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Showing posts with label Back Bar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Back Bar. Show all posts

Thursday, June 06, 2024

#5790 - Ulrich's 1868 Tavern, Buffalo, NY - 5/31/2024

Ulrich's 1868 Tavern, Buffalo, NY

Ulrich's is currently open only Wednesday through Friday afternoons, and I was unable to make it in previous trips to Buffalo, NY, but it was worth the wait. As the name implies, the bar is located in a space that has at least included a saloon since the fall of 1868, when young German immigrant Fredrick Schrerie opened a grocery-saloon in the same brick bar space that stands today. This includes the prohibition years, when Hasenpheffer Club speakeasy operated on the second floor, with Canada conveniently close, and with the aid of a mechanical lift that remains in the building to this day. (The speakeasy was raided at least once, on May 8, 1926.)

Ulrich's 1868 Tavern, Buffalo, NY


The buffalonet.org site provides some context for the days of the bar's founding:

'At the time, the neighborhood surrounding the saloon was fast becoming both a fashionable German enclave and the center of Buffalo's brewing industry.

Five major breweries were within a few blocks of Ulrichs; Buffalo Co-Op at High at Michigan, Empire at Main and Burton, German-America at Main and High, Christian Weyand at Main and Goddell, and the Ziegele Brewing at Main and Virginia. The first Lager Beer in Buffalo was brewed about 100 yards from Ulrichs by Albert Ziegele, at Main and Virginia streets in the early 1850's.

Buffalo was an exciting post Civil War boom town, fed by German immigrants that settled Buffalo's East Side. The book "A Pictorial History of Buffalo and Erie County; Second Look", describes the neighborhood and places like Ulrichs. "As bootmakers, tinsmiths, clockmakers, bakers, brewers and stonecutters, working class Germans lived a relatively prosperous and settled life. Not a few were grocers who also kept a back room grog shop. These emerged as the centers of neighborliness. This was the kind of patient business that, while not wildly profitable, yielded a lifetime of respectable income."

Imagine a tree lined, young bustling neighborhood, filled with a constant smell of the damp sweetness of malt and the bitter edge of hops, the endless horse drawn beer wagons and the constant chatter of German being spoken. You stand a better chance of someone understanding English in Munich, Germany today, than at the corner of Ellicott and Virginia streets in Buffalo in 1868. Ulrichs' brick bar room stood then, as it does today, along with 1/3 of the dining room.

It was a place where one could buy anything from soap to sausage, where local beer, be it Ziegele's Lager or Weyand's Munich dark, was served in house or taken home in a pail.'


In 1883, the grocery half of the business was dropped, and the apartments upstairs became hotel rooms. The name "Ulrich's" dates back to 1906, when beer wagon driver Michael Ulrich took over the place. In 1910 he purchased the saloon outright from the Ziegele Brewery and named it "Ulrich's Sample Room." During his ownership the saloon would become a common meeting place for "political bigwigs as well as the literati and celebrated persons of the time." Ulrich would go on to run the bar for 41 years, and while I am not certain of this, but it seems like it may (?) have consistently retained the "Ulrich's" name ever since. 

Since that time Ulrich's has had a series of owners, with more than one losing the business to bankruptcy and at least one having to overcome city plans for its demolition. Thankfully in early 2014 it was obtained by preservation-minded local criminal defense attorney Tom Eoannou, who leased the operation to local bar owner Salvatore Buscaglia. Sal and his team invested four months into renovating the bar, preserving vintage elements and adding historical photos. But the star of the show is the beautiful black cherry and stained glass bar that was acquired from the Iroquois Hotel in 1910.

The bar's web site and local historical sites have provided some really nice lists of owners and milestones, some of which I have replicated below for reference, with more available at the links below. The beer, liquor and food were upgraded as well, which makes this a nice stop for dinner, as well as a must visit for any bar and/or history buffs. 





Ulrich's Tavern Historical Milestones 

1868 - Fredrick Schrerier, a young German immigrant, opened a grocery-saloon
1883 - The grocery part of the operation would be dropped
Became a "tied house" owned by 2 different breweries until 1910 - Christian Weyand Brewery and the Ziegele Brewing Company
1880s-1919 - George Fromholtz ran a barber shop win what is now the beer storeroom
1896 - New York State Raines Law prohibited saloons from serving drinks on Sunday, but allowed hotels with 10+ rooms to do so. The upstairs portion of the building was converted into a hotel.
1906 - A 30-year-old man named Michael Ulrich took over the saloon
1910 - Michael Ulrich bought the saloon from the Ziegele Brewery, renaming it Michael Ulrich's Sample Room
1920-1933 - Prohibition. The downstairs became a delicatessen and restaurant. The barbershop and upstairs hotel were closed and the second floor became a private speakeasy
1946 - Michael Ulrich sells the bar to its first non-German owner, French born William Levea, who ran the bar for 3 years.
1949 - Nichlos Riesz purchased and ran the bar for 5 years.
1954 - Jim Daley and his wife Erika took over the business
1970 - The City took the building through eminent domain as part of an urban renewal program. The Daleys stayed open and paid the City rent while they fought it.
1982 - The Daleys won a 12 year court fight to keep the bar standing as an urban renewal program swept through, leveling much of the neighborhood
2000 - The Daley's son Jim Jr. took over the bar
August 2012 - The bar is briefly closed due to back taxes and Jim Daley Jr. files for bankruptcy
October 2013 - The bar is closed again after failing to keep up with payments under its bankruptcy plan
February 2014 - Tom Eoannou purchased the building and Salvatore G. Buscagli becomes sole proprietor of soon to be re-opened "Ulrich's 1868 Tavern"
June 2014 - Ulrich's re-opens

Source:  preservationready.org  


List of Ulrich's owners with historical source notes

ULRICH'S SALOON KEEPERS HONOR ROLE
1868-1870 FREDRICK SCHMUERER 1895-1896 JOHN THEUER
1871-1880 JACOB MILLER         1896-1905 GEORGE DOBMEIER
1881-1882 CHARLES MAYSER 1905-1946 MICHAEL ULRICH
1883-1889 GEORGE MARTZLUFFT 1946-1949 WILLIAM LEVEA
1890-1892 JOSEPH SCHUHMAN 1949-1954 NICHOLAS RIESZ
1892-1895 GEORGE FISHER 1954-PRESENT ERIKA & JIM DALEY

SPECIAL NOTE: ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN LISTED ABOVE RAN THE BUSINESS,
SOME ALSO OWNED THE BUILDING, OTHERS LEASED THE BUILDING.

A: ULRICHSS WAS FIRST LISTED AS A BUSINESS IN THE 1869 CITY 
DIRECTORY, UNDER THE HEADING OF GROCERY-SALOON. ON PAGE 528, COLUMN 2, 
LINE 9.
CITY DIRECTOIES OF THE TIME WERE PUBLISHED IN EARLY PART OF 
THE YEAR ISSUED, WITH THE INFORMATION BEING GATHERED IN THE LATER PART OF
PREVIOUS YEAR.

B: STREET NUMBERS ON ELLICOTT CHANGED IN 1900.
BEFORE 1900 ULRICH'S ADDRESS WAS 614 ELLICOTT ST.
IN 1900 AND AFTER ULRICH'S ADDRESS IS 674 ELLICOTT 5T3

C: ULRICH'S WAS LISTED AS A GROCERY-SALOON FROM 1868 TILL 1883.
"MANY GERMANS WERE GROCERS WHO AL50 KEPT A BACK ROOM GROG SHOP.
THESE EMERGED A THE CENTER OF NEIGHBORLINES. THIS WAS THE KIND OF 
PATIENT BUSINESS THAT WHILE NOT WILDLY PROFITABLE, YIELDED A LIFETIME 
OF RESPECTABLE INCOME" SECOND LOOK A PICTORAL HISTORY OF BUFFALO AND ERIE
COUNTY.

Source:  buffalonet.org 























674 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203
Est. 1906 (as Ulrich's), 1868 as bar/saloon - Building constructed: 1868
Previous bars in this location: Dobmeier Hotel
Web site: ulrichs1868tavern.com - facebook 
Articles Ranked: ulrich.buffalonet.org - preservationready.org - buffalorising- buffalorising - jesse cook (prohibition raid) - onlyinyourstateforgottenbuffalo -  buffalospree - stepoutbuffalo - chowhound (Anthony Boudain favorites) - buffalodrinkswyrk - unveganediblereflections -  afar - 3rdarm 













Monday, April 22, 2024

#5731 - Alpha Cafe, Wapakoneta, OH - 4/19/2024

Alpha Cafe, Wapakoneta, OH
Wapakoneta, Ohio may be best known for being the hometown of Neil Armstrong, but what drew me here was the historic Alpha Cafe and its beautiful Brunswick back bar, one of the most detailed and striking I've ever seen. The white oak bar is said to have been hand carved (?) explicitly for the Alpha Cafe in the Cincinnati factory of Brunswick-Balke-Collender in 1892, and to have been part of the bar ever since it opened in 1893.

But it's not just the back bar; there is a matching front bar, a partition, a liquor cabinet stored elsewhere, and a mirrored wall section all produced together. The Alpha was originally across the street, and moved to its current location in 1962.  
When the bar was moved from across the street, many of the men from town helped in moving the large pieces of the back bar. On occasion a patron will stop in and begin telling personal narratives of how he was one of those volunteers. Bill and the mover will sit and brag how they moved the back bar on a Sunday, and with all the help of movers, plumbers, and electricians, "Never missed a day of business"   (alpha-cafe.biz)
The limoohio.com site describes ownership over the years:
The original owners of Alpha Cafe were Jake Wentz and Peck Heisler, who owned the bar for a few years before selling it to Joe Miller in 1912. [William] Gutmann started working there in 1938, and soon became a part owner. He became the sole owner in 1969, and ran the cafe for several decades before selling it to [Tony] Steinke [in 2004]. The current owner said it is also rumored that the infamous Dillinger Gang tried to buy the bar when it was in its old location.
In the same article, Steinke notes:
“It’s been in continuous operation for the last 124 years. It didn’t even shut down during Prohibition. During that time it became a ‘food establishment,’ and before that it was a men’s only place."
Just past the bar is a classic diner counter serving American comfort food. The neon sign out front is also vintage, dating back to circa 1935.

And finally, to locals a highlight of the year in Wapanoketa arrives each November-December, when the Alpha serves its special Tom and Jerrys. Steinke explained:
“The recipe is a secret, so before I bought the bar I had no idea what was in it. When I bought the bar, my grandpa held the recipe for a couple weeks to make sure the check cleared.”  (ibid)

Wapakoneta is a town of just under 10,000 people, 60 miles north of Dayton and 30 miles east of the Indiana border. The tributes to hometown hero Neil Armstrong are peppered throughout the downtown core, which features several great old buildings, with some interesting shops and restaurants. For anyone who is interested in history, space travel, antique bars, or just charming small towns, it's a very nice stop in central Ohio.

address - phone




























Est. 1893, 1962 current location
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: alpha-cafe.biz - facebook 
Articles: limaohio - tripadvisor - yelp 

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 

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: sullivanspuberiepa.com - facebook 
Reviews: goerie - yelp - goerie 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

#4453 - Bube's Brewery, Mount Joy, PA - 1/9/2022

The smaller portion of Bube's Brewery at night
On the evening of January 9, 2022, while visiting some of the oldest bars in the state of Pennsylvania, I experienced one of the most extraordinary bar visits of my life at Bube's ("BOO-bees") Brewery, in Mount Joy, PA. Noting my astonished look, staff member Jeanbean volunteered to give me a personal tour. I really had no idea what the property contained, so I was continually stunned by the varied and beautiful features of the place. Down, down we went into the beer aging caves, past the "Catacombs" fine dining restaurant and the 2,000 gallon wooden barrels, to an eventual depth some 43 feet below the surface; then back up through the old cooper's shed, with its crammed museum of old beer-making artifacts; and further up to into the saloon room of the Victorian hotel, with its beautiful back bar, dazzling antique lamps, and other vintage appointments; then further through various group dining rooms, each with a unique and resplendent decor; and finally back down to the old Bottle Works room, now the main bar, where I sampled their brew and had a fine conversation with bartender Cory.

Constructed and founded as a brewery by Philip Frank in 1859, the operation was purchased by Bavarian trained employee Alois Bube in 1878, who went on to ambitiously expand it.

"In 1889 Bube (locals pronounced the name "BOObee") received financial backing from Philip Frank, the owner of a large malting operation across the street from the brewery. The brewery was expanded by digging large vaults throughout the property, on top of which a larger brewery was erected, as was the Central Hotel. Even after the expansion the brewery was not a large one, but it employed the most modern methods and was well equipped. Bube produced Pilsener and Bavarian beer, as well as ale and soft drinks.

Unfortunately, after Bube's death in 1908, the brewery was not as successful. The family tried to run the business, but sold it in 1914 to a Swedish brewer named John Hallgren. Hallgren's product was much lighter than Bube's and it never caught on with local tastes. A coal shortage in 1917, impending prohibition, and poor business conditions forced Hallgren to sell the brewery. In 1920 Henry Engle, son-in-law of Alois Bube, took over the property and operated the Central Hotel. Allen explained that during prohibition the brewery was used primarily as an ice plant, although he has heard rumours about some bootlegging, "nothing big like in Columbia or Lancaster."  (pabreweryhistorians
Bube's Brewery, Mount Joy, PA

The amazing, museum-like vintage qualities of the place are explained by its usage -- and lack thereof -- over the half century following the advent of prohibition:

"Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: At the time, it was known as the “Munich of the New World” due to its thriving German beer scene. Over the years, Bube built his establishment into a beer behemoth, with a labyrinthine premises including a bar, the “catacombs,” and an inn that featured the town’s first flushing toilet. The brewery, like other such establishments, was shut down during Prohibition, but by that time the family had become so wealthy that Bube’s descendants were able to keep the building, which remained untouched until 1968, when they remodeled and reopened."  (atlasobscura.com)

Bube's Brewery, Mount Joy, PA

Thus, as if preserved in amber, the brewery and sumptuous Victorian hotel waited until 2001 to be reopened to the public after many continuing restoration and preparations by current owner Sam Allen, who purchased it in 1982.
'Sam Allen is a 1980 graduate of Penn State with a degree in business and psychology and some experience in theatre. I asked Allen how a college graduate with no money began his career by buying an old brewery-turned-tourist attraction. He said he always has been interested in "antique architecture," old buildings, as well as caves and catacombs. In addition, he spent some time in Koln, West Germany, in an exchange program and toured the Kuppers Brewery where Kolsch beer is made.'

'Following graduation his father started showing him the sales end of real estate and insurance, the family business. As part of his training, Allen helped his father show Bube's Brewery to some clients. "It was love at first sight," he explained. "I was hoping they wouldn't buy it." Later, when he expressed his interest in buying his father would not hear of it, much less help finance such a venture. His father tried in vain to drum some sense into him, explaining the economic facts of life. Allen persisted however, and got a summer job as a tour guide at Bube's Brewery. The place was still up for sale when Allen made his offer to Gingrich (owner). Allen said he would manage the business in exchange for room, board, a small salary and an option to buy.'

My tour host Jeanbean, Bube's Brewery
'He began by giving tours and gradually made some changes. The bar in the Central Hotel was small, so Allen opened the area known as "The Bottle Shop" and constructed a bar, installed tables and sold food so that visitors could top off their tour with refreshments. He worked on the catacombs and eventually opened a restaurant there. Due to the 'cave temperatures' he installed kerosene heaters for winter diners. He reworked the museum and eventually opened a "biergarten" out back. He is in the process of expanding the patio. Bube's giant steam boiler is now surrounded by tables.'   (pabreweryhistorians
While I was there there was a small film crew also wandering through, working on a project that wasn't quite clear. There is a live music stage in the Bottle Works bar, and the hotel hosts murder mystery events, in addition to ghost tours, various period-themed feasts, karaoke, and "a local rendition of Mystery Science Theatre 3000." I know little else of the small borough of Mount Joy, 2.4 square miles and a population around 8,000 people there in southeast Pennsylvania. But for anyone who loves beer, old bars, and/or simply American history, this is a must-visit location.

  









































































102 N Market St, Mount Joy, PA 17552 - (717) 653-2056
Est. 1876 (Bube's), 1859 brewery, 2001 post-prohibition opening - Building constructed: 1859
Web site: bubesbrewery.com - facebook 
Articles ranked: onlyinyourstate - atlasobscurapabreweryhistorians - ydkwashingtonpost - national register of historic places - theburgnews - yelp - tripadvisor - hpstrustwikipedia - instagram - discoverlancaster