Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,729 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Thursday, March 23, 2023

#4989 - The Lamphouse, West Bethlehem, PA - 1/29/2023

Lamphouse Tavern, Marianna, PA

I know very little about this bar but it certainly has the appearance of being around for a while. They list their location as Marianna, and seem to feel a part of that community, though according to Google Maps they are on the wrong side of the street to be technically in that borough. It's located just across from 10 Mile Creek, and gets business from fisherman as a result. Marianna was established as a mining town by the Pittsburgh Buffalo Company in 1907. It was incorporated in 1910, with a population of over 13,000, which has been declining ever since. 

Lamphouse Tavern, Marianna, PA
At 10:55am Saturday, Nov 28, 1908, an explosion resulted in the Marianna Mine Disaster, killing 154 men and leaving only one survivor. The mine continued to operate until 1988. Marianna's population is now around 400 people. 

On the lazy afternoon we visited the Lamphouse, there were just a few regulars there, most of them taking turns giving patron Larry a hard time. It's a cozy neighborhood joint with a rectangular bar jutting out into the middle, and a pool table in back. In the evenings they are more lively, with candy flavored drink specials and comfort food specials like Swedish meatballs and tuna noodle casserole. It was here that we learned what Walking Tacos are.

1754 Main St, Marianna, PA 15345 - (724) 267-4750
Web site: facebook 
Reviews: yelp 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

#5037 - Sullivan's Pub, Erie, PA - 3/9/2023

Sullivan's Pub, Erie, PA

There was one other customer in Sullivan's when I stepped in on this afternoon, shortly after they opened. Of course it will be different on Friday and Saturday nights, when the bar routinely serves over 400 people, and most spectacularly on next Friday, as they block off the street and expect over 10,000 customers on St. Patricks Day.

These are a few of the bits of info I got from friendly bartender Julia. She also showed me the doorbell said to have been installed for the prohibition days, and the slightly scary ladder down a hole behind the bar to what used to be tunnels -- now sealed in -- and currently serves as beer storage, an office, and occasionally a way to for the bartender to get between rooms when the crowd is too thick. There is a brass bar at counter level in front of the hole now, which Julia explained was installed after the owner's wife fell down it (she apparently was not too badly injured).

Bartender Julia, Sullivan's Pub, Erie, PA

The bar claims to be the seventh oldest Irish bar in the country (I found several older references to being the sixth oldest, so apparently there was a recent correction). It was established as a bar and as "Sullivan's" in 1905, in a building that tax records say was constructed in 1892. It was closed for 19 months due to COVID, and finally reopened, after some remodeling, Oct 15, 2021. It features an interesting back bar; the origins of it were not exactly clear, but it appears to have been obtained by the current owners. It is of a sort of art deco style, with metal plates on the columns featuring bas relief female figures.

Sullivan's Pub, Erie, PA
Hole behind the bar
All of his is set two to three blocks from the southwest shores of Lake Erie, and close to Gannon University, which tends to contribute more than its fair share of customers.

For a helpful history of the place, I'll quote from the bar's own web site:

"Sullivan’s Pub and Eatery is proud to be the oldest public house in Erie, serving the community since 1905.

The seventh oldest Irish bar in the United States, Sullivan’s has been a proud member of the Erie Downtown community since its opening in 1905 by prominent First Ward politician John L. Sullivan and his wife Alice. The Sullivan family were lifelong residents of the First Ward and members of St. Patrick’s church. Under the ownership of John and Alice, Sullivan’s became a central neighborhood hot spot and a pillar of the Erie Irish community.

In 1950, Margaret Sullivan Heinz, daughter of John and Alice, assumed ownership of the cafe. Margaret’s brother, Emmet J. “Jiggs” Sullivan, helped her run the cafe. Jiggs was a retired fireman from Fire Station #1 on French Street (formerly Pufferbelly), just two blocks from the cafe. It was during this time that people started recognizing Sullivan’s for having great food. Maggie and Jiggs served a menu consisting of Irish and American fare. The cafe was also known as the “Glue Pot” because once you went in, you couldn’t get out. In fact, one afternoon the firemen from Station #1 went into Sullivan’s for lunch and wound up staying all afternoon to play cards. When a building directly behind the firehouse went up in flames, the neighborhood had to rush down to Sullivan’s to drag the firemen out of the “Glue Pot”!

Doorbell said to have been installed 
for use during prohibition

In 1960, the Powers family, another Irish brood, purchased Sullivan’s. During this time, the cafe was a regular stop for many Hamot Hospital employees and Gannon College students. There were many that gathered at Happy Hour when Mr. Powers would appear from the kitchen with a large freshly baked ham and say with an Irish accent, “Well now, would anyone be wantin’ a bit O’ this delicious ham?” Then he would slice the ham into sandwiches which the patrons would pass down the length of the bar.

In 1989, the cafe was purchased by the present owners [Ron and Rick Filippi]. Intent upon preserving a part of Erie history, the group invested time, effort, and resources into completely restoring the century old building while retaining the Irish flavor that has been so popular in the Erie community. The present owners expanded the food menu, remodeled the dining room, kitchen, and added the dance floor."

301 French St, Erie, PA 16507 - (814) 452-3446
Est. 1905 - Building constructed: 1892
Previous bars in this location: None known 
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: goerie - yelp - goerie 

Friday, March 10, 2023

#5033 - Kaufman Tavern, Zelienople, PA - 3/9/2023

Kaufman Tavern, Zenienople, PA
On this day I planned to make my way to a historic bar in Erie, PA, and as that pub did not open until 4 pm, I picked a few additional stops along the virtually due north drive from Pittsburgh. The first of these was a bar in the borough of Zelienople, in a historic hotel that had been closed for many years after a disastrous fire, and reopened in late January 2020. I had barely seated myself at the Kaufman Tavern bar when a woman with a camera came in and asked the hostess if she could view the speakeasy. Wait. SPEAKEASY?!?!?

Kaufman Tavern, Zenienople, PA

Indeed, in an underground space once positioned as a cigar bar and doubling as the wine storage room, the hotel/tavern had established their speakeasy, open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays. After the serendipitous discovery of its existence, I tagged along for a little tour from one of the employees. The speakeasy lies within the pleasantly antiquated, exposed rock foundation of the building, and is decorated with period paintings, vintage artifacts, and old photographs. As our hostess provided a bit of sometimes violent history of the building, of course I had to ask about ghost sightings. And indeed the young woman herself has seen many signs from "Elizabeth," the one-time owner's wife purportedly murdered by her husband for infidelity, and noted that her brother had seen "Mr. Kaufman" in the walk-in freezer. She pointed to a lamp that often flickers when we talk about Elizabeth, and added that only after her brother's sighting they learned that Mr. Kaufman had committed suicide in that very space. The ghostly activity has been confirmed confirmed -- in the sense that believers use the term -- by paranormal investigators, and the hotel has featured dinner presentations on their work

Stairway to speakeasy
Kaufman Tavern, Zenienople, PA

This particular spot on the route from Erie to Pittsburgh is said to have hosted a hotel and/or tavern since a tavern was constructed in 1837 by John Randolph. Zelienople itself was founded by Baron Dettmar Basse from Frankfurt Germany, who purchased a tract of 10,000 acres in the current Butler and Beaver Counties upon his arrival in 1802. The borough was named for his eldest daughter, "whose chosen name was Zelie (her given name was Fredericka) which she named herself after her favorite doll." (wikipedia)

In 1902 the hotel on this spot burned down and was replaced by a new owner. "The Kaufman House was built after the fire of 1902 by Henry Stokey and operated it as a hotel [named the Grand Central Hotel] until 1920, when he sold it to the Union Rubber Company, who used it as housing for workers at its plant in Zelienople. Union Rubber sold the house to E.F. Kaufman in 1924. Kaufman remodeled and modernized what he called the Kaufman Hotel, making it a popular stop between Pittsburgh and Erie. In 1974, Ellwood City native Ken Pilarski bought the hotel and renamed it Kaufman House. In his tenure as owner, the Kaufman House had four dining rooms, a coffee shop, a banquet room and a lounge." (

Kaufman Tavern speakeasy, Zenienople, PA
Closed for virtually a decade after an October 5, 2011 fire, the Kaufman had long been central to the community of Zelienople and surrounding region. "When people from Aliquippa or New Castle wanted to impress a date, they went to Kaufman House for dinner, he said, and then to Pittsburgh for a show, but would return to Kaufman House for drinks." (beavercountytimes) "“Always, it was the crown jewel of Zelienople,” current owner Jason Eisenreich explained.

For this reason, after Ken Pilarski, the owner during the 2011 fire, struggled to get the place reopened, the borough itself invested. In December 2015 the Butler County Tourism Foundation purchased the building. When they couldn't put together the backing needed to restore the place, the borough itself about it in 2017, with the aid of a state grant. The borough would partner with local developer Patrick Boylan with a lease-to-own agreement, and a plan for the borough to cover exterior work, and Boylan to fund the interior. (ibid)

Borough Manager John Pepe confirmed the importance of the effort. "How much money it brings to town, I couldn’t tell you that, but I can tell you that the other businesses in town, whether they are restaurants or not, all rely on each other. Of course they do. That’s the way economics is and they relied on the Kaufman House because it was just a key piece – a cornerstone, if you will -- of the entire economic structure of the town, which is why it was so important to preserve." (ibid)

I do not know exactly what years the location featured a bar, nor how similar previous versions of bars resemble the one that now greets you as you walk into the front door. But the current version includes 40 beer choices on tap and fairly upscale food choices for both locals and hotel guests. After my visit to the basement speakeasy, I had a very fine soup du jour and some nice honey jalapeno hummus. I hope to visit the speakeasy while in operation on some Friday or Saturday in the not too distant future. It seems well worth risking the vengeful spirits residing within.

105 S Main St, Zelienople, PA 16063 - (724) 452-8900
Est. Jan 2020 current incarnation, 1924 Kaufman Hotel/House/Tavern - Building constructed: 1903/1924
Previous bars in this location: Grand Central Hotel
Web site:  - facebook 
Reviews: beavercountytimescranberryeagle - yelp - tripadvisor - pittsburghmagazine - butlerradio