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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Great beer at these local establishment, but, there's a catch.

It all started Friday a few weeks ago. The kids were with the grandparents and my wife and I were out on the town. I've had something on my mind since that night. I was hoping to write up the whole bar crawl story extolling the virtues of each establishment, but, it just wasn't coming to me. Why? What do all these places have in common besides the fact that they are all within a few miles of my house. Some might say, "Great beer!". True. Some might say, "Good food." I wouldn't disagree. Some might say, "Smoke." We were so thoroughly permeated with smoke when we got home that I seriously asked myself why we went. Of course we all know the answer to that. My love for good beer. I really have to hand it to my wife though. Four smokey places in one night really pushed her limits. Mine too. You know it is bad when I opened my car door the next morning and it still smelled of smoke. (keep in mind that we weren't smoking!) I guess we could always go to Victory or Iron Hill which are within reach and non-smoking. Oh yeah, The Sly Fox allows smoking too...sheesh. We've talked about topics like this before here, here, here and here at TBL.


Jeremy said...

Sounds like a nice night out. I agree about the smoke... really sucks. It's one of the reasons Jackie (my wife) and I love Iron Hill so much.

So I have never been to or even heard of TJ's Everyday. You should totally do a review. I looked at the menu and beer list... very impressive! I think a visit will have to be scheduled very soon!

Adam said...

TJ's everyday seems to be under peoples radar a bit. Ok...maybe just mine. I think it was there for a while before Matt S. told me about it.

I do like the food cooked with beer and the general atmosphere. Oh and the gazillion beers in bottle and on tap.

All except for the smoke. Although the dining room is pretty unaffected by the smoke it seems.

bar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Thats one nice thing I did notice about visiting Iron Hill the other day. There was no lingering smoke smell on my clothes. It didn't even dawn on me till a few days later.

It seems the only other way to get around reeking of smoke and wanting to enjoy your beer is hope the establishment has outdoor seating which is not easy to come by around this area but a few places do come to mind.

Bryan said...

Don't fret, this too shall pass. It won't be long before there's a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants and (most) bars. Pennsylvania may not be as progressive as California, but it's getting there.

In the meantime, we can celebrate that there's no law stating that an establishment can't be opened or converted to smoke-free. In the same area that you mentioned, Victory, Iron Hill, Cosimo, Ron's Schoolhouse, and the new soon to open Belgian bar in Wayne, PA all provide smoke-free venues for better beer drinking. See, choices for everyone! Customers can choose where they eat and drink...employees can choose where they work. This has been the theme of my position in the past, and won't bother to rehash it again. I believe that you've included links in your original post.

Hey, speaking of things that clog the air, that reminds me of a run I went for the other night. Trying to enjoy a run after work in the great outdoors while inhaling the fumes from lung clogging, carcinogen-spewing cars was not pleasurable. Can anyone say electric cars?!

Oh yeah, back to the topic of smoking and drinking. If it's such a problem, why on earth do certain beer festivals feel the need to have cigar vendors represented as well? Carcinogenic smoke is carcinogenic smoke, right???

How many different rants can I squeeze into one reply? Just be glad I didn't get started on gun control ;-o

mike said...

Our review of TJ's is available here.

This review is a bit outdated -- they have improved their draft selection of late and really turned into a nice beer bar.

The dining section is no smoking, but it is kind of... well, boring. There is just something about going to a bar to drink beer where you want to be in the middle of things, by the bar, where the people are. The smoke sux though.

Don't see them changing anytime soon, since their slogan is "eat - drink - play - smoke" (or something close to that).

One last thing -- TJs now has free beer tasting the first friday of every month. Next friday is Sly Fox.

Marck Barry said...

My two cents. While it is true that some establishments offer a smoke free area like Ron's Schoolhouse, you may find you've gone from one situation to the other. Last time at Ron's, asked for smoke free area to eat and got seated next to a birthday party for sixteen youngsters of about five. Love kids but it was a bit much. Asked to move again and ended up next to toilets. Maybe bad timing or sometimes options are just limited.

Dan Bengel, Northside Event Guy said...

Who lost the bet waiting for me to chime in? Since December 9 of last year I have not gone into any smoke filled bars for drinks and dinner or lunch,etc. After coming home one night and feeling ill from smoking and not drinking, I said enough is enough. If I had a dollar from everybody who said I was missing something, I would be one rich bastard. But guess what, I don't miss it. I missed 24 out of 25 GABF, every German Ockoberfest, every Double IPA festival in CA. I even missed a goat race or two. Guess what,they keep having festivals. More bars pop open than ever before carrying good beer and no smoking. I made the choice. I'm tired of hearing and reading about everybodys problem with smoke, but they are too afraid to do anything about it. I might miss a beer or an event they all say. I say you already have.

Bryan said...

Thanks Dan for your input. I was indeed thinking that this topic had your name written all over it.

Since hearing of your decision this past winter, I've admired the stance you've taken in voting with your consumer dollars. This is the type of action required by everyone bothered by smoke in bars that will help get the notice of the proprietor.

And, you're still drinking some damn fine beer aren't you?!

Dan Bengel, Northside Event Guy said...

Damn right I am! I think I'll take a little trip to the bright lights of Zieglerville for one or two or.......

T & J said...

TJ's is workimg on the smoke issue. By the end of this month (May '07), a new HVAC system will be installed in the bar area with three seperate zones and a fresh air supply system that will exchange the inside air with fresh outside air 10 times every hour. We love the feedback. It always helps us improve!

Adam said...

I know I'll be looking forward to trying out the new system. It is a great place for happy hour :-)

Jeremy said...

Just following up on my original post... I got a group from work to do an impromptu happy hour at TJ's on Friday.

Picked a good night since Sly Fox was there (as Mike mentioned they would be). Shared some rachbier wings and nachos with the group. Beer selection was great... they unfortunately did not have my first choice... but this has seriously been happening to me a lot recently at other establishments as well... I think there is a conspiracy against me. Most of us did not get dinner... but one guy did get the ribs and said they were awesome. I think Jackie (wife) and I will have to go back for dinner sometime soon.

I look forward to the new air conditioning system... since we did go home smelling like smoke.