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.
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.
Mothers Bar & Grille kidnaps familiar pub cuisine and takes it on a creative joyride. Fuse the best of breakfast and barbecue with the Mothers burger ($9.99), which lands a fried egg squarely on top of a bacon cheeseburger helipad. Mothers famous wings ($7.99 for 12) arrive sweetly slathered in one of six dipping sauces, including Mothers' notorious suicide sauce. Vegetarians can take refuge in the fresh-mozzarella-and-tomato salad ($6.99), or the garlic fries ($4.99), which splash amid thick puddles of Mothers' homemade garlic sauce. Though brick walls and a lacquered wood bar sweat out classic pub ambience, Mothers is also family friendly, with a kids’ menu of five special dishes free of Lego stacked sandwiches. Under the direction of brothers Phil, Joe, Tony, and Michael Simonetta, patrons working on their synchronized chewing routines are regularly greeted by live local bands weekly, poker tournaments, and even salsa-dancing classes.
Determined to pursue a career in the culinary arts, executive chef Evan Kechely mastered his craft in the kitchens of restaurants, country clubs, assisted-living facilities, farmers' markets, and other venues, opting to learn by doing rather than attending culinary school. His experiences shaped his ingredient-driven and sustainable approach to meals, leading him to fill Leaf's menu with farm-to-plate options built from locally sourced meats and produce. Kechely has also learned that beer and food go together as well as camping and boy-scout repellant, and his staff is able to recommend a brew for any dish on the menu. In addition to pairing suds with the various dishes, staffers can suggest premium cigars that can enhance flavor profiles. The eatery's advanced ventilation system even allows visitors to indulge in a puff without disturbing neighboring patrons or forcing them to stare at failed smoke-ring attempts.
At Hyperion Hair Salon, a collection of licensed stylists and nail technicians share more than 50 years of combined experience as they cater to individual beauty needs. They deftly cut the hair of women, men, and children, offering extra treatments such as texture perms, keratin treatments, and hair extensions. They also use hair-color products from Framesi for highlights and single-process treatments.