Friday, July 01, 2005

Some Hope In New Hope

I headed out to New Jersey for the July 4th Holiday and the celebration of a couple of birthdays, my brother-in-law’s (the one who helped me start my quest) and my sister-in-law’s who was hosting the week-end. My role was to be the grill-master for two days. And I was, smoking chickens, ducks, sausages, and clams. Quite a bit of fun. I got there Friday afternoon and after doing a bit of shopping we headed to New Hope, Pennsylvania for dinner. While the Mysterious Chinese Woman and my sister-in-law went shopping beforehand, I popped into a couple of places.

603) Triumph Brewery



This is another working brewery in New Hope, right by the railroad tracks, that sells their beer on the premises. And quite good beer it is too. There is a large black wrap-around bar with the serving stations in the middle. There are several sets of modern looking beer taps sitting atop. The foot rest looks a bit like model railroad tracks with that third rail in the middle. The bar chairs are kind of a Swedish modern design, light wood, with blue fabric seats, some of which show signs of beer spillage. Behind the bar the wall is knotty pine and there are glass shelves holding glasses and a dark wood cabinet and shelf holding the wine and liquor selection. A chalkboard behind the bar lists the available beers and another larger one on a side wall lists both the available and the soon-to-be available beers along with the alcohol content, the tank it is being or was brewed in, the date it was or will be ready, and the original gravity. The menus give a brief overview of the brewing process and is worth looking over.

Heather, the Friendly Bartender
Graciously serving me beer and samples till the rain stopped.


The bar and dining area are built into a large brick warehouse-like structure and the brewing facilities, along with one of the dining areas, are upstairs. Silver brewing tanks, catwalks, and the high ceiling add to the bar in a brewery atmosphere. Flowers and pictures on the walls in the dining areas make them more intimate and less brewery-like.

I had the Bengal Gold IPA and then, because it was raining when I finished, had the Gothic Ale that was a hand-pull ale. They were both very good. I also got to taste both the Honey Wheat and the Heffeweizen. They were both very good but the Heffeweizen was especially good and quite different, almost a banana-like aroma and taste to it. I decided I would come back and get a growler to go after dinner.

604) Mother’s



Mother’s is on 34 North Main Street and it has a small area for the bar but a much larger attached dinning area. The bar has a light wood top with a granite-like plastic front. Almost the same type of chairs that they had at Triumph. There is a white ceramic brick wall behind the bar with a dark wooden shelf holding the liquor. Wooden racks for glasses hang overhead and metal-shaded industrial like lights illuminate the bar. Festive July 4th banners are strung from the overhang above the bar that serves as the floor to the upstairs dining area. The ceiling is beamed. There are some small tables by the windows opposite the bar. There is a television at one end of the bar and a pool tournament was being televised. The bartender, Vince, was quite interested because he said he was a pool player himself. I was telling him about a couple of times I was in Europe and the major snooker tournament was being aired almost continually. So we chatted about pool and snooker a bit, although I am a terrible pool player.

Vince, the Pool Playing Bartender


An elderly couple came in and the guy ordered a Corona so we got to talking about Mexico and then what New Hope was like in the old days. Now it is quite an expensive enclave of boutiques and restaurants and very expensive houses. He remembered when Mother’s was just a coffee shop where you could buy pastries and about the only other place was an ice-cream shop. My, how things do change.

I had a Tanqueray and tonic.

605) Marsha Brown



I headed down the street to Marsh Brown at 15 South Main Street to meet my dinner companions and, of course, to have a drink at the bar. This place is, quite simply, spectacular. It is in an old Methodist church and the bar is located in what once was the narthex. A narthex is the vestibule, usually at the west end of a church. The bar here is quite classy and is there is a wraparound mural that can be glimpsed through an archway behind where the bartender, does her work. The bar is very elegant and because I couldn’t stay long, having to have go upstairs to the lovely dining area for dinner, I will let the pictures do the talking.

The Anticipation


The Satisfaction


Christie, the Friendly Bartender


Cornered by The Mysterious Chinese Woman


I had a Bombay martini, up with a twist. Very well made by the lovely and friendly bartender. The food here is also great, although a bit pricey. I have eaten here several times and have never had a bad meal. I usually order steak but the Mysterious Chinese Woman and her sister usually go for fish dishes, all of which are delicious. Their crabcakes are mostly crab, and that isn’t as common as you might suppose.

I stopped back at the Triumph Brewery to pick up my growler of the Heffeweizen but, even though it was fresh that day, the line appeared to be clogged so I couldn't get any. I settled for the Bengal Gold IPA that was quite good, but Bar Man was a bit disappointed.

Well that wasn't bad, two more bars than I thought I would hit making 605 for the year and leaving 395 to go.

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