Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,807 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: - 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: - 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: - facebook - 1933lounge 
Articles ranked: wikipedia - nytimes - varrtravel - abcnews - damonrichard - candacelately - columbiadailyheraldtastingtable - roadfood - gayoteindianapolismonthly - yelp - tripadvisor - frommers - hungrytravelers - forbesvisitindy - thrillist