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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,812 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:


Bars where Pete has had a drink

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

#4988 - Stone House, Wharton Township, PA - 1/29/2023

Historic Stone House Restaurant, Farmington PA

The Stone House Restaurant and Country Inn is a semi-formal bar, restaurant and hotel in a historic building just north of the Laurel Highlands and West Virginia border. Along the National Road first proposed by George Washington, and approved by President Jefferson, it is also just two miles east of Fort Necessity, where Lt. Col. George Washington fought his first battle against a large force of French and Indians. It first opened as an inn in 1822, and was largely closed to the public from 1909 until 1964, when it was purchased and reopened by the remarkable Fannie Ross.

I am indebted to the small publication Stone House Legends & Lore by Marci Lynn McGuinness, from which I shall liberally assimilate and quote:

"The new Fayette Springs Hotel opened in 1822, affording spring dwellers a comfortable inn. Billiards, a ten-pin alley, swings, fine meals, and overnight accommodations attracted wealthy visitors."

The building was constructed by longtime U.S. Congressman Andrew Stewart, who was the first to make industrial use of the power of Ohiopyle Falls with a sawmill above the drop. His sons built a large mill there and expanded their father's Ferncliff Hotel. Stewart died in 1872 and in 1877 Mrs. Elizabeth Stewart sold the hotel to Captain John Messmore, who leased the business to Samuel Lewis and then William Snyder.

On August 3, 1909, George Flavius Titlow purchased the building and property from Albert and Annie Boyd. Titlow immediately added a large addition to the building and named it the Stone House. He installed parque floors and fancy woodwork with fireplaces in every bedroom. This was used as the family's summer and weekend home.

After Titlow died, the family leased the building to Jack and Ethel Ray from 1941 to 1946, where Ethel ran Ray's Stone House restaurant and rented rooms (there was no tavern). In 1944 the Titlows sold the place to Rev. James Bouras, who a month later sold it to Stephen Samonas. Samonas built a tavern by enclosing the left porch, and leased the business to several people over the years, including Baron Karl and Russell Shearer. Upon his death in 1963, Samonas's sister sold the building to Fannie Ross and her friend James "Gene" Cardine.

"The mountain people didn't want me up here. I was an outsider. They did a lot of things trying to get rid of us, but they couldn't."
-- Fannie Ross, quoted in Stone House Legends & Lore

Fenalba "Fannie" Cassurole was born in Connellsville in 1907. Her mother died in childbirth while she was three and her father passed within six months of that. She was adopted by her Uncle Carl only to see him perish in a mine accident on the day they were set to return to Italy. Subsequently raised by her Uncle Chubby, an orphanage, and the nuns of a local Catholic school, Fannie would go on to an arranged marriage. When her husband's gambling resulted in their bills not being paid, Fannie built a career as a bootlegger and owner of a speakeasy. Her husband died of black lung in 1950.

Fannie would hold her own with some very rough characters back in her day, and according to Marci Lynn McGuinness this included shooting three men: 
  • 'The miners got out of hand in her Cardale speakeasy one time and Fannie told them to keep it down. Her husband was ill and trying to sleep. One of the men hit Fannie and they got into it. He knocked her down in back of a booth and she found a bottle and broke it. She went after him and they fought more.  Then he kicked her dog. "He kicked my dog who was trying to help me. That made me mad. I went behind the bar and got my gun and shot him in the pelvis."'
  • 'Another time I had a little place called the Coffee Pot on Route 40 and this man wouldn't pay his bill.... There was about six of them from Keister. They were drunk and I had two of my friends sitting at a table. I told them "You pay the bill or else." "Or else what?" one of them asked. I didn't even take the gun out of my pocket I just shot him."'
  • "One time a carload of young men stopped late at night at the Stone House. They wanted to use the phone but Fannie wouldn't let them in.... Carl came and gave one of the guys a ride to Hopwood to get some gas. Fannie told the rest of them to stay in the car while Carl did them a favor. One of the men challenged her and came toward her in an unfriendly manner. She shot him in the foot."
Fannie and James opened the new Stone House restaurant in April of 1964. Fannie would cook ravioli, spaghetti, lasagne and gnocchis, and Gene would cut steaks to whatever thickness the customer wanted. After Gene passed away in 1973, her son Carl and his family moved back to town to help keep the business running. Fannie finally sold the business to Fred Ziegler in 1995 when both hers and Carl's health issues made continuing impossible.

In addition to fulfilling Fannie's exacting requirements of new owners, Fred and Rhonda Ziegler put in a very substantial amount of remodeling and upgrades, including uncapping original fireplaces, exposing the original hardwood floors, and furnishing it with various antique pieces including what MAY be a Stradivarius violin. They also brought in accomplished chef Carl Fazio, who had served an apprenticeship at the Hyehold and worked the second inaugural dinner for Ronald Reagan. Chef Carl would go on to be named 1996 chef of the year by the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Culinary Association.

Today, the inn continues the tradition of a formal chef with an Italian-focused menu, and hosting visitors to the local springs, rivers and hills for over two centuries.























3023 National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437 - (724) 329-8876
Est. 1963 (first opened as an inn 1822) - Building constructed: 1822
Previous bars in this location: Fayette Springs Hotel 
Web site: stonehouseinn.com - facebook 
Reviews: exploreroute40 - yelp - tripadvisor - ourhauntedtravels - wikipedia 

Monday, December 04, 2023

#5500 - Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis, IN - 11/24/23

The Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis, IN
Painted sign said to date back to 1850 origins

I've added the Slippery Noodle Inn to my most favorite bars list for its history and for its current incarnation as a great blues hub. While headliners play in the back room, I enjoyed regulars Reverend Robert and Washboard Shorty, and learning the history of the place from enthusiastic bartender Zach, whose father once worked the place. 

It is such a staple of Indy nightlife and the blues scene that it has a mammoth list of past celebrities who have performed and or visited, e.g. Greg Allman, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, Albert Collins, Edgar Winter, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Harrison Ford, Dave Matthews, The Blues Brothers Band, John Entwistle, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Neil Diamond, Robert DeNiro, Liza Minnelli, Harry Connick, Jr., and Spike Lee.

The Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis, IN


The bar makes certain claims to being the oldest continually operating bar in the original building in the state of Indiana; and while this relies on us granting its history under several different names and beating out the Knickerbocker in Layfayette (est. 1935) in some way I don't quite understand, there's no questioning the great history of building and gin joints here. And with such antiquity it has been found, inevitably, to be haunted.

It was great to get all the pointers from Zach, but still the bar's website


Reverend Robert and Washboard Shorty
Slippery Noodle Inn, Indianapolis, IN

"The  Slippery Noodle Inn was originally founded in 1850 as the Tremont House. It is Indiana's oldest, continually operated bar in the original building. The Noodle is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Originally it was a roadhouse (predecessor to the Holiday Inn) and a bar. It has traditionally been owned by people of German descent and it was one of the first German clubs in Indianapolis. The Noodle has been through several name changes over the years. In the 1860's the name was changed to the Concordia House. This name came from the first German Lutheran immigrant ship to land in the new world (the Concord)....


In later years the name was changed to the Germania House. It remained the Germania House until the start of World War I at which time German associations were to be avoided so the owner, Louis Beck, changed the name to Beck's Saloon. Prior to Prohibition, Walter Moore purchased the saloon and named it Moore's Beer Tavern. During Prohibition it was renamed Moore's Restaurant (although beer was still made in the basement). After Prohibition ended in 1935, it was renamed Moore's Beer Tavern. In the late 1940’s Boris Petercheff purchased the saloon.... Boris ran the tavern until early 1963 when Emelia Finehout, the property owner, took over. She found out all too quickly that she did not enjoy running a tavern, and promptly put the business up for sale.

Harold and Lorean Yeagy (Hal’s parents) bought the bar in late 1963, taking final possession on December, Friday the 13th. The "Slippery Noodle Inn" was named by Hal's dad after a lengthy family debate (Hal was six years old). Names were thrown out for the family to vote on and at about 5 a.m. "Slippery Noodle Inn" sounded pretty darn good. The Noodle has remained in the Yeagy family since that time. Hal took over the bar in 1985 after his father's death and since that time it has grown from a one room lunch counter into the Midwest's premiere blues club. [Note: in March 2023 the bar was sold to Jason Amonett and Sean Lothridge.]   

The "Inn" has been used in all types of activities. In the Civil War years it was a way station for the Underground Railroad. Later years saw a bordello open in the once luxurious Inn. It remained open until 1953 when a patron was killed. Two customers of the bordello got into an argument over one of the women, one killing the other and leaving the bloody knife on the bar. During Prohibition the Brady & Dillinger gangs used the building in back, originally built as a horse stable for the Inn, for target practice. Several of the slugs remain embedded in the lower east wall. In addition to liquor and beer being distilled in the building, cattle and swine were slaughtered and butchered in the basement. The meat hooks and water lines can still be found in the basement.

The ceiling in the front barroom is made from pressed tin. It was installed circa 1890. The "tiger oak" bar and back bar are well over a 100 years old and believed to be original. The trough at the edge of the bar was used as the cash register in the olden days. The "honor" system worked or else the colt 45 did! The Noodle is the oldest commercial building left standing in Indianapolis and the Tremont House sign painted on the north side of the building dates back to the 1850's."
 






372 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225 - (317) 631-6974
Est. Dec 7, 1963 (1850 as Tremont House) - Building constructed: year
Previous bars in this location: Tremont House, Concordia House, Germania House, Beck's Saloon, Moore's Beer Tavern
Web site: slipperynoodle.com - facebook 
Articles ranked: thrillistcbs4indyindystar - yelp - tripadvisor - phantomhistory - breadedtenderloin - wikipedia - indyencyclopedia - hmdb (historical marker)

Sunday, December 03, 2023

#5498 - St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis, IN - 11/24/23

St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis, IN

St. Elmo Steak House was founded in 1902 in Braden's Block of Indianapolis, constructed in 1875. It is said to be the oldest steak house in the country. Founded under the St. Elmo name and run as a relatively modest tavern for most of its life, the business expanded into the neighboring building, upgraded the menu, and added a top class wine cellar in 1996. The vibe is very much classic steak house, which, of course, benefits from the historic setting.

The restaurant and lounge both contain antique back bars -- probably Brunswick, but not standard models. Both bars contain round columns around a single central section. The restaurant bar tops the columns with cherub-faced capitals (ala Brunswick models such as the "Los Angeles"). It has large, egg-shaped appliques on the corners. This Tiger-maple bar is said to have been imported from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Similar but not identical models reside in Glascott's in Chicago and the Smokehouse Saloon in Greybull, WY. The model in the restaurant's "1933 Lounge" is considerably more simple, featuring some oddly shaped (cracked?) pieces in the top facade, and an unusually simple trim framing the central mirrors.

The upscale steak house of today attracts business people and has been a favorite of people like Peyton Manning and NFL owners. (At certain times of year it is described as "an extension of the NFL combine.) It has been named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation. The cocktail menu is not particularly exciting, but contains several classics. We also sampled St. Elmo's famous shrimp cocktail -- four large shrimp covered with their signature, burn-out-your-nosehair-spicy cocktail sauce. According to Wikipedia the restaurant orders four tons of horseradish a year.






















































127 S Illinois St, Indianapolis, IN 46225 - (317) 635-0636
Est. 1902 - Building constructed: 1875
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: stelmos.com - facebook - 1933lounge 
Articles ranked: wikipedia - nytimes - varrtravel - abcnews - damonrichard - candacelately - columbiadailyheraldtastingtable - roadfood - gayoteindianapolismonthly - yelp - tripadvisor - frommers - hungrytravelers - forbesvisitindy - thrillist 

Monday, November 13, 2023

#5485 - Open Range Grille, Mount Pleasant, PA - 11/11/23

The Open Range Grille
Mt. Pleasant, PA

Well, if you have a hankering for a bison burger, or an elk burger or just some fried alligator bites anywhere in the Mount Pleasant, PA area, you better get down to the Open Range Grille soon. Owner Marie had a very friendly and open chat with us in front of the pretty, art deco, antique back bar. The restaurant is more the vision of her son and co-owner Jason, who converted their sports bar into a more family friendly establishment, with a woodfired oven and unique menu items. They bought a bunch of new equipment and hand made the wooden tables and various other decor.


It may have been a little much for a small old mining and manufacturing community, some 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. In any case, the timing was tragic. The restaurant opened during COVID, and has been trying to recover from the challenges of the closures, and those that linger still in food prices and hiring.

The Open Range Grille
Mt. Pleasant, PA
The location is attractive, right in the historic Kelly Hotel, where the bar area was the original lobby. It still has the original tin ceiling, and Marie says that art deco back bar probably moved to this location from another in town in the late 30s. Neon lettering over the middle door to the upper apartments shows that it once housed the Sons of Italy Club.


For almost two decades Marie and Jason had run the EndZone sports bar in the northwest half of the ground floor, before expanding to both sides and remaking the business. The Open Range Grille opened for takeout Aug 17, 2020, then Sep 21 for dining in, then back to takeout only when COVID closures commenced Dec 10. Marie also owns and operates the Gluten Free Oven bakery just up Main Street. She arrives there early in the morning to prepare baked products, before putting in long days at the restaurant.

With expenses continuing as income was buffeted by all the challenges, Marie said it's unlikely they'll recover enough to pay off the SBA loans and operate profitably in the near future. Jason and she will probably be forced to either sell the place and declare bankruptcy and auction off the equipment.


Restaurants and bars are always a risky business, but it's a shame not only for two good people who have been working hard, but for the community, and even rambling bar fans like me. Not only would it mean losing some unusually interesting food choices, but who knows what will come next, and if the historic hotel space and the beautiful back bar will remain available for visitors to see? In any case, I wish the best in fall future endeavors for Marie and Jason.






















512-514 W Main St, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666 - (724) 542-9663
Est. 2020 - Building constructed: 1800s
Previous bars in this location: The EndZone Bar 
Web site: facebook 
Reviews: What's Happening in Mt. Pleasant (facebook video) - yelp - tripadvisor 

#5476 - Stanley's Bar and Grill, Ford City, PA - 11/6/23

Stanley's Bar & Grill, Ford City, PA

Ford City, PA, population 2,859, sits along the east side of the Allegheny River, some 40 miles upriver from where it joins the Monongahela in Pittsburgh. It was a company town, founded here in 1887 by the Pittsburgh Place Glass company, and named for PPG's founder. The factory here once employed 5,000 people, as "Germans, Poles, Italians, Slovaks and African Americans from the South all worked at PPG; many built churches and started social clubs. Other companies, like Eljer Plumbing, which became one of the world’s largest plumbing-equipment suppliers, also moved in during the town’s heyday." (pghcitypaper)


Stanley's Bar & Grill, Ford City, PA
But PPG shut down the the 200 acre facility in 1993. Eljer Plumbing, once the largest employer in the county, laid off 200 people in Ford City in 2004, then shut down its plant altogether in 2008. A big "business incubator" project, with funds from the federal and state government, and adding loans in the years just preceding the 2008 mortgage crisis, eventually collapsed. The population, once over 6,000 people continued to decline:

"The area is also not seeing any of the positive international migration that is helping to stem the tide of population loss in places like Allegheny County. From 2010 to 2016, Armstrong County saw a positive net international migration of only 33 people, bringing the total foreign-born population to about 400 out of the county’s 68,000 residents. Ford City wasn’t home to any of them: Census figures indicate that the town doesn’t have a single foreign-born resident." (pghcitypaper)

But unlike many declining rust belt communities, you wouldn't know all this was the case from just driving through town. The houses are small but tidy, well-dressed people depart a service at the First Church of Ford City, and neighbors greet each other brightly at the CoCo Coffeehouse in the century old Farmers Building.

Sitting amidst the small houses along 4th avenue that once sheltered factory workers, Stanley's Bar and Grill is a nice old neighborhood joint known for its hot sausage -- specially blended by Kevin's Meats using a secret recipe. Polish immigrants Frank and Katherine Szalankiewicz sold soda pop and dry goods here since the 1920s. It was converted to a bar by their son Stanley when he returned from WWII. Stanley turned it over to his sister and brother-in-law Ann and Bernard Tarnek, who in turn passed it along to their son Jim Tarnek and his wife Julie. I think (?) Jimmy and Julie still own it today.

There isn't a lot pulling visitors or would-be residents into Ford City right now, but it's still a nice small town to visit, and when you smell the grilled onions inside Stanley's, you'll want to have arrived hungry.











Photo of Stan Szalankiewicz
Stanley's Bar & Grill, Ford City, PA




















Photos of Bernard Tarnek and Ann Szalankiewicz Tarnek 
Stanley's Bar & Grill, Ford City, PA



















507 4th Ave, Ford City, PA 16226 - (724) 763-9774
Est. 1940s
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook 
Articles: post-gazette - triblive - yelp - tripadvisor - triblive 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

#5453 - Pastime Inn Lounge, Uniontown, PA - 10/18/23

Pastime Inn Lounge, Uniontown, PA

The Pastime Inn Lounge in Uniontown, PA is old school, and it doesn't make much effort to reach non-locals. There's no web site, no real Facebook site, and even finding a listing that includes the full address takes a little doing. Patricia "Pastime Patty" Franko has been working the place since 1980, ten years after her dad Richard Franko bought the place. Richard passed in 2008.

I have a soft spot for "Pastime" bars, as, this has been the single most popular name for bars in American history -- or at least in the northwestern states. So far I've identified 68 "Pastimes" in Washington state, along with 112 in other states. But relatively few remain now, and I make an extra effort to visit when I find one.

Patty chatted with me a bit about the history of the place, and showed me a photograph of the grocery store that proceeded it in this location near a corner of the city established by the Quaker Henry Beeson in 1776. The city lies less than fifteen miles from the West Virginia border, and ten miles northwest of Fort Necessity, built by George Washington during the French and Indian War and the site of the Battle of Jumonville Glen, where the North American branch of the war began. 140 years later the war here was between the local miners and mine owners, with the owners bringing in "fifteen guards armed with carbines and machine guns [to hold] off an attack by 1,500 strikers, killing five and wounding eight." (wikipedia)


Patty doesn't like photos taken of her, but she seems well known to people in the area. A couple bartenders at my other stops on the road trip told me to tell her hello. It's a nice place for people who appreciate an old, unassuming joint with some nice vintage beer decor. As I left I noted my hope that no one ever changes the name.














































154 W Berkeley St, Uniontown, PA
Est. 1970

Friday, September 22, 2023

#5392 - Spirits Tavern, Baltimore, MD - 9/9/23

Spirits Tavern, Baltimore, MD

The Fells Point area of Baltimore is one of my favorite walkable bar areas that I have been to. A number of locals complain about its gentrification -- and I might too had I been a long-time resident of the city. But it appears to be a process that's been happening for well over a century. It's estimated that when Fells Point was a rollicking trade harbor in the late 1800s there were over 300 bars and over 100 brothels in the area.

One of my favorites is in Upper Fells Point, and has a sort of gothy dive theme. I don't know how long there has been a bar here, but there are mentions of it as one of the oldest bar locations in the city and one site claims it has been operating continually since 1890. Before that it was a funeral home during the civil war, housing bodies of both Union and Confederal soldiers. The name "Spirits Tavern" originated after Chad and Dan Ellis purchased the place in August 2005.

Spirits Tavern, Baltimore, MD

The name appears to be an homage to the history of the place, and perhaps the spirits that are served there today. Old photos and spooky artifacts adorn the place. The pool table is free and the cocktails include fresh squeezed juices. My visit was apparently too late to experience the "Tub-Of-Fun," which apparently is no longer offered. The Tub-Of-Fun was a big bucket full of cheap beers for $1. You take whatever beer the bartender grabs from it, and if you guess which one he/she is going to pull, you also got a free shot.

I had a pleasant visit chatting with the bartender, whose name I unfortunately have forgotten (Amy?) and customer Sam. It turned out that Sam had not only spent several years in Seattle, but worked at epic Seattle bar The Fenix, with Rick Wyatt. 


I subsequently learned that the bar is located on a crossing that locals call "Crash Corner." Indeed, cars have crashed through the front of the bar itself eight times in twelve years (cbsnews). I'm not sure if any efforts to curtail this have yet been implemented, but I managed a medium-length visit with not a single crash.








































1901 Bank St, Baltimore, MD 21231 - (667) 260-4114
Est. 2005 
Web site: spirits-tavern.cominstagram 
Reviews: yelp 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

#5283 - Korner Tavern, North Huntingdon, PA - 7/17/23

Korner Tavern, Hahntown, PA


Technically in the township of North Huntingdon, the Korner Tavern is located on a corner in the unincorporated old mining community of Hahntown, and lists itself in Irwin. In fact the building is said to have originally been the company store of the Westmoreland Coal Company -- although some have disputed whether that mining operation actually included a company store at all. In any case, it served the mining community for many years -- then run by Stanley Brevic and known as "Stanley's Tavern" -- including hosting meetings of United Mine Workers Local 6080 in the basement.


Linda Pilipovich, Korner Tavern
Hahntown (Irwin), PA
In 1962 the tavern was purchased by Victor and Helen Pilipovich and renamed the Korner Tavern (reasons for the "K" are unclear). It has remained in the family ever since then. When Victor and Helen split, Helen bought him out and operated the bar herself until she was 91,  passing away in Sept 2019. The business is now run by Helen's son Victor Jr. (AKA "Butch"), and his wife Linda. Linda was not involved with the bar in the early years, but a few years ago, when they needed to replace an employee, Linda decided to give it a shot, even though she'd retired twice. She now works the earlier part of the days and says she enjoys it much more than any of her previous office jobs.


Korner Tavern, Hahntown, PA
Anthony and Derek

Another change Linda made late in life was to start distance running at the age of 62. On July 4th of this year she ran her 200th race, and Butch said they should put her medals up in the bar. I was fortunate enough to first visit the bar while Linda was working, and explaining the medals now hanging behind the bar to a couple other first time visitors. There are now 217 of them, including one from a triathalon and two from ultra marathons.

When I asked about the portrait above the bar, she informed me that that was Helen, and added that she had been a great mother-in-law and when she was behind the bar the patrons knew she meant business, and were not about to get out of hand.

Korner Tavern, Hahntown, PA
Portrait of previous owner Helen Pilipovich


In addition to a very pleasant chat with Linda, I also exchanged notes with the other two first-timers, Anthony and Derek, and exchanged bar stories.

Butch is said to be an excellent cook, and I am looking forward to returning, hoping to try the food and/or visit on a Friday or Saturday night to see what it's like when it's really hopping.















Old photo of Korner Tavern
Date and source unknown
From
HAHNTOWN by Raymond Anthony Washlaski


Miners from Adams Mine 
Norwin Historical Society
Via HAHNTOWN by Raymond Anthony Washlaski




339 Main St, Irwin, PA 15642
Est. June 5, 1962 - Building constructed: 1900
Previous bars in this location: Stanley's Tavern
Web site: facebook 
Reviews: triblive - yelp - norwinhistoricalsociety - Hahntown: Peen Gas No. 2 Mine