In case you missed the memo, Philadelphia is on its way to becoming the nation’s greenest city. Through grassroots organizations, the diligence and pride of residents and Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks Plan (out of the Office of Sustainability), big, green things are happening citywide.
Ready to make their own big, green things happen are 3 Nerds. Comprised of Ryan Dorsey, Marc Mattera, TJ Gersh and Zach Seidman (honorary member), 3 Nerds, LLC are known for their late-night hot spots and their desire to evolve the city’s night-life scene. Their next venture, Greenhouse (725 Chestnut Street), seeks to not only fill the void in sophisticated night-life, but to do so sustainably.
Before we go any further, you must forget what you’ve heard (Googled) about Greenhouse, NYC—the sustainably designed luxury nightclub that’s been visited by DJ’s from reality TV, athletes and a Kardashian or two. When Greenhouse opens in Philadelphia the only comparable elements will be the sustainable ones. (The name Greenhouse was obtained through a licensing agreement.)
The idea to open a sustainable nighttime haunt and restaurant in Philadelphia had been floating around Dorsey’s head since he toured the Icehouse Condominiums in Fishtown during its first phase of construction. Struck by the ease at which successful design was achieved through reuse, recycling, and high-efficiency, Dorsey began to consider ways to duplicate the success in a commercial capacity. A fortuitously timed phone call from some other interested parties was all it took for the idea to become action.
Though still educating themselves on the virtues of sustainability, the Nerds are acutely aware of the state of green Philadelphia. They are well-versed in the Green Works Plan and believe that by focusing on specific targets of the plan—like Targets 2 & 7 which speak to energy conservation and solid waste diversion—Greenhouse can avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls of the excess so often associated with nightlife. With some strategic marketing, they might also reduce the types of excess (noise, litter, loitering) that lump late-night establishments in with other “bad neighbors.”
According to Dorsey, the typical nightclub customer is a 24 year old female. Greenhouse will be promoted as a sophisticated safe-haven where she, her friends and coworkers can enjoy each other’s company without the raucous crowds typically found in nightclubs. At Greenhouse, guests will be able to make environmentally responsible choices in dining and drinking while contributing positively to the Washington West neighborhood.
Because the approval process is ongoing, the design of Greenhouse is in its infancy. Initial plans feature refinished hardwood, LED lighting, and architectural elements resembling trees. There are also some unexpected choices in color that carry the theme seamlessly through the entire space. The space lacks natural light necessary to sustain an actual greenhouse, though the Nerds are open to creative solutions that allow for living plants.
Once the zoning is approved Boxwood Architects—who count Zavino, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Garces Restaurant Group as clients—will complete a full set of plans to be executed by Brown Builders in accordance with requirements of LEED Gold certification.
On the operations side, the Nerds are still seeking a chef, but intend for items on the Greenhouse menu to be locally sourced. Ideally, the bar will serve local and organic cocktails. The staff will be clothed in recycled fabrics and trained to speak to the sustainable aspects of the establishment. In an effort to go paperless, guests will view menus and place orders on iPads. Their receipts will be emailed. Everything that can be recycled will be.
Once the approval process is completed, construction is expected to take about four months. The Nerds are already fielding calls from those eager to reserve the space for private parties and company outings and committed to contributing positively to our big, green city.