After twenty years, there’s no slowing down for Philadelphia’s original hot spot for “dining and dancing on the Delaware.” Cavanaugh’s River Deck at 417 N. Columbus Blvd. is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Philly’s famous “River Deck” is still rocking with a special line-up for summer 2023 that includes updated menus with new and returning food favorites, thirst-quenching summertime cocktails, big name DJs, Sunday brunch events, property enhancements, ever-popular theme nights – and the return of decades old traditions that made the deck famous.
Long before Spruce Street Harbor Park, Morgan’s Pier and Liberty Point were even a blip of an idea, the big names on the waterfront were Chart House, Dave and Buster’s, Rock Lobster and yes, the iconic Katmandu – where two former co-workers would reunite and start the seeds of friendship that would lead to a new hospitality group with restaurants across the city.
Kenneth Hutchings and Patrick Pawliczek had worked together in the early 90s at Cavanaugh’s University City, when it was owned then by Pawliczek’s grandfather at the time. The duo went their separate ways on to other jobs, until they reconnected at Katmandu in the early 2000s with Hutchings as the General Manager and Pawliczek as the Chef. The two partnered up and bought the property, closed Katmanu and reopened it as Cavanaugh’s River Deck in summer of 2003. (It was a big year on the waterfront as the Moshulu also would reopen in its new home at the opposite side of the waterfront.)
Once open, Cavanaugh’s became the go-to spot for dancing and DJs, live entertainment, dinner with a view, mug nights, theme entertainment and much more. Cavanaugh’s would see hundreds of thousands of people through its doors as the years went by – and while time may have sped forward, Cavanaugh’s has remained consistently one of the top places to draw in the crowds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
No matter the year or the decade, Cavanaugh’s has remained a go-to spot for new generations and guests in their 20s, 30s and 40s. In fact, for the owners, the line on some weekend nights gives them a huge touch of nostalgia as the line is just as long (if not longer) than when they first opened two decades ago.
“Twenty years ago this summer Ken and I decided to go into business together and we have never looked back,” said Pawliczek. “We used to say it was fate that brought us together at Katmandu. We knew we wanted to create our own brand with Cavanaugh’s River Deck at the time – but little did we know what a big hit it would be. We certainly didn’t know we would be opening more Cavanaugh’s down the road. In 2008, we debuted the original Rittenhouse location. In 2013, exactly ten years after the grand opening of River Deck, we took over and opened Cavanaugh’s Headhouse. In 2022, we just grand opened the new Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse after we moved down the block. It has been a crazy and wild ride for twenty years – with no signs of slowing down. We are so thankful to keep on doing what we love for all this time. The customers, the staff, the community – we appreciate all the support and patronage.”
To celebrate twenty years in business, Cavanaugh’s River Deck presents a summer lineup for the rest of June, July and August that includes:
* Wednesday Mug Nights – still the same price as they were in 2007 – $5 a mug!
* Thursday Live Band Karaoke – you front your own band and become the star
* Friday On Deck – Big name DJS, big lights, big beats, big vibes
* Slay Saturdays – DJs, dancing, good times
* Sunday Yappy Brunches – bring fido, enjoy food and ALL drink for only $25
* Sunday Drag Brunches – featuring Brittany Lynn and the Philly Drag Mafia
* Sunday Male Revue Big Decks – with spicy shows, two hour drinks and brunch
Brunch prices are as follows:
$25 per person includes admission and brunch buffet with breakfast/brunch favorites
$50 per person includes admission, brunch buffet and two hour mimosas
Tables for 2 – 6 guests starting at $100
Hours for the 2023 summer season are:
Wednesday to Friday, 4:00pm to 2:00am
Saturday and Sunday, 11:30am to 2:00am – unless early open for theme brunches
Select theme brunches are Sundays starting at 11:00am
And so much more! Be sure to visit their website (definitely check out the menu here!) and follow them on Instagram or Facebook.
And stay tuned for news of a 20th Anniversary Party!
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