up outside of the restaurant. This was a great way for people to start trying our cocktail creations and get a taste of our food, even if they were not able to dine in yet.

With the more recent restrictions, we had to get creative. We were excited early on to debut the Streetlight patio, but did not expect to still have outdoor dining into December! The Streetlight patio has outdoor fire pits that heat up the space and keep it warm in the new tented addition. In the tent, we have been able to host small wine classes, DJ’s from Schaffer Sound, and The Dueling Piano dudes from BVTLive! Streetlight has been able to safely follow all recommended guidelines while still giving our patrons a great dining experience.

 

Delco Feeds Delco

We know first hand the hardships that the hospitality industry faced this year. Many valuable people lost their jobs across the country. In order to help out where we can, The Drexelbrook joined with Visit Delco, Springfield Country Club, and the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce to introduce “Delco Feeds Delco.” One donation to Delco Feeds Delco provides a family of four with a meal and a $10 ShopRite gift card. These meals go to unemployed hospitality workers that lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

This is an ongoing effort, and is still happening right now. If you would like to sign up to receive a meal, or would like to make a donation, please visit us here.

Drexelbrook Delivers and Special Occasions

For years, Drexelbrook has promoted our “Special Occasions” program around the holidays. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, people are able to order full meals that they can serve at home without having to lift a finger. Each year we also hosted a Mother’s Day Brunch and Easter spread in our event center. During the pandemic, we combined these ideas. Since people were not allowed to dine in here, we brought their meals to them. We created packages that people could order for themselves, or for friends and families for these holidays. It was a great way to provide a delectable meal for those staying in, that were tired of regular takeout pizzas and cheesesteaks.

The Drexelbrook Catering

From there, we decided to expand and create “Drexelbrook Delivers.” Instead of only offering these dinners on the holidays, we allowed people to order any day of the week. These meals included all different seasonal offerings and household favorites. We have done this program all throughout 2020, and it has been a way to keep allow our catering chefs to experiment and be creative. Both programs have now combined to just be “Special Occasions,” and we are still taking plenty of orders!

The Drexelbrook Recognition

Earlier in the year, we were happy to receive Meeting Professionals International Philadelphia Chapter’s “Venue of the Year” award. MPI is the largest meeting and event industry worldwide. We were so grateful to be recognized by their Philadelphia chapter.

PartySpace of Philadelphia also recognized us for an award. They granted us their “Community Choice” award. Party Space notes, “We have established the Community Choice Award to honor venues that invested its time, talents and resources to give back to its community and Drexelbrook exceeded these efforts.”

Micro, Boutique, and Backyard Weddings

Through it all, The Drexelbrook has always remained focused on weddings and strive to do everything we can to plan and re-plan.  We have hosted intimate backyard weddings, weddings on our patio, and outdoor weddings at Franklin Commons.

Franklin Commons

Photo by Juliana Bird Photography

With so many constant changes, our team had to get creative with set up for each wedding. While celebrations were a little different this year, there was still so much love in each ceremony and event. Our catering team uniquely prepared every event to help our brides and grooms plan their day. Nothing felt traditional about weddings this year, and our team did a great job at overcoming these challenges in a positive way. Looking back, it is great to see how many couples could still celebrate such a happy moment during this year.

 

 

 

Looking Ahead

We have persevered through this year, and know that people will continue to gather and celebrate for years to come. It is ingrained in our nature to celebrate together. We look forward to bringing new expansions and ideas to you in the future. The Drexelbrook cannot wait to be there for you all when we can celebrate again together. Happy New Year! Cheers to a better 2021.