The Kennett community has embraced the return of Third Thursdays in 2022 and people are gathering in record numbers to enjoy the magical ambiance of these al fresco evenings. State Street restauranteurs are also delighted with their success.

“Third Thursdays are festive community events that highlight all that Kennett Square has to offer,” say Brett Hulbert and Sandra Morris of Portabellos of Kennett Square. “It’s wonderful to see friends, neighbors, and out-of-town guests come together in our amazing small town. We are offering live jazz outside from Mr. Wayne James every Thursday for the enjoyment of dining guests and people just strolling by on a summer’s evening.” The festivities for Portabellos this year also include the ten-year anniversary of this beloved Kennett Square restaurant.

The ingredients for Third Thursdays  are simple—outdoor dining tables set on a street lined with blooming planters and charming historic buildings, live music, street vendors, food trucks, and extended opening hours at Kennett Square’s award-winning independent specialty shops and boutiques. Award-winning local cuisine prepared by Kennett Square’s top chefs and served with a smile. As the sun sets and the shadows lengthen, a gentle breeze might mingle with the conversation and laughter as people greet neighbors and friends, babies in strollers, grinning kids with painted faces under balloon-twisted crowns, and four-footed friends on leashes. Without traffic, State Street comes alive on Third Thursday evenings and people remember why they love life in a small town life.

“Third Thursdays are festive community events that highlight all that Kennett Square has to offer,” say Brett Hulbert and Sandra Morris of Portabellos of Kennett Square, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. (Bri Carlisle, photo)

Third Thursdays also offer an opportunity to savor the flavors of summer and new summer menu items, including the shish kebab and Gazpacho watermelon soup at Byrsa Bistro, says owner Ahmed Chraga. The ever-popular La Verona serves up classic Italian fare and offers options such as gluten-free pasta. For hyper-local seasonality and an ever-changing menu that reflects chef-driven creativity and passion to shine a light on local food in its most flavorful and beautiful forms, make a reservation to enjoy the tasting menu at Chef Scott Morozin’s award-winning Verbena BYOB.

Byrsa Bistro is offering new summer menu items with a Mediterranean flair.

West State Street vibes

Enjoy a slightly different vibe on the west side of State Street with Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen’s live DJ team spinning international vinyl. “It will be another fun Third Thursday,” promises co-owner Lee Mikles. “Grain is once again hosting outdoor games like corn hole, for kids and adults alike, and celebrating its roots and the historic Unicorn Block with special State Street cocktails themed after the different merchants. We offer outdoor seating as well as our upstairs bar and seating overlooking Kennett Square.” Grain’s collaborative community spirit went in a fresh direction this summer with a newly released collaboration beer with Braeloch Brewing. “Named for the distance between the restaurant and the brewery, Six Blocks is a light, refreshing dry-hopped beer that you can enjoy while at Grain or have a 32-ounce crowler made fresh to take elsewhere.” Local favorites Lily Asian Cuisine and GFG will round out the dining options on West State Street, along with food truck options Mezzaluna Wood Fired Pizza and The Flying Deutschman. In addition to kid-friendly activities like balloon art and face painting, event organizers Kennett Collaborative have also arranged a variety of street vendors and gourmet cotton candy from Spun by Allaire.

The community-centered Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen on West State Street offers offer outdoor seating as well as our upstairs bar and seating overlooking Kennett Square. (Bri Carlisle, photo)

“There’s been a great feeling of community spirit at the Third Thursday events in May and June and we look forward to the same this coming week and through to October,” says Kennett Collaborative Executive Director Bo Wright. “We’re delighted to have been able to work with the Borough of Kennett Square to bring back this beloved community tradition after two years. We encourage everyone to continue to support our local small businesses and restaurants—on State Street and throughout town—this summer season.”

State Street is closed from Broad to Center Streets from 5pm to 10pm every Third Thursday from May through October. Please note that in the event of a weather-related cancellation, every effort will be made to reschedule the street closure for the following evening (Friday).