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What does a 24-hour Philadelphia look like? New nighttime economy director wants to start with 2 a.m. tacos


After the sun sinks below the Philadelphia skyline, Raheem Manning envisions a robust nightlife scene, with food trucks awaiting concertgoers or the computer programmer working late into the night. It’s part of a mission to increase commerce after dark in each of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, bolstering the overall nighttime economy.

After co-chairing City Council’s Arts and Culture Taskforce , Manning was named the first nighttime economy director in the city’s history on July 21. It’s a position that many other cities instituted before the Covid-19 pandemic. In nearby cities like Pittsburgh, New York and Washington, D.C., they have been colloquially referred to as “night czars” or “night mayors.” Manning may not use such a moniker, but he does want local businesses to look at him as a partner and advocate for needed policy change.

He knows one of the main concerns for businesses that operate past 5 p.m. is safety. Businesses on some of the city’s retail corridors have opted to close early due to such concerns. Manning’s voice representing the plight of nighttime businesses — like restaurants, bars, clubs, concert venues, and even some coffee shops — will be vital if Philadelphia wants to create an around-the-clock economy.

The term “24-hour city” […]

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