Remember When: Main Street Eats

This is your column. It is our hope you will use it to tell our stories: Bloomsburg’s stories. It will grow and meander,  just like a conversation. It is a conversation: our conversation with our past. Where is this going? We’re not sure yet. It’s up to all of us.

I’ll start:  

My name is Jen Ralston and I was born at Bloom Hospital in 1971. I moved to New York City in 1989 to attend college and stayed there to pursue a career in sound editing for film. I still work in that field and because of that, I usually have to be somewhere other than Bloomsburg for work. But I come home whenever I can and I still call Bloomsburg my home.

Today, I am in San Francisco and I’m hungry, so my memories are tending to be food-related…

Remember When…Main Street Eats

I remember watching a soft-spoken man named Charlie hand-toss fresh pizza dough at — where else? Charlie’s Pizza.

We were a Charlie’s family, for sure, but I loved Luigi’s thicker crust. And, of course, their arcade room and all the different pinball machines! Remember the one that was named after a card game? The goal was to use the flippers to knock down tiles that looked like cards. Was it poker? Blackjack?

Which was your favorite pizzeria on Main Street?

Do you remember the Texas Lunch? Chili cheeseburger with mustard and onions – that was my favorite at Texas. They had great fries, too. The only fries I’ve had since (outside of the Bloomsburg Fair, of course) that compare are from In-n-Out Burger.

I also remember their jukeboxes – one in each wooden booth. Most of the selections just had the artist’s name and two songs (the A and B sides of a 45…remember those?), but for some reason, Linda Rondstadt had a single on the juke with a tab that was a tiny picture of the cover for the Living in the USA album – a photo of her in roller skates.
Do you remember Woolworth’s soda fountain? I used to love their vanilla Cokes and floats. What about their candy selection? Candy cigarettes and bubble gum chewing tobacco? Pop rocks, wax soda bottles, and pixie sticks?
And finally, do you remember the bakery on the corner of West and Main Streets? What was it called? I loved their whoopie pies. I remember the night it burnt down. We lived in an apartment building two doors down. I didn’t realize I was a deep sleeper until I slept through the fire alarms and woke up in the morning to the charred remains of the shop. No more whoopie pies! As Nature Intended opened up in that place next. I started eating alfalfa sprouts. I also remember they sold Haagen-Dazs. I loved the coffee ice cream with bits of chocolate in it. Remember when ice cream was considered health food? (Me neither!)
That oughta be enough to get us started! Have anything to add? Comment on these memories or add your own “Main Street Eats” memories below. Have other topics to memorialize? Write to us at:

Photo by rob_rob2001

Where to: Watch Sports

Whether you root for the home team, the under dog, or are just pulling for an exciting match-up, here’s an alphabetical list of places around town to watch the Big Game:

939 Columbia Boulevard, Bloomsburg
(570) 387-3334

While it’s no secret that Applebee’s is a nation-wide chain, the décor makes it certainly feel like a local institution. Full menu and bar, with several screens and food and drink specials during Monday Night Football.

Buster’s Bar and Grill
587 Valley Road, Danville
(570) 389-1925

15 TVs in addition to a big screen make this a venue for Saturday college football viewing but be warned: closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Chumley’s Bar
45 East Main Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 387-1111

Occupying the space that was once the Capitol movie theater on Main Street, Chumley’s is a long bar with 10 TVs (including a large projection screen where the movie screen used to be) and a wide selection of bottled micro-brews. Weekly Sunday night football food and drink specials.

Good Old Days
501 East Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 784-6269

Karaoke is the main attraction several times a week but Sunday and Monday nights, this bar (which also serves food) features “Sports on HDTV!”

Hess’ Tavern (and the Painted Pony)
118 East Main Street, Bloomsburg
(listed phone number no longer in service)

Holding the distinction of possessing the oldest family-owned liquor license in the entire state (1889), Hess’ features a big screen and pool tables upstairs and a dance floor downstairs (in the Painted Pony).

Marley’s Brewery and Grille
18 West Main Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 784-9600

Occupying the space that was once upon a time the Magee Publick House, Marley’s is a brew pub and full restaurant with 4 TVs and Sunday football food and drink specials.

The Paddock
810 Catherine Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 784-9949

A long-standing institution, the Paddock isn’t fancy, but it has cold beers and serves a limited menu (frozen pizzas and chips), and has a couple of TVs.

Quaker Steak & Lube
211 Columbia Mall Drive, Bloomsburg
(570) 389-9464

While as the name of this franchise implies, there are steaks (and burgers and ribs), the wings are the hot ticket item here. 24 (count ‘em!) TVs and plenty of specials during various game times…check their calendar (link above) for details.

Romig’s Cafe
456 West Main Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 784-9544

A friendly, family-owned and operated bar at the bottom of Scott Town hill, Romig’s has a limited food menu, 2 flat screen TVs, and game-time drink specials.

Rose Marie’s
26 East Main Street (back of the block, down Miller Alley), Bloomsburg
(570) 784-7169

While Rose Marie’s is primarily known for its fine Italian dining menu, the bar has a popular following, as well. Maybe it’s the ghost of Lemon’s Tavern? At any rate, one TV only and more formal than most of the selections but we have managed to enjoy the occasional sporting event at this quieter and more formal option.

Ruby Tuesday
228 Mall Boulevard, Bloomsburg
(570) 389-9750

Another franchise restaurant/bar, Ruby Tuesdays is known for their consistently fresh salad bar. If that’s not an enticement, the full menu is available at the bar, where TVs are ample.

Russell’s and Kristy’s Pub
117-119 West Main Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 387-1332

Two bar/restaurants sharing the same kitchen and menu, Russell’s (117) is long and thin (which makes it feel more crowded), while Kristy’s (119) provides a bit more elbow room. 1 TV in each bar and drink specials on Saturday and Sundays (including a Sunday White Russian deal, for the “Dude” in all of us).

Scoreboard Sports Tavern
6190 4th Street (Old Berwick Road at Oak Street), Bloomsburg/Scott Township
(570) 387-8999

Casual and friendly, the Scoreboard’s menu notables are the burgers and wings. Plenty of TVs assure you’re covered from most any seat in the house.

Stone Fired Grill
1323 Columbia Boulevard, Bloomsburg
(570) 387-6667

Another new-comer to the area, Stone Fired occupies the former Bennigan’s on Route 11. Despite the building’s franchise roots, Stone Fired is actually the sister restaurant to Elizabeth’s Bistro in Lewisburg and, in keeping with Elizabeth’s mission, serves “rustic, ethnic & regional cuisine.” Full bar with several big screens for your viewing pleasure.

Turkey Hill Brewing Company
991 Central Road, Bloomsburg
(570) 387-8422

The newest addition to the Turkey Hill Inn and Fine Dining establishments is their more casual but no less attractive Brewing Company.  TVs at both bars (upstairs and down), and on the landing at the top of the stairs (overlooking the brewery-works). Full dining room upstairs as well.

The Wagon Shed
850 Railroad Street, Bloomsburg
(570) 784-9999

A friendly bar where town and college blend that purports to “play the games our people want to see,” the Wagon Shed features 7 TVs, a short menu of sandwiches and pizza, pool tables, a shuffle board, and an impressively diverse juke box (in case you need distractions from the game).

Photo by Ben B Miller