• Wednesday , 21 February 2018

University City Gets Smart with Chic, Sleek Study Hotel and Unique Co-Op Restaurant

Story, photos by Cassie Hepler

University City in Philadelphia, Pa. is going through a sort of revival of its own. Once only home to college students, it is now becoming a go-to space for business, a thriving foodie scene and even nightlife on the other side of the river. Without having to schlep over the bridge to Center City and much of it becoming walkable, it’s a nice self-contained fun unit.

Enter Study Hotels. Located close to Drexel and Penn, it’s a great space for scholars, families, business travelers and students alike. With a very obvious studious theme going on (oversized, Instagram-worthy glasses sculpture outside) to books galore as well as a painting of a typewriter reminding us that writing it not dead it’s just evolving into an online, digital format. The even have a custom designed writing desk to hand write a letter to a friend or send a post card to a family member – and the hotel pays the postage. Old school at its finest and a pleasant – and unexpected surprise – for the recipient.

The Study at University City Hotel holds 212 well-appointed guest rooms, suites and “Study” signature guest room accommodations. The second floor of the hotel consists of event and light-filled social catering spaces including an impressive banquet salon. Right next to the hotel is CO-OP Restaurant & Lounge, positioned at the bustling corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets in the heart of University City. CO-OP combines a casual neighborhood restaurant offering a fresh perspective on city dining in an open, light-filled space. Owned by Hospitality 3, they also provide The Study at Yale University also with killer views for days.

Right now, The Study is offering a Valentine’s Day package and more with perks for a steal! Whether it’s a staycation or a romantic getaway (or mental health days), we highly recommend checking out this chill space.

The entrance and Insta-worthy glasses at The Study at University City entrance. Submitted Photo

Make sure to take a shot of the telltale glasses at The Study at University City. Submitted Photo

Walking inside you will probably be drawn to this painting of a time gone by at The Study at University City. Submitted Photo

The coffee and breakfast bar sit behind the blue chairs at The Study at University City which is not included in your stay however some rooms do have Keurig machines and if not, you may request one. Submitted Photo

A standard room at The Study at University City much like the one we stayed in overnight. Depending on where you are placed, the city views are fantastic especially at sunset. Submitted Photo

A nice accent to each room are these posh leather chairs, great for snuggling up with your laptop, book or a Kindle at The Study at University City. Submitted Photo

As every hotel should know by now, have a place to plug in next to each side of the bed at The Study at University City. Submitted Photo

The gym at The Study at University City was impressive in size and equipment. Usually hotels squeeze a ton of almost useless equipment in one room. This is two large rooms filled with top notch equipment, free headphones and water bottles to boot.

Soon it was time to dine inside the Co-Op restaurant. During the daytime, the light really does flood inside. Submitted Photo

A view from our table outside into the street scene at Co-Op Restaurant attached to The Study at University City. Submitted Photo

Always a sucker for bubbles, this sparkling rose pinot noir from Leo Hillinger in Austria really hit the not too sweet spot at Co-Op Restaurant.

Charred brussel sprouts are always a good, healthy choice at Co-Op Restaurant. The crunchy chili garlic, carrot and ginger kicked it up a notch in flavor.

In love with carbs, we had to try the french fries at Co-Op Restaurant and they were good but not drool worthy.

One of the most stand out dishes of the night was this whipped chicken liver mousse at Co-Op Restaurant with pickled shallots and mustard seeds. With the fresh baked pretzel loaf, it was a creamy dream to eat and converted our guest too!

The charcuterie board is always interesting to sample new flavors of cheese on rotation. We loved the unique choices at Co-Op Restaurant.

Moving on from the delicious rose bubbles, I always revert back to France. And I was delighted with this clean, blanc Sancerre by Hubert Brochard in Loire, France.

After a pretty basic Yule Mule (Moscow Mule with non-existent festive trimmings), my guest went for the spicy Daughter of the Devil with Thai chili infused tequila, pineapple, lime and agave. Not for the weak of heart or spice, it was addictive and heartburn worthy.

Whole chili spiced prawns were such a work of art at Co-Op Restaurant with lobster bisque, lime, sherry, cilantro and chorizo on top of toast. The soggy toast part made no sense (maybe rice would have been better) but the rest of this dish was delish!

When pigging out, healthy sides are key at Co-Op Restaurant like this caramelized spaghetti squash with sage, capers, citrus and raisins. It was a gooey, delicious mess and we loved it.

You can always judge a restaurant by the steak and this was no different at Co-Op Restaurant. If we were doing lunch, the grass fed beef burger would have been what’s up but for dinner, the charred NY Strip Steak was cooked exactly right with a little crisp on the outside, juicy inside with leek puree, more brussels, miatake mushrooms, kale, pomegranate and pistachio.

Our guest enjoyed some caffeine for dessert with Illy Coffee Affogato, espresso poured over vanilla ice cream at Co-Op Restaurant with a side of cappuccino.

Chocolate cake always beckons my name late at night and I couldn’t resist this thick, decadent double fudge cake with house made ice cream at Co-Op Restaurant and might have had it for breakfast the next morning too. Don’t judge!

And for a night cap, I went the other way with a delicious dirty martini at Co-Op Restaurant. I like it extra dirty or as friends have called it, just like sea water.

In the morning, I worked remotely then made my way back home reluctantly as I was in the midst of  the great moving migration from Philly to Arizona. A lovely break from reality or place to stay during travel with a great and accommodating team to boot, we look forward to exploring more with The Study Hotels. Next time maybe we’ll get smarter by osmosis at Yale!

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