While peering through the glass-covered hole in the floor of Flow Bar and Restaurant, you may catch a glimpse of a featured item on next week's menu swimming through the underground Mauch Chunk Creek. Executive chef Zachary Pelliccio—whose farm-based upbringing informs his ultra-fresh fare—procures produce and earthy high-fives from the hands of Lehigh Valley and Pocono-area farmers as well as meat, poultry, and eggs from the likes of Spring Mountain Farms of Lehighton. Pelliccio crafts starters such as a duck rillette with cranberry and green-tea preserves and large plates including a grass-fed burger on house-baked brioche, realizing the edible portion of the renovation dream of co-owners Victor Stabin and Joan Morykin.The husband-and-wife team bought the circa-1850 stone building in 2004. Temporarily trading his paintbrushes and her journalist's laptop for a hammer and nails, Stabin and Morykin and a team of artisans conducted a overhaul lasting four years. The historic space has been a wire mill, silk mill, and toy factory, and now also houses art classes and galleries featuring the work of local artists, including Stabin himself. One gallery is devoted to encouraging children's creativity and has showcased the talents of the couple's two young daughters.
Every year, as the snow starts falling, the town of Jim Thorpe dusts off a charming sense of nostalgia and channels the holiday spirit for their Olde Time Christmas celebration. A parade at the end of November heralds the tree lighting, which in turn kicks off weekends of lights, stage plays, and Victorian touches that evoke A Christmas Carol without all of the blood-thirsty aliens Dickens was so fond of. Historic mansions combine with small-town elegance to create an ideal tableau for the festival, which hosts events that include a gingerbread house contest, historic ghost walks, and a live nativity. Kids hop on a train with Santa while others settle in for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, sending the staccato of clipping and clopping through the streets. Dulcet notes from a choir glide through the air at local churches while patrons walk to and fro amongst local businesses and a stand of handmade wreaths.
The night after John Chacko, a hardworking man about to realize his dream, purchased the Jimmy's Central Lanes bowling alley, a roiling flood ripped over the banks of the Susquehanna River and destroyed the site. As a solitary man standing amid the wreckage, it would have been easy to walk away, but that wasn't his style. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves, ripped down the walls, and pulled up the floors. Not even a nail could be salvaged, but his love for the alley was still fully intact.
Today, it's hard to believe Chacko's was once under water. New lanes run as far as the eye can see, marked by fluorescent purples and blues, and a Memory Lane Lounge offers respite with draft beer and flat-screen TVs. But Dan Chacko still remembers the deluge. Bowling-alley patrons can stop into his pro shop and pick his brain about that breathtaking flood, or they can seek his advice on bowling-related matters such as how to pick up a split or how to match your wardrobe to your bowling shoes.
The Railroad House's corner bar appeal and faithful airing of favored sporting events helped it earn the honor of being named best neighborhood bar in 2009 by Berks County Living magazine. Their 8 oz. Black Angus burgers beg for customization, with an abundance of complimentary extras that cover everything from spicy patty rubs to extra meats, cheeses, sauces, and more. The menu also offers chicken and cheese steak sandwiches and a variety of specialty hot sandwiches like the Country breaded steak with gravy, the fried cod fish, and the hot dog. In addition to televisions showcasing the latest backgammon tournaments, their bar also has non-sports-related entertainment aplenty, with trivia challenge events, open mic nights, and live music performances.
Housed in what was once a sprawling textile compound that produced hosiery, The Works at Wyomissing hosts kinetic family outings in a large, historical space. Downstairs, a mammoth game room houses popular video games, such as a sports simulator, Dance Dance Revolution, and diminutive bowling lanes for children.
Upstairs, the Ballocity action center combines the can't-miss fun mix of playground balls, slides, climbing tubes, foam-ball launchers, and grandma's china. Still-remaining historical details add character to the building, including an entrance to 1.5 miles worth of tunnels that once channeled supplies and carried elaborate tin-can phone networks between factory buildings.
The Forest Inn is conveniently located 1 block up from the Sovereign Center in downtown Reading. It offers a wide variety of Pub Food and specializes in the Famous Coney Island Hot Dogs, Burgers, & Fresh Cut French Fries. 9 Beers on Tap & 25 Bottles. Check out the old style décor, bar back & tin ceiling dating back to 1867.