Porters' Pub July 2017 eNewsletter
The latest Porters' Pub eNewsletter is here. Take a look inside to read about our new Jazz Trio Nights, Karaoke, the tail end of Restaurant Week, and more!
Join us during Easton's Summer Restaurant Week July 23 - 29. As always, we've put together two fun and delicious menus for you to choose from.
RSVP or get more information on Facebook.
Don't forget to visit some of the other 17 restaurants also participating!
Enjoy any of our restaurant week special sandwiches plus a cup of our homemade soup or side salad for only $10.
All sandwiches accompanied by a deli pickle and your choice of kettle chips or today’s house made side dish.
Koehler Farms Steak Sandwich: Thinly sliced herb marinated flank steak, asiago cheese, herb pesto, oven dried tomatoes and spinach on a baguette.
Just Peachy: Local grilled peaches and melted brie on toasted sourdough with fresh basil and arugula.
Elvis with a Twist: Creamy Hazelnut spread, Applewood smoked bacon, strawberries and bananas on toasted Brioche Bread.
Chicken Avocado Sandwich: Herb marinated chicken breast, shaved and topped with rustic house made guacamole, cave aged white cheddar, lettuce and garlic aioli.
Bruschetta: Valley Milhouse soft Clover cheese and baby shrimp topped with a golden beet salsa on crusty multigrain bread with a citrus aioli.
Eggplant Rollatini: A twist on the traditional rollatini with eggplant, cream cheese, walnuts and cilantro with a smoked garlic and herbed olive oil.
Your choice of our Homemade Soup or Side Salad
Steak & Soppressata: Grilled Koehler Farms flank steak stuffed with soppressata and provolone, with a lemon basil balsamic reduction over creamy roast asparagus risotto.
Monkfish Medallions: Roasted Atlantic monkfish medallions in a traditional puttanesca with red chili, tomato, anchovie, olive and caper over a spinach risotto.
Southern Pork BBQ: Local pork belly, dry rubbed and slow roasted with creamy tomato, scallion and cave aged white cheddar grits.
Vegetable Cavatelli: Local summer squash sautéed with heirloom cherry tomatoes, Tuscan kale, fresh basil and garlic, topped with fresh mozzarella and a red pepper coulis.
Homemade Tiramisu or Lemon Curd Cheesecake Bars
Prix Fixe $30 for Four Courses.
Bon Appetit !
Who wants a free trip to Belgium?
That's right! Porters' Pub and Porterra Travel are giving away one of our famous annual Pub VCrawl trips to Belgium, sponsored by the Easton Public Market. It's SO EASY to WIN!
IT'S THAT SIMPLE.... What are you waiting for???
If three is a magic number, then three jazz musicians must have magical qualities.
Join us on our Jazz Thursdays for Jazz Trio Nights through September.
Be sure to check out our up-to-date full Live Music Calendar here.
Jazz Trio Nights will include:
July 6th: Vaughn Stoffey (Guitar) / Tony Marino (Bass) / Dan Nadeau (Drums)
July 13th: Ron Oswanski (Hammond B3 Organ) / Adam Niewood (Saxophones) / Bill Goodwin (Drums)
July 20th: Dan Wilkins (Tenor Saxophone) / Joe Michaels (Bass) / Adam Niewood (Drums)
July 27th: Bill Washer (Guitar) / Dave Leonhardt (Organ) / Gary Rissmiller (Drums)
August 3rd: Adam Niewood (Sax) / Joe Michaels (Bass) / Bill Goodwin (Drums)
August 10th: Ron Oswanski (Hammond B3 Organ) / Adam Niewood (Saxophones) / Ian Froman (Drums)
August 17th: The Bill Washer Trio
August 24th: Ron Oswanski (Hammond B3 Organ) / Adam Niewood (Saxophones) / TBA (Drums)
August 31st: The Jon Ballantyne Trio
September 7th: Ron Oswanski (Hammond B3 Organ) / Adam Niewood (Saxophones) / Ian Froman (Drums)
September 14th: The Bill Washer Trio
September 21st: The Jon Ballantyne Trio
September 28th: Ron Oswanski (Hammond B3 Organ) / Vic Juris (Guitar) / Adam Niewood (Drums)
By Larry Porter
In 1988 my brothers and I, young men in our mid twenties, purchased what was then the Central Bar on the corner of 7th and Northampton streets in downtown Easton. We had just finished rehabilitating a building on the 200 block of Northampton Street and were looking for our next project.
The Central Bar was for sale, liquor license included, and we decided to go for it. By all rights the building probably should have been condemned. The bar had been closed for a year, there had been a fire upstairs, and there was a ramshackle addition off the rear of the original structure of dubious nature and construction.
The place was literally falling down... the roofline sagged, inside the pipes were rotten, the plaster was falling off the walls, and the rear addition was ready to cave in. What were we thinking?
Well, that was 27 years ago and anyone who's lived in Easton for a while knows the outcome. My brothers and I worked for almost 2 years on that building, replacing and repairing just about every inch, until the grand opening of Porters' Pub on May 16, 1990. Porters' opened with Guinness Stout, Bass Ale, and Harp Irish Lager on tap in an era before imports were commonplace and micro brews were sexy.
"People told us we were crazy for opening an upscale establishment in a neighborhood like that" recalls my brother Jeff. "And when we decided not to have the popular mass produced domestics on tap they said we'd never make it... be closed within a year". But we had a vision and stuck to our guns. Maybe we had the courage of our conviction or maybe we were just too young and naive to think we could fail.
During construction Ken realized the whole rear addition was substandard and had to be torn down. When I say substandard I mean it was downright dangerous… holes in the floor, leaking roof, randomly spaced joists and studs… you get the idea. What we were left with was the original structure dating back to 1834.
We restored the 2 residences upstairs… one 2 bedroom townhouse with original interior stone walls and the other a very roomy 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhome. We jacked the building up to repair the sagging roofline, replaced the roof, clad the exterior in cedar siding, installed new windows, furnaces, bathrooms, kitchens, plumbing, gas, electric services, refinished the floors and sheetrocked and painted the entire structure. Ken did the bulk of the demolition and framing work early on,
Jeff would come home from college on weekends to lend a hand when he could, and I was working a full time and helping on my days off. I eventually quit my job and lived off my savings for about 7 months to help finish the project and get the Pub open. I remember working sun up till sundown and being filthy, grimy and smelly after a hard days work. Then we’d head up Northampton Street to the old Mt. Vernon Hotel and sit at the bar drinking 7oz bottles of Schmidt’s for 35¢. Ah, the good ol’ days.
When it came time to put a roof on the kitchen we needed some serious steel beams to support the weight of the concrete deck that also served as the patio and entrance area for the upstairs residential units. I had a beat up old Ford King Cab that I had purchased for $100. It wasn’t pretty but it did the job. So we drove up to Easton Iron & Metal scrap yard and picked out a likely bunch of I-beams and proceeded to load them into the truck. The beams rested on the dashboard inside the cab, went out through the opened rear window of the King Cab and rested on the rear tailgate.
I tied a red handkerchief to the protruding end and off we went. Thank god I didn’t have to make any quick stops… those I-beams would have easily gone right through the windshield….looking back it’s probably not the smartest thing I ever did. Anyway, after several trips we had enough beams to build our support structure. Our neighbor Elliot who owns Jacobs Produce gave us a hand with his bucket truck and we hoisted them into place. He also did all the cutting and welding for us and never asked us for a penny. I remember working quite a few late nights after the produce market closed before being able to head down to the Mt Vernon for our nightly treat. Needless to say Jacob’s Produce has been our only produce supplier in our 20 years of being in business.
About a year into the project we had only one small problem…no more money! The upstairs was finished and occupied, but the bar downstairs was an empty gutted shell. Our dad was helping us buy lumber with credit cards at that point. I went from bank to bank until Merchants agreed to lend us enough to finish the project and get the Pub open. We have fond memories of the hard work that went into the place, having lots of fun along the way. We had lots of fun with passers bye too. Folks curious about the project would stop in daily and ask “When are you opening?” to which they received the reply
“We’ll be open in 2 weeks” no matter if we were 2 days or 2 months away from completion. We opened Porters’ Pub in 1990 as a Publick house in the true sense of the word. It’s a local place where the regulars all know each other and the bartenders have your favorite drink ready when you sit down. Conversation and friendly debate is encouraged and the small TV is turned on only by request in anticipation of a particular event. Though we have all worked hard on our business over the years, covering every position from bartender, cook, dishwasher, bookkeeper, waiter and host, we also realize the importance of a friendly well trained staff. Our staff is what makes the Pub so great and without them we wouldn’t be here today.
After several years the Pub was running smoothly and we each eventually headed off to our own careers. Jeff started several successful businesses; a property management business, a beverage distributorship and a water conservation business. I worked as a network engineer for a fortune 100 company and Ken started his own successful general contracting business and continued specializing in restoration and rehabilitation. As a family we’ve been really lucky to have the Pub. It’s helped keep us together over the years and has given us a shared sense of pride and accomplishment.
I guess we all got our strong sense of tradition and history from our mom and dad, but there’s no doubt we all have it. All three of us would much rather restore a building than tear it down and replace it, even though it’s usually cheaper to build new. There’s something inherently valuable in preserving our past. The beautiful architecture evident throughout the city is what drew us here in the first place. We did a number of smaller projects together in the years after the Pub opened but I guess we started getting itchy again around 2003 and were looking for another real restoration project to dig into. You know the old saying “be careful what you wish for”.
The old Washington School building behind the Pub on 7th Street came up for sale and we couldn’t resist. It was built in 1854 as the first publicly funded schoolhouse in the City of Easton and had been sitting vacant for 30 or 40 years. It’s now a beautifully restored fully occupied building with 5 spacious 2 bedroom apartments, hardwood floors, huge windows, 13 foot ceilings and a restored façade. But that’s another story…
Since 1990, Porters' Pub has been an Easton, Pennsylvania staple for a variety of beers, wonderful food, and the best in local music.