Lehigh County, PA 

 

Named for the Leigh River which runs through the county's two largest cities - Allentown and Bethlehem

 

The crown. The mark of royalty. This symbol denotes a tavern with an overall excellence that exceeds the norm.

 The foamy mug marks a specific  feature that is noteworthy.

Normally when a bar goes out of business the location will never again house a tavern. Often the liquor license is sold to a distant entity.  The phoenix marks pubs that have defied the odds and reopened after having been silenced.

Not every pub that says its Irish is Irish but the ones that are and the ones that have great St Patrick's Day events will be identified with this brand.

The screw. The sign of gross injustice or disservice.  AmericanTom believes that people go to their local watering hole to escape their day to day grind and troubles.  In a way, servers and barkeeps are like actors - orchestrating a great play whose cast are their customers. Some of the things that can generate a screw are: great disparity between how regulars and visitors are treated, rudeness or utter incompetence.

Most businesses have a neutral attitude toward motorcyclists.   The HD logo marks taverns that openly welcome those who arrive on scooters.

Inflation sucks. It sucks away your buying power.  If you can still buy a beer for one dollar - you will see this sign.

Seafood is a class of food all by itself.  Clams have little competition - few foods are better when done well and few foods can cause more problems when improperly served. See the clam next to a bar's name and it shows where tasty clams have been enjoyed!

I like Reading, PA. In spite of being Pennsylvania's most dangerous city there are a lot of cool things to do here. One of the best is that "our" beer is back. You can have your big, national (and often foreign-owned) brands.        I  am happy that Old Gus has come home!  Taverns serving this delicious brew will have this icon.

Have a cold one on the deck!

 

tom@americantom.com

 

COMMIX HOTEL
3245 West Emmaus Dr   Allentown, PA  18103   610-797-9711

         

[9-2007]  I liked this bar the moment I laid eyes on it.  The impressive stone exterior was trying to tell me its story from 400 feet away.   Snow flew as I approached and if I squinted I could almost see the horses tied up outside as men rode in for a beer and to catch up on the local news.  But this was 2008 and the electric sign glowed brightly and cars filled the lot.

"Commix" is reportedly a contraction of "Come Mix With Us" and the building was constructed in the 18th Century.   The nearby sign says "Site of meeting of rebels in Frie's Insurrection 1799".    Frie's Rebellion was one of the 'big 3' uprisings in PA (the other two being Shay's and the Whiskey Rebellion) - back in the days when citizens had the balls to stand up for oppressive taxation. Today, we just accept creeping socialism and gripe among ourselves.  Many modern Americans don't even vote or attend the meetings of our elected officials - let along take up arms to beat back rising taxes.

Inside the Commix you will find the walls full of mounted animals - fish, lions, antelope, etc - and most are wearing hats including a crown.  Neat and funny.

I definitely want to come back and hang out some evening.  There is much more history to be discovered here.

HOMETOWN HEROES
310 East Goep Street  Bethlehem  PA  18018

 

[9-2007]  This bar has a great theme - "Hometown Heroes" - military and emergency services.  Love the old wooden floors - surely a story waiting to be told about them. 

Another watering hole mobbed with people from the Celtic Classic.

 

JIMMY'S PLACE
1122 Airport Rd    Allentown    PA  18109    610-435-6464

 

LIBERTY STREET TAVERN
2246 Liberty Street    Allentown    PA  18104   484-221-8765 
 

     

       

3: The Ring Game - swing the ring on the cable and try to hook it   4: Note the last line - St Louis MO - A crying shame   5: The way it should be and no longer is   6: For the hippies    7: Members of the beer club get their own plaques   8: Over 300 kinds of bottled beer   9:  Our barmaid, Sherry, with a bottle of Rogue's Chocoloate Stoudt

 

J.P. O'MALLEY'S PUB
1528 West Union Street     Allentown   PA  18102    610-821-5556

 

 

[2-2008]  We didn't arrive to O'Malley's until 10ish but at 7 they had a piper and the Bass girls. That is always a winning combination.

The narrow entrance way was probably no busier than any other weekend night but it was butts to nuts as people tried moving to and fro.  I bet the servers get tired of negotiating that skinny trail.  I watched a large lady swipe about a 1/2" off someone's lit cigarette - she didn't seem to notice but probably will find a burn mark on her jacket.

Our waitress was nice and efficient.  I ordered a chicken steak sandwich and a domestic, non-exotic beer (drawing the ire of the beer purists with me).  My sandwich arrived and somehow my request for no cheese had seemingly been interpreted as no cheese and no sauce and no onions.  All I got was a roll with fried chicken chunklets (almost pebbles or marbles).  The roll was excellent and the sandwich would have been very good with sauce and onions but was hard to choke down alone.

People seemed to be having fun and I could see myself coming here a lot if I was a local.


 

OLD BREWERY TAVERN (OBT)
138 West Union Blvd   Bethlehem PA   18101  
www.oldbrewerytavern.com

 

[9-2007]  I have been here a couple of times and its always packed with people having a good time.  This stop found the place full of folks coming or going from the nearby Celtic Classic.  The lovely barmaid was posted at the door to card the thirsty.

The side and back rooms are a good place to get away from the noise and chill.

Good place!


YOUR WELCOME INN
325 S New Street   Bethlehem   PA  18015

[9-2007]  This is a great neighborhood bar - even with its outside sign missing!

Eclectic inside with a big ol bartender.  The kind of guy who looks like he has been behind that bar for decades.

Someday I will return and ask him about the history of this place.