REST IN PEACE

Memorializing tap rooms that have gone out of business

 

 


ALPENHOF BAVARIAN RESTAURANT
903 Morgantown Rd   Reading   PA   19607   610-373-1624
www.alpenhofonline.com     

        

[2002] The BRIDGE OUT sign is what ended up leading me to this establishment. My curiosity led me to see if the bridge truly was out  or if it actually could be driven over if you really wanted to. The bridge was completely missing so I turned around and  headed out when I  saw the Alpenhof on a small hill to my right. Its unique architecture caught my eye. Parking the truck, I  walked into the woods across the  street to snap a photo of the exterior. As I was aiming, the white lights came on and really made the place look inviting. The glowing  YUENGLING light smiled happily at me from its place of honor in the Bierstube’s ( bar ) window as I walked across the big porch to go in.

Just inside the door is a big gift shop featuring all German items such as Hummels, steins and chocolate. The bar sits off to the right and has three German beers and Yuengling Lager.

I was warmly greeted by barmaid Amy and noticed a German looking man sipping a beer at the end of the bar. He was Manfred Wimmer, the proprietor. Stupidly following habit, I ordered a Lager and was given a basket of pretzels and Good’s chips.    There were no patrons eating at 430PM but soon after people started coming in for the Alpenhof’s authentic  German food. My next beer seemed more appropriate in such a    German place – a good Spaten draft. Tasty! My mouth was craving some bratwurst but the wallet wouldn’t authorize the purchase.  A good reason to return sometime in the near future.

This great building was constructed in 1898 and is listed on the Berks County Register of Historic Places. An accordionist plays on Saturdays  and the beer garden is open throughout the warm months. The guesthouse has 8 rooms – each with private bathroom.    A hearty breakfast is included.     The porch seems like the perfect place to sip a good German beer as the sunsets on a warm Spring day. One of the only drawbacks of this place is its proximity to the Reading sewage treatment plant which reportedly puts out quite a stink at times.

You won’t find many hip young people here and nobody is dancing the night away – but if you want to experience a truly unique place in terms of architecture, atmosphere and food - this is the spot.

[11-2006]   One of the positives about the Alpenhof is how I view it as a stalwart icon in the world of pubs. There is something almost eternal about this place. I walked in to find a handful of middle-aged folks enjoying beers and martinis from their male barkeep.

I wasn't even a third through my beer when Manfred came in, nodded and went behind the bar to tap himself a cold one.  He then sat down on the patron side of the bar and consumed it (also smoking I think).  Almost the identical routine to what I saw during the last entry - FOUR years ago. There is something good  about knowing that things change slowly here.

 [7-2009]   The Alpenhof Restaurant will be closing.  The bar, gift shop and room rentals will continue.


B&B RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
153 East Main Street   New Holland, Lancaster County,    PA   17557   717-354-2310 

     

<12-2006> The B&B never enticed me to stop before I saw their sign promulgating their clam special. The barmaid was friendly as was her boyfriend sitting at the bar.  In general, everyone was nice and talkative.

The clams were good with a pretty shell.

This business appears not to have been remodeled in decades. 

<3-2007> Another one bites the dust.  Drove by today and saw that the B&B is gone. Doesn't look like the new place sells beer. I wonder who got this liquor license.

 


BALD STEWEY'S PUB & RESTAURANT
1804 Newport Gap Pike
, Wilmington, DE  19808    302-892-2911

 

[6-2006]  Bald Stewey's rated and 'A' when I first saw the sign. I had to turn around and found this bar about 1/2 mile off the Kirkwood Highway.  I think it took me months and months to return because I was hoping it would e an awesome place and did not want to risk ruining that vision.

The time came to stop in on a mid-Friday morning. Surely, the Scottish piper on the sign would yield all sorts of interesting things on the inside - maybe even to include a fair young lass in a teeny plaid kilt skirt!

No such luck.  There were 4 patrons inside and all of them stopped to stare at me as if I was some sort of intruder. The barmaid was probably the beautiful homecoming queen many years ago.  Her bright blonde locks and chocolate-brown tan would probably be enough to classify her as pretty decent looking if she had the personality to match. Unfortunately my request for a beer seemed to almost be chore for her.

The owner of this establishment seemed to be quite involved in charity work as many certificates adorned the wall behind the bar. The dining room was large. The large sign announcing upcoming bands was empty of any tags. Im sure this place could be fun with the right crowd. Too bad there isn't any Celtic decorations inside.

[3-2008]  Has become Rox Bar & Grill


    BOO BOO's TAVERN 
1016 Cotton Street   Reading, Berks County,   PA   19602   610-373-9471
N40  19.718   W75  55.074

Entered into rest: August 15th 2007. The building is now known as "Raphy's" although the owner states he may keep the Boo Boo's name.
 

             

1: Just because the neon lights aren't turned on doesn't mean they aren't open     2: The sign dates back to at least the 1940s  3: View from the bar into some of the living space   4: Yes, the dog is alive      5: Decorated for Christmas 11/4/05   6: Amy on a Friday night - the only night Boo Boos is open late ( sadly the volunteer bartender in this photo has passed away from cancer)  

<01-06-04> This is exactly the type of bar that my book was intended to describe. Its been open for over 70 years and its fading sign has been hanging since the 1950s.

The  old fellow working today limped to the bar from some sort of project on a table behind where the patrons sit. He said he "helps out" pretty    often and tapped me a 12oz Lager for $1.00 Retro-ish Christmas decorations were all over the bar and the barkeep told   me that Boo Boo's is "probably the most decorated bar in Reading". Looking to the right from the barstools offers an unobstructed  view into the owner's living room,   dining room and kitchen - no door even separates the bar from the residence. There was even a big yellow dog asleep on a rug.

The only other customer in the place was obviously a regular as the two guys bickered back and forth in a manner that only comes from many    years and beers of practice. A second beer ("no bottles, just cans") cost $1.50 and tasted a bit fresher than the slightly musty draft and a bag of Good's chips cost just 35cents.

As I was about to leave the owner came down and told me about the old days when workers from the many local factories would   come in for breakfast, lunch and supper and "the bar was always full". Guys would drink a double shot of whiskey to build the courage needed to work in some   of the very dangerous jobs that existed throughout Reading. Back in the days "when you could be drunk and drive all over town and nobody   bothered you".

This bar needs to be photographed because much of its appeal is visual.

<08-04-04>  The old timer who could loosely be called the manager must have forgotten to turn on the neon lights today because the only   signal that Boo Boos was open was that the front door was propped open. Even this was a poor sign because it opens into a foyer and is barely  visible on the street.

The population of bar sitters was exactly the same this time as before: 1. The old fellow was in the kitchen getting the dog's lunch ready and slowly walked back to the bar to get me a beer. Cans of Lager are $1.50 and served reasonably cold. I passed on the glass. It didn't take long for him to launch into stories. The ceiling as decorated in red/white/blue and you have to give someone   credit for climbing up a ladder to hang all those ornaments.

Boo Boos closes around 6 each night with Friday being their only open evening. Always closed Sunday. Again, crime was attributed    to the early closing plus the fact that "all the good drinkers have died off". The old fellow said that Boo Boo was the nickname of the present owner's father and that he too is called that. The bar was standing when he was a boy "and that was 71 years ago".

With parking being nonexistent, crime being rampant at night and the building no doubt in less than tip top shape - I would imagine that when this business gets sold, it won't open again as a tavern.

Overall, Boo Boos is a pretty good bar. It's survival stands as sort of a tribute to the toughness of the men who used to work in Reading and patronize it. Newbies get treated as nicely as regulars, prices are fair and you can't beat a barroom where you can see a sleeping dog and the household kitchen.

<11-2005>  I visited twice in one week this month.  The first time found the Independence Day decorations still hanging but when I returned,       just a day or two later, the tap room was embellished with elaborate Christmas decorations. When I commented on how I enjoy seeing them      every year I was told there were more to come.

Boo Boos is a man's bar. While women are certainly welcome - I have gotten the most entertainment value out of listening to the older men discuss life, politics, their medical woes and history.  Seeing that Boo Boos is a just a block from the Catholic cemetery which is the site of the    service at Hannahoe's grave, I asked the owner if he had ever been to the memorial. His reply?  "The only reason I ever go up there is to get a piece".  That's an interesting 80-some year old guy!

On this visit, the guy who was tending bar, "just to help out", was friendly and nice and said that he had been diagnosed with cancer but wasn't    going to seek the treatment which would only make him sick and prolong, not save, his life.  Sad... but at least he would be using his remaining days in the best health he can.

As I have said in earlier reviews, they just don't make taverns like this anymore. 

<11-2006>  Is it really possible that its been one year since I have been to BooBoo's?  I know I have stopped several  times but   it was too early for an opening.  This late afternoon Friday stop found the bar room to be greatly decorated.  The Christmas decorations here have become  a big part of my holiday mentality.

The $1.50 Lagers were cold and taken without a glass.

 

       

1: BooBoo  2: Xmas Wreath with BooBoo in it    3: Taking a break from tending bar  4: Well decorated for the holiday  5: A reindeer that is is old and repaired many times over

[8-2007]  I stopped at Boo Boo's on a Wednesday and was immediately stopped in my tracks - most of the kitsch that gave Boo Boo's character had been removed and pool tables grace the old dining room.  My first thought was that Boo Boo had passed away.  Thankfully, he is still alive and kicking.

A man soon emerged from the back and identified himself as "Raphy" - the new owner (for about 2 months).  We struck up a conversation.  Read more about that at the Raphy's entry under Berks County.

I am sad to see this legend, a bar I often referred to as the best in Berks County, gone.  But, at least the business will continue - albeit in a vastly different format.


 

BOONEDOCKS
(formerly Creekside Inn)   3011 Seven Valleys Rd (Rt 616) Glen Rock, York County,  PA  17327   717-428-0214

 

 

[9-18-2001] The one constant about The Boonedocks is that the jukebox is almost always blaring music. Often this is while the muted satellite music station displays on the big screen TV. You can't beat 90cents for an 8oz draft. There is usually a moderately intoxicated person or two, male or female, at the bar although they always seem to be happy drunks.

Strange things I have seen here: An Olive Oyle look-alike was crying and was carried out by her boyfriend. It reminded me of Bluto hauling her away. One evening an attractive female arm wrestled the bar tender. She had amazing arms and probably would have won if he had not given up. Excellent “wimpies” ( crab balls ) that are made fresh each time and are almost all crab meat.

Everyone smokes at this bar. Everyone. Almost all of the males wear hats at all times. A woman  I met at the auction said that her husband stopped here one night on his way home and was terrified that he wouldn't get out alive. Maybe he was in a suit and tie and driving a Volvo but I have never felt bad vibes here even when the drunks get to butting heads.

[7-2005]  Boonedocks appears to be closed. My Saturday afternoon inspection found the tavern closed up with no signs of life.

[12-2006] The Boonedocks is definitely gone. It is now a coffee shop and restaurant.  People have said the food is good and reasonably priced. Some of the old bar still remains.


BREWERY INN
546 S 9th Street, Reading   PA 19602
www.thebreweryinn.com

 

   

3:  Jumpin Joe DiMaggio at the Brewery Inn - a classic photo from years ago

[11-2007] The Brewery Inn is under new management and is quite an oddity.  It sits in an area of the city that most would perceive as being one they do not want to be in after dark.  And yet they are known for their food and a recent weekend night visit found them almost completely booked with reservations.

 

The inside is attractive and bright. Very welcoming.  This tavern is very pro-Reading Beer - appropriate not only because its the "hometown beer" but because of its location in relation to the original brewery.  The female staff wore shirts with their logo on the front and the Reading Beer logo on the back.

My meal was good.  The salad was fresh and the house dressing was unique and appealing.  My steak was good enough and tasty but I felt $2 extra for the small pile of fried onions/mushrooms was a bit pricey.  The prices were reasonable and my Reading beers were cold and delicious.

The waitresses were both attractive, one nearly stunning.  I would like to return and sit at the bar vs. just having a few beers with my meal.  A good supper in an unexpected treasure in the city.

 

       

Four nice photos of some of the improvements that Tom & Lisa have done

 

[3-2010] The Brewery Inn appears to be closed.  A for sale sign is one the wall and the building has some damage and vandalism that is consistent with a place that is not under the constant maintenance that it takes to be beautiful in this part of town.  If it is closed, I would be sad.

[3-17-2011 - St Patrick's Day]  The shuttered hulk of this once-great tavern seems to grow more dilapidated as the months progress. A moron or two have tagged its exterior and shabby is the word that comes to mind when you see it. What a shame that the changing community demographics sounded the death toll for this business long before the doors actually closed.

 


CAMELOT INN
6065 Fritztown Rd    Sinking Spring, Berks County,   PA  19608  610-678-8666
 

             

[01-05-02] The Camelot is a time warp bar - the dying breed of tavern that makes you think that you went back in time as soon as you pass through the doors. It is not only exactly like it was about 5 years ago when I last went in - but the sole patron at the bar said it is exactly like it was 25 years ago.

The dining room still remains setup, complete with placemats, even though they “haven’t served food in years”. The bar is heated by a woodstove. There are some old and interesting photographs of Reading - its vibrant downtown and trolley/street cars.

The old man who owns this diamond in the rough apparently does not believe in change. He has a recliner next to the woodstove and when I was last here - he was asleep in it in the middle of the day. I think I left without a beer because he never woke up. This time, he was away somewhere and a friend was tending bar. He wasn’t sure if they had Captain Morgan ( they did ) and had to “go find ice” to finish the captain and coke. He didn’t even know what to charge for a “highball” so he said $2.

The walls of this place are pine board paneling. The men’s room has two urinals and two sinks. Unusual in such a small place and a hint that this place was often hopping from the workers of a nearby steel fabricating company.

The only guy at the bar said there is never a band but the owner’s cute niece and her friend tend bar from time to time. The old man often opens at 1PM and closes at 6PM is things are slow. The basement houses many rooms and another bar - a speakeasy of sorts from the days of prohibition or simply to stay open past the legal hours.

I like this place even though there are only two draft beers ( Rolling Rock was one but the other was out of order and had a cup covering its tap head ).

 

 


 CEMETARY INN
700 Upland Ave   Reading   PA   19607   610-777-8967

Entered into rest: November 2008

 

[11-2007] The Cemetary Inn has few redeeming qualities.  It takes a lot for me not say something positive about a place that servers beer but unless you are looking for the Museum of Skulls and Dark Dreariness - there isn't much reason to come here.

Today's barmaid exhibited a mediocrity that I would expect.  No Reading beer so I ordered my Y-Lager and began to sip it when a sad looking biker chick came in and moped up to the bar.  She asked the barmaid "Could you give me a hug?" and proceeded to tell a sad story of trauma and tragedy. I was really feeling badly for her until it turned out to be a DOG that had been wacked.  While I realize some folks are close to their dogs I thought her degree of despair surely had to be reserved for a HUMAN.

Needless to say, one and done. It's been years since I was here. It will be years until I return.  Maybe someone will buy this place and open a joint that can attract college kids.

[11-2008] The Reading Eagle ran a weekend article on the closure of this skuzzy bar.  A new business has emerged, The Upland Cafe. Catering to the college crowd they will serve good food that is above McDonald's but below fancy. They also sell beer and have a newly built bar.  We generally don't review bars in restaurants but if I get to this place I will post a blurb.


COYOTE BOB'S
5373 Lincoln Highway West  (Rt 30 & Biesecker Rd)   Thomasville , York County, PA   17364  717-792-4871

    

3:  October 2007 - Inside of the restaurant looking at the bar

For many years this was the “San Remo” and had a windmill out front with a painting of a cocktail glass with olive.

Then, it was sold and turned into a bar and nightclub. This place didn’t last long and it too closed. It reopened in September 2001 as Coyote Bob’s. Presently the only place in York that has country line dancing and lessons. Decent food. Two of the best barmaids anywhere, Lydia and Portia, work here.

[10-10-2002]  Stopped at Bob’s to get a beer and the doors were locked and the neon signs gone from the windows. The writing was on the wall for several months - an ad in the paper seeking a silent partner in a bar that turned out to be CB’s, reduction of hours to only opening at 4PM, and word that he needed $60,000 ASAP or the place would close.

[9-15-2002]  Coyote Bob’s closed its doors this week. Almost one year from when it opened. Rumor was that Bob owed $60,000. Being the only pure country bar in York, this bar should have worked out. I attribute some of their ills to Bob’s snobbish manner and the poor way he treated his employees.

[2-2005] This building is now an under 21 nightclub.

[02-2006] The under 21 club is closed and the building is sitting empty and is for sale.

[10-2007] The property is now a family restaurant.  Sort of odd to see the entire intact bar in the middle of the dining sections. 

 


 DENVER HOUSE
240 Main Street   Denver,  PA  17517   717-336-6355
N40.2314   W076.1354

           

 

[08-2004]  The Denver House doesn't look like much from the outside. Until a few years ago it was also sort of a nursing home for old veterans. The vets would frequently wander down to the bar to eat, drink or use the bathroom. I guess the owners got sick of them because one day they were no longer there. This bar opens early and close late (early?).  They have music once in awhile and the stamped tin on the inside is as original as the ancient wooden bar.

[02-2005] Some sort of cafe/sandwich shop has opened on the Main Street side - right next to the bar's dining room entrance.

[05-2005]  The Denver House has been closed. A small paper sign on the door says it is closed for renovation but the rumor is that a drunk crashed his care and sued them. Supposedly a sale was pending which I assume is now off.

[07-2005] The orange PLCB placard is in the window of the Denver House. I do not know if it is still there from the pending sale before the lawsuit or if there is a pending action. Time will tell.

[8-2005]  A worker has torn all the old asphalt shingles off the side of the building. The wooden boards below them are now clearly visible. I asked if he knew if the business would reopen as a taproom and he replied, " I have no idea what they are going to do with it".

[1-2006] The Denver House has reopened. The outside of the building looks worse than ever but it appears that all the windows have been replaced with modern storm windows. New posters are tacked onto the whitewashed outside - 6packs,Yuengling specials. Hours 3P-11P daily. The bar looks the same when looking through the windows and the mirror proclaims: DENVER HOUSE - UNION STATION.

[2-2006] While drinking my $1.50 Happy Hour Yuengling draft I got the chance to talk to the no-nonsense manager. She works for a technology company whose subsidiary is involved in property management.  They often purchase and remodel old hotels. One of their recent projects was the Penn-Werner in Wernersville.

The backroom now has couches, video games and a pool table.  When the liquor license transfer is approved they hope to have a full menu as well as live music.

 

[12-2006] Festive. The inside of the Denver House in December could best be described as festive.  There is something timeless about this saloon - with its large wood bar, openly iced beer lines and stamped metal ceiling.

The former office, which sits to the right of the bar, is now open. Very nice.

[10-2007] If you want a Lager - order the $2.25 bottle instead of the $2.75 draft.  Don't ask me why. I don't know. Don't ask the barmaid. She doesn't know either.  The owner has set the pricing and it is what it is.  I prefer bottled beer anyway.  :p

[12-2008]  RIP Denver House.  The sign came down and a bunch of others went up.  Seems the front dining room is a craft store, the side room is selling antiques and now you can sit at the bar and drink coffee and eat ice cream. The back room is a thrift store.  NOT the same as the old fashioned tavern it used to be.  The ditzy worker girl said she didn't know why the bar closed but that the owner said "she was tired of paying all her money to the LCB".  I doubt a 'fancy' coffee shop will work when it sits right next to a Turkey Hill. Either way, the tavern is gone.  Another one bites the dust. Sad.

[2-2010]    Denver House is gone forever and the antique store/coffee shop that replaced it seems to have fallen on hard times as well.  Their hours are sporadic at best. Anyone know where the liquor license went??


 

DJ'S MOTORSPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT
220 Park Road North, Reading (Wyomissing), Berks County, PA  19610 

     

[1-05-2002] Driving through Reading I saw this bar off to my right. It had only been open one month when I stopped. The fancy doors and       look of the dining room immediately gave the odd impression that this motorsports themed bar catered to the "fine dining" crowd.  The lights were low and    the tables well set. Hanging above the dining room was a real, full-sized Grand Prix car. The walls are all decorated with racing posters     and memorabilia including a mannequin in a nomex racing suit and helmet. The bar is straight ahead as you come in the front entrance.

Dave the bartender was friendly and the typical Captain and Coke was $3.50. He said the owner races Porsches. Past the bar is a garage that is     sort of a museum of cars and bikes. A beautiful classic T-Bird and restored Indian are two of the highlights. The owner and family were planning to hoist a dirt track car to the ceiling the following day.

The aroma of cooking food was incredible and as I was leaving at 5PM people were starting to come in for supper. The maitre d' told a phone  caller that they have no more reservations for that evening.

This place has some connection to the new Reading Royals hockey team. The team has been there for promotions and some of the players seem    to eat and  drink here.

[09-04-04] This bar is closed. The sign has been removed. There is a LCB application sign on the door.

 


DR DREMO's  
2001 Clarendon Blvd    Arlington, VA  22201   703-528-4660
www.drdremo.com

[4-2007 - Reviewer: Beds] - Sent to me in an email: "American Tom,  Sadly, Dr. Dremos (before that demo’s tap room) in Arlington, Virginia is being torn down for yet more luxury condos.  Such an eclectic place… an old car dealership that became an old brewpub that became a weird but lovable bar.  The neighborhood is growing too much for places like this to exist anymore.  That’s a shame.  I spent many happy evenings and some afternoons there"

[10-2007]  A closing date has been set - this from the website:

Dr Dremo's will close the doors at the current location on Sunday, Jan 27th, 2 AM. We are actively scouting for a new location. If you know of any spaces for sale or lease in the Clarendon/Courthouse area, please contact us.

Join the email list or stay tuned to this website for info on:

  1. Dr Dremo's new location (and how you may be able to invest in a new Dremo's)
  2. The series of big blowouts in January (including our last Elvis' birthday party ever!)
  3. The auction on Monday Jan 28th -everything must go!

The Dr Dremo and Taco Bell property has been sold to Elm St Development. Plans call for 141 residential units and 34,685 sf of ground floor retail.

"Thanks to all who have helped make Dr Dremo's a success. From the patrons to the staff. Hope to see you soon."
-the Doctor

[1-2008]  One of my top priorities for the holiday season was to get to DC and visit Dr Dremo's.  The only time I was here was for an event and that isn't an accurate time to see how things are run.

Things worked out and I arrived as this eclectic place had only two weeks left to live.  Having only been at the downstairs, outside breezeway bar I wasn't even sure how to get in.

My cohort, even with a law enforcement background, was apprehensive about entering but immediately fell in love as soon as she saw this place.  My past experiences outside were positive but after seeing the inside I know exactly why so many people will be in mourning when Dremo's closes.

Eclectic is an understatement with enough things to look at to keep a person visually occupied through several drinks.  A beer aficionados will be in their glory as dozens of beers from far and near are available for consumption.

Our nachos were good and the male server was up to speed with all of the beers available.  That is something you just don't find at most places.

I am going to try to get back down for the auction at the end of the month.  I sure hope the Dr finds a new location but even if he does I doubt it will have the character that years of life have awarded this site.

 

     


GOODFELLAS
1251 West King Street   York, York County,   PA  17404

  

 


(BUBBA'S) GREEN BRIAR CAFE
47 West New St   Lancaster, PA  17603

Entered into rest: November 2008

           

3. Angie   4. The nice owner   5. Marilyn ( who puts ice in her Buds ) & Evelyn

 

[3-2005]  This bar is a winner - an unexpected treasure.  This warm and inviting taproom has been around in one form or another since right after WWII.  The Green Briar definitely has a Cheers - like atmosphere.    Sitting across from the back of the  new Lancaster Barnstormers field has been a detriment now as the pub has lost its leased parking lot (the former Ace Rents property). I surely hope that this changes when the games begin because it would be a shame if Bubba's fails to become a baseball hangout. 

I  loved watching the staff vanish underground through the cellar door that sits right behind the bar.  I couldn't help but wonder what mysteries exist down there - a man's dream - an underground bunker filled with food and beer!

Barmaid Angie is fantastic at her job after 12+ years here. When your cold beer becomes empty it will  not sit long before she swoops down and fills it up. Most certainly one of the best barmaids in Lancaster County.

I asked the owner why this is called what it is. The name Green Briar was put in place by the previous owner. When they bought it (1990?) they kept the name. Their grandson (short, 9.5#s at birth and given the nickname Bubba) grew up to be 3 or 4 and questioned his Pap why his name wasn't on the sign since he was told this was all his.  His grandfather quickly answered the tot's question by changing the sign!

Even though this was my first visit people talked to me and I even got a 2005 calendar magnet giveaway - just like the regulars.  Good digital jukebox with a ton of honky-tonk music on it - sadly though, this jukebox has fallen prey to the disease that many have - expensive music. At two credits for $1 I'm not playing some of the more modern tunes that require both credits.

Halfway through my beer sampling I was joined by sisters Marilyn and Evelyn.  They drink Bud because E finds Yuengling Lager to be too dark. I suggested Y Premium (on draft) so maybe they will someday support the local guy!! :-)  M works the difficult job of MH/MR and E is a cable "guy".  Interesting!

No Guinness here but there will be an Irish event on St Patrick's Day around 9A. Expect a piper, green beer and giveaways.

Bubba's is a well-kept, seemingly well-run local bar that opens at 7AM, is motorcycle friendly and is well-worth checking out.

 [10-2008 - REVIEWER: ET ]  Dropped in at Bubba's (Green Brian Cafe) on corner of Prince and New Streets in Lancaster before last night's Barnstormers game...alas!, it wasBYOB! Lost their license and will close in a week. Owner said they are going to establish a private club and try to get a club license in a year...I'll have to join so I can get a REAL beer and ambiance before those ballgames!

[3-2005]  Bubba's is indeed closed. This entry is being moved to the RIP page.


HARY'S RESTAURANT & COCKTAIL LOUNGE     

 1444 West Hamilton St    Allentown,PA  18102   610-435-6631 

[3-2007]  Hary's was a great place to watch the annual St Patrick's Day parade as it passed by.  Their attempt to shield their patrons from the elements was feeble but the tent was better than nothing.  The old building has seen its better days but there is still some very amazing architecture to be seen here.  It's a shame that someone doesn't swoop down upon this place and save it.

[2-2007]  Yes, Hary's is definitely closed.  Looking at this from this purely from the standpoint of its historic pub status - it's another sad loss.

 


THE HAUNT
Business remains open under new ownership with name of The Brick House Pub
1348 Brooke Blvd  Reading, PA  19602

[5-2005]  I can usually find a few good things about almost any bar.  I don't think I can about this place.  The building is nice   and sits in a residential area just one block off Lancaster Ave/Business Route 222. The huge collection of glass block next to the bar allows lots of light in  and this bar has a lot of potential.

The problem is that it is just plain creepy.  Skulls and bones and a stuffed owl loom over the bar and the restrooms are marked and men's and     ladies "crypts". I don't know if this theme caused this bar's downhill slide but it is definitely dying. A for sale sign is   posted in the front yard and the gloom inside is further enhanced by  empty coolers, turned off jukebox and even a lonely unused hot dog machine.

The bartender was eating a meal from a fast food place while his two customers drank their beer.

Reportedly, this was a hangout/headquarters for a motorcycle gang  in years past although those days seem to be over - not even 1%'ers would choose this place.

While it is always a possibility that someone will buy this tavern and redo it into something exciting and noteworthy, it is far more likely that it will     end up that this review will turn into a red ink entry.

 


HEFTY'S
336 Main Street    Denver, Lancaster County, PA 17517   717-336-6016

   

[12-2007]   Tonight I picked up a boli and while I was waiting I looked through the back of the dining room and saw the bar area.  I knew they had a barroom here but am not sure where I thought it was.  It was a surprise to see all those people back there.

[2-2008]   Hefty's is closed and the business and license are for sale. 

 


KALEY'S KORNER
Business remains open under new management with the name Brewer's
101 S Third Ave  19611

 


 

KNUCKLEHEADZ BAR & GRILLE
4740 Penn Ave ( Rt 422 ) Sinking Spring , Berks County, PA 19608    610-670-7000
 

<6-2006> Knuckleheadz bills itself as a biker bar although you don't often see hordes of bikes parked out front. The strip mall location doesn't damage the interior from having a nice, small-town tavern feel. The decorations are a mix of things from movies, sports, beers and Harleys. Good pizza, cold beer.

The interior is roughly split in 1/2 with a dining room side and a few tables on the bar side. Barmaids have never been overly friendly and often       seem to be gabbing about their lives to patrons.

<11-2006> Knuckleheadz is closed. No word on why.

 

 


MAJOR PURPOSE
Business remains open under new ownership with name of The Mustang Inn
1348 Brooke Blvd  Reading, PA  19602


MAGGIE'S BAR & GRILL
(formerly Doughboy Pizza & Lounge)
   193 East Main St    Leola, Lancaster County,    PA.  717-656-9907

     

 

<11-25-2003> Walked into the Doughboy about a year after the last visit. Two thirds of the people sitting dopily around the bar were the same people that were there during my last stop. Same barmaid also. Nobody said hello. The barmaid acted disinterested. Three Amish boys played pool in the nearby backroom. Regulars kept coming in and people would holler out to them. No need to stay for a second beer at a place that wasn't friendly, didn't have free food and had nothing to look at. Grabbed my change and headed out without even a second glance from anyone.

<2-2006> The Doughboy is now "Maggies Bar & Grill".  I immediately turned around to try this bar for a noontime beer - hopeful that the new name and image would also mean a happy staff.

The middle-aged barmaid barely acknowledged my presence as I ordered a $1.75 Lager.  Lacking good looks one would think she would make an effort to be fiendly and interested.  Nope.  She did ask if I wanted a menu.  Not having time, I declined the menu but decided to try a slice of pizza. It arrived weighing as much as a brick and sporting about the same level of taste. Nasty. 

Nothing has improved here. Some of the Doughboy signage still hangs inside. I won't be back anytime soon.

<3-2007> Maggie's is closed and is for sale.

 


McCOY'S PUB & BILLY'S MARTINI BAR
109 Wilmington-West Chester Pike (Route 202)     Chadd's Ford, PA   19317

<3-2008> Has become Wacky Jack's Bar & Grill


 

(Quell's) MILLMONT HOTEL
Business remains open under new ownership with name of The Lookout Bar & Grille
501 Upland Ave  Reading, Berks County, PA  19611

     

 

<8-2007> The Millmont has morphed into the newer, brighter "Lookout Bar & Grill"


MORGANTOWN HOTEL
Morgantown, Berks County,  PA  19543   610-286-9180

       

      

1/2:  The Morgantown Hotel on a snowy afternoon.   4: Come inside to a blazing fire in an ancient fireplace  5: The doors are closed and the farewell sign ( 6 ) is posted.

 

<2-2005>  A real fireplace burning real hardwood is a good thing . The bar has a fireplace that burns large chunks of oak to  push back the cold    chill of Pennsylvania winters. No screen, no fanciness - just stones that have seen countless cords of woods turn to    ash while patrons drank beer nearby.

The front sitting room is another interesting feature. Enough glass so that you can watch the world go - even in the middle of a snowstorm.

The food here is really good and worth the trip. More to come.

<8-2006>  The hotel is closed. Supposedly a new drugstore bought the corner lot and will soon raze this historic building.  With plenty of development just outside of town I do not see the need to knock down a gem like this.  I don't care if they offer to  pay me to shop there - if it goes up I will never  spend a dime at that business.

 

 

<10-2007>  The Rite-Aid idiots have prevailed and the Morgantown Hotel is razed.

The most idiotic thing is that Rite-Aid says they have a corporate policy NOT to buy and destroy buildings that are registered as historic. But because this whole BLOCK was registered as historic it didn't they had no problem tearing it down as it did not fit the LETTER of their policy.  That proves that the policy is complete BS as the SPIRIT should be to save historic sites.

The article above is from the Friday October 5th 2007 Reading Eagle.

 


RITZ ON MAIN
138 East Main Street   New Holland, Lancaster County,   PA   17557   717-351-7489
www.theritzonmain.com

         Mr Yuengling & Nickylee 

 

<1-2005> My brilliantly crafted review of The Ritz got lost in mid-2004 and vanished into the bowels of the computer. It made me sad. But, I have enough to say that writing again is no big deal.

I always liked the abandoned movie theater in New Holland and was happy to see that it had been bought and would become a bar/restaurant.  The first time I walked in I was completely blown away by the beauty and class of the inside of the building. It was visually stunning with its perfect lighting, flat screen TVs, well-preserved stage and overall atmosphere.

Owners Beth & Jeff had certainly created a masterpiece from a derelict building.

The Ritz has very good food and crisp cold beer (but why do you have Pabst on tap?)  :-)  I have yet to catch a band there but the karaoke is quite entertaining.

The barstaff is always adequate although I did ask someone about the one particularly attractive female who went from personable to disinterested. Turns out she met a fella and now he has ordered her not to flirt and mingle.  Hmmm, I wonder how her tips are between "pre" and "post" boyfriend?

The Reading H3 has apres'd at The Ritz on 2 occasions and had a blast both times.  The first was their grand opening weekend when the legendary Dick Yuengling was supposed to show up.  2.5 ft of snow on Friday prevented him from showing up but the run went thru New Holland anyway.  A year later the hash returned and Mr Y made his appearance.  He hung out and signed autographs and we had an amazing time. We will definitely be back for another urban trail and Ritz ON-IN.

<8-2005>  The Ritz has a great new website - 1000x better than the previous mess.  This page does a great job conveying the food and atmosphere of this tavern.

<12-1-2005> The Ritz is closed as of November 27th.  Their website says: "The Ritz on Main is closed for business as of Sunday morning 11/27/2005. We absolutely appreciate your support.   We thank our staff for being dedicated (Kitchen, Bar, Servers, Security, Clerical) we could not have made it this far without them. Special thanks to Cindy Weaver, Andrew Kuster, Kim Nichols, and Judy Heinbach - you have been with us through thick and thin. Thanks to our DJ's, especially DJ Ronnie Ron, and DJ Andy M who have been here since we opened. Thanks to our Bands, especially Screamin Daisys, Dave Stahl Big Band, and Monkey Bunch (aka No More Monkeys).  We have had some extremely great times! We have met some great friends. We will miss you all!  We are thinking positive and encourage you to do the same: The Ritz is for sale, with many interested parties and will optimistically be re-opened before too long."

<1-2007>  Rumor is that the Ritz has been sold.

<8-2007>  The Ritz has reopened and is posted as a new listing (with a referral back here).

 


SEVEN
York, York County, PA

<1-2005> Reviewer: ALKIE - This is a new place to the York area that I absolutely had to check out. This bar is another Ron Kamonika club and is owned by the same guy who owns Market Street Saloon and the Hardware Bar in York. This place is an attempt to recreate an ultra hip New York/Philly big city club with a small dance floor, intimate seating, and a VIP section. The night that I went in, the crowd was better than the average York place and the drinks were reasonably priced. They are also partnering with some magazine, XS, to have theme nights such as Greed, Lust, Gluttony, etc etc like the “seven” deadly sins. I’ll have to check this place out again during one of those nights. The music was also a good club mix. Fair warning, parking is problematic here. If you like small hip clubs, then this is your place.

 


 

625 TAVERN
Route 625(New Holland Road)   Knauers,  Berks County,   PA   19607
N40 14.563     W076 00.030

               

<12-26-03> Getting a tip on an interesting new tavern is like getting a tip that Saddam is hiding in a spider hole behind a specific house - you have to act quickly. If you wait too long the bar might burn down or close before you get there. So, less than 48 hours after "Abe" at  The Penguinn told me about the  625, I was driving up to take a look. I am ashamed to say that this pub is less than 10miles from my front door and I have never even driven by it.

The big sign out front looked like some pranksters had dug it up from a bar and planted it in the front yard of a private home. Abe  was right, this bar was literally in the basement of the owner's home! The American Dream! Pulling into the lot I saw the handwritten sign directly people to around the corner ( presumably to keep drunks from trying to walk into his home) and then the  sign with the pointing arm - directing people to go down the concrete steps and through the industrial steel door.

My first impression of the inside of the bar was that it really WAS a bar! I guess I expected some fellows sitting around a keg  watching the news on a tiny   black and white TV. The bar itself had about ten stools and there was a shuffleboard table and pool room. I was greeted by Adrian the barmaid who tapped me a $2.00 Yuengling Lager and promptly gave me a menu when I inquired about food. She told me that she doesn't know how to make wings because "I don't work Tuesdays" (wing night - 20c each). No problem because I craved a hamburger equally.

After saying that this was my first time there, I was asked what brought me to the 625. I had already gained enough of an impression for a basic evaluation    so I told them about the tavern project. One of the customers told me that "Denny", the owner, used to have a sandwich shop upstairs (now a rented room)   and decided to put a bar downstairs.

I had a good time talking with Adrian (21, "22 in ten days", an OT student at Alvernia who will be cutting back on her hrs due to clinicals, cute little pierced  belly and Capricorn zodiac symbol tattoo on ankle, can't make haddock either because the owner never showed her where the fish is) and "Stu" from South Carolina. Stu moved to PA after being contacted by his 1/2 brother and sister  whom he had never known. They quickly made him crazy so he was now renting the room above the bar - an interesting place to live. He said that another relative in Florida had offered to let him stay there. I could tell that Stu yearned to get below the Mason-Dixon but was making the best of his present less-than-ideal situation in PA.

The owner came by twice without really saying much or appearing to harbor much holiday cheer. The prices for pitchers and 6 packs weren't cheap but the atmosphere of the 625 makes this a bar to return to.

Miscellaneous thoughts: three TVs on the wall - mounted side by side. Bottles of Moxie for sale for 75c (will try one next time).   Two shuffleboard teams call the 625 home. Labatt's is the biggest selling beer followed by Coors Lite.

<2-2003> Stopped in with ALKIE on a Wednesday night and met Barmaid Christa. She is what all barmaids should aspire to be. Said hello when   we walked in, attractive, great service. An accountant by day who works pt here each Wednesday and every other Saturday. The 625 probably has  as many or more    good looking female customers and staff as any small bar in Berks County. The  owner was lurking around and changed the Y-Lager barrel when it blew. Stu was also here.

<3-24-2004>  The 625 is a good place to take a study break; a quick ten minute trip that transports me to a world of cold beer and nice-looking women! Found the bar surprisingly empty with the super-hot Christa on duty. She told me that she  did three years of bikini modeling (no surprise). The emptiness   was an anomaly because customers soon started coming in. A 2 for 1 special was on as Christa trained new hire Amelia. The new cutie will work Thursdays    and probably every other Saturday night.      With a background of working in bars in Pottsville - she should have zero problem taking whatever the tame 625 can dish out!

Stu wandered in and seemed in a good mood. Christa introduced each regular to the new worker. $2 pints. Barmaid Amy had a baby boy and Adrian has quit because she is pregnant.

<9-2004>   Stu told me that he no longer wants his true identity revealed in the book. He said to refer to him from now on as "Stevie". Stevie he wants, Stevie he is!! :-)

<10-2004>  Stopped by on a Wednesday night and couldn't find a parking spot. The 625 was hosting the shuffleboard league.  The entire place   was packed with shuffleboard-minded men. Barmaid Christa was running around like a chicken with her head cut  off but still immediately said hi to   me by name and apologized for making me wait. She then took a minute or two to come over and  chat. She is as nice as she is beautiful and is   quite possibly the best barmaid in Berks County. I was surprised to see that "Stevie" wasn't in.

<12-2004>  Christa has departed the 625. Apparently because of a conflict between the owner and herself.  Strangely enough, Stu/"Stevie"   wasn't there either. 

<1-2-2005> The 2nd day of 2006 has been dreary. Ugly. The type of day that makes people with Seasonal Affective Disorder    crawl under their  comforters and not come out.  I decided to drive around and see if Pennsylvania looked any differently this year   than last.  Pulling into the driveway   I looked at the sign and the tavern info was gone - replaced with info on subs and "free pool on Monday" and a poorly drawn picture of a fat guy eating the word SUBS. WTF? There were several ugly signs in the driveway that pointed to the former taproom - all they said was SUBS.

I know this was a sandwich shop before it was a bar. But that was upstairs on the first floor. You have to have some amazing subs  to make people go out of   the way to Knauers and then go DOWNSTAIRS. Especially with a Turkey Hill just up the road.

A doofus came out of the place and I asked him where the bar went. He said the place has changed hands and "we couldn't have kept the liquor license with  the school being so close". That is a bunch of crap. 

The barmaid at the Bowmansville Hotel told me that Denny's (owner) wife took ill and he didn't want to be bothered so he sold the whole location. She didn't know where the liquor license went but I'm sure it didn't go to mom and pop.

This was a good bar with a unique location and nice barmaids. Another shame.

 

 


TERRE HILL TAVERN
Terre Hill, Berks County, PA
N40 09.469     W076 03.225

  

<11-02-01> This is a small place with pool tables in the backroom.  Old-fashioned carved wood bar with stamped metal ceiling. Mostly rock on jukebox but Hank Williams Jr Greatest Hits, Tim McGraw and Garth there too. Biker bartender left at 6 and a young hottie in long black skirt with totally slit sides came in. She ( Amy) is the Fri and Sat niter DJ as well. Large ice-cold beers were only 1.25 Small are 75cents. <> The backroom was cleared out and a DJ played some decent music. Nobody danced – mainly because it was a crowd of about 99% males and the first time attempt at this.

<11-25-03> Drove by and this bar is closed. The beer lights are out of the windows. No idea what happened.

<1-26-04> The building is still closed but now the for sale sign is gone.

<6-2005> A tipster said that the owner of this tavern ran into a world of legal problems that lead to its demise. Reportedly, somewhere during this process, the PLCB license was not renewed and the result is what you see today. The building may have been sold and it is being converted into another use - most likely apartments.

<10-2005> A small sign on the front door of the tavern states that a zoning hearing was held July 19th 2005. The owner has requested a variance to build apartments. In my mind, this reduces the chance of this building being returned to a saloon to 0%.

 

 


TIMOTHY'S SPORTS BAR & RESTAURANT
600 Noble Street, Kutztown, Berks County, PA  19530
www.timsuglymug.com

 


VEGAS SPORTS BAR & NIGHTCLUB
formerly DJ's Motorsports Bar

220 North Park rd   Reading, Berks County, PA  19610

http://www.myspace.com/readingvegas

   


WAHTNEY'S
2415 West Main Street    Ephrata (Clay), Lancaster County,  PA. 17522  717-733-2014

 

<3-2007>  Wahtney's has been closed for several months now.  I remember many times stopping in for a Lancaster Brewing Company lager and snacks.  The dining area was a bit more upscale but the bar always seemed to welcome whoever wandered in.

This place has been a pub since 1766 and used to have over 100 types of beer.  I hope someone revives it.

 


WELCOME INN
7456 Spring Rd   New Bloomfield (Meck's Corner), Perry County,    PA   17069   717-582-2469
N40  23.286   W77 08.628

        

4: Old Postcard reads "Poplar Grove Inn, 3 Miles East of New Bloomfield, PA".  (The Poplar Grove Inn is the Welcome Inn today at Meck's Corner)

  

 <5-2-2004>  After making a wrong turn I came upon this ramshackle old building. It looked like it might have been a bar many decades ago. There was no sign out front and no cars in the parking lot. The roof was concave and the back of an old worn old horse's.
The strange thing though was that a Budweiser neon sign shined brightly from one window and a single air conditioner hummed away in another.

It was indeed a bar and it was open. A swiftly-flowing creek  merged from under the building, ran along the front wall and disappeared under the parking lot. Strange.

Braveheart was on the TV as an old fella made small talk with the barmaid. He was the only customer on a beautiful Saturday morning. The middle-aged barmaid served up $2 bottles of Yuengling Lager. The old guy said that the building had been built in the 1930s and had always been a bar.

They don't make taverns like this anymore. Worth stopping by to see. Stand in the lot and look at the creek as it literally comes out from under the bar. You just don't see that too often!

 <12-2005> Stopped in for a quick beer on the way home from the cabin.  5 or 6 guys sat around the bar as the barmaid sat in the corner chewing her finger nail. One hailed "Red" to fetch him one more beer. As soon as she served him she was on the phone. Before long she was  discussing,  in animated detail, what seemed like every personal issue she had in her life.  Wow. I really didn't want to hear about her relatives issues with the opposite sex, drinking and jail.

<1-2007> Someone told me the Welcome Inn is now a pizza joint. Will have to investigate.

<3-2007> UNCLE NUTZ - reports that the Welcome Inn is indeed gone.  He states it was purchased by a former rugby player who has completely renovated it into a family-friendly sub and pizza shop.
 


 


Gone a long time ago

 

 

Green Dragon Tavern

 BLAINSPORT TAVERN
15 North Blainsport Rd    Reinholds, PA.
N40  23.286   W77 08.628

 

 <11-2007>  This tavern has been closed for many years.  For some odd reason the new telephone book still includes a yellow pages listing for this bar.