COVID-19 Forces Restaurant Changes

Updated March 16, 2020 3:15 p.m.

Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania to close for two weeks over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As part of the announcement, restaurants are allowed to continue operating but as takeout only. The content below was last updated before the Governor’s announcement. Be sure to check with your favorite restaurant to see if they will continue to offer takeout during this time.

Amid the ever-changing situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Berks County restaurants are taking extra precautions to keep customers safe. Some have moved to takeout only; some have added curbside service; and others have made the hard decision to temporarily close. We’ve compiled a (partial) list of restaurants that have made these changes as precautionary measures.

Temporary Closings

CD’s Place
Boyertown

CD’s Place announced it will be closed starting March 12. The restaurant will remain closed as long as schools are closed. According to Facebook: “I’m going to be closed for as long as the schools are closed… It’s a better decision for my family to work their jobs and for me to watch my Granddaughter rather than vice versa…. At this point it’s more important to be Pop-Pop than to be CD… This isn’t done out of panic and hysteria. It’s the most logical thing at this time.”

Firefly Cafe
Boyertown

After switching to takeout only for the weekend, the Firefly Cafe in Boyertown will be closed for at least a week beginning Monday, March 16. From Facebook: “Michael and I have decided to take the week to regroup and have some family time. Never thought our first time off in years would be due to a global pandemic, but it seems like the right time to take a short breather. During this week we will be working on our online store to allow contactless buying from the Outpost, as well as a delivery service that will hopefully get our employees some income in the coming weeks.”

Good Life Organics
Shillington

Good Life Organics announced that they will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16. From their Facebook page: “Hello to all. Good Life Companies has made the decision to close for two weeks, and we have made the decision to follow their lead until further notice.”

Morgantown Coffee House
Morgantown

The Morgantown Coffee House has announced that will be closed until further notice. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, “We want to be in front of this pandemic and do our part by being responsible for those who work here and for our local community.”

New Jerusalem Inn
Fleetwood

The New Jerusalem Inn will be closed through April 1. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, “Due to the unfortunate circumstances our Nation is facing right now, NJI has decided to take the Governor’s recommendation and close starting today March 13, 2020 until April 1, 2020. Everyone stay healthy!”

Saville’s Diner
Boyertown

After previously announcing that the restaurant would continue to operate with reduced staff and a limited menu, Saville’s announced on Monday, March 16, that it would be closing through March 30. Despite its Boyertown address, Saville’s is technically in Montgomery County where the governor has issued stronger restrictions on dine-in restaurants.

Tom Cat Cafe
Sinking Spring

The Tom Cat Cafe is temporarily closed, beginning March 13. According to Facebook: “As a non-essential business, we feel like we can do more good by closing temporarily than by staying open. Several of our staff have family members who are high risk and ultimately this was too much risk for us to bare right now.”

Temporary Service Changes

Angry Anvil
Birdsboro

The Angry Anvil has announced that the restaurant will be moving to takeout only for the foreseeable future. Curbside pickup will be available.

Basin Street Hotel
Kutztown

Basin Street Hotel has added curbside pickup for to-go orders.

Beer Wall on Penn
West Reading

Beer Wall on Penn will operate as normal on Tuesday, March 17, but has indicated that changes to hours will be coming beginning on Wednesday, March 18.

Benchwarmers Coffee
West Reading

Benchwarmers Coffee will be moving to takeout only with call-ahead orders strongly encouraged. Additionally, the cafe will close at 4 p.m. each day.

Brakeman’s Cafe
Boyertown

Brakeman’s Cafe has instituted takeout and curbside only pickup beginning Monday, March 16.

Brooks Cafe
Douglassville

Brooks Cafe is offering their full menu for takeout and has added family meal deals for breakfast and lunch with no-contact options for customers.

Canal Street Pub
Reading

The Canal Street Pub has temporarily altered their hours for the restaurant. View the current hours on the Canal Street Facebook page.

Dan’s Deli
Boyertown

While Dan’s Deli is still offering dine-in, they are now offering car-side service for patrons who request it.

Firefly Cafe
Boyertown

Boyertown’s Firefly Cafe is currently taking phone orders and payment only. No in-person orders or payments will be accepted, and the Outpost – Firefly’s vegan market – is temporarily closed.

Go Fish! Restaurant and Sushi Bar
Sinking Spring

Go Fish! is continuing to operate as normal but they have added curbside pickup for takeout orders. The restaurant also offers free delivery to Sinking Spring borough.

Herman’s Drive-In
Topton

Herman’s Drive-In in Topton was scheduled to open for the season on March 19. The opening date has been pushed back by a week to March 26.

Klinger’s of Fleetwood
Fleetwood

Beginning Monday, March 16, Klinger’s of Fleetwood will be doing takeout only with the full menu available.

Longacre’s Modern Dairy
Barto

Longacre’s Modern Dairy continues to offer takeout for meals and ice cream; They are not currently offering dine-in services, and they have discontinued to the use of ice cream cones temporarily.

Mama’s Pizza
Reading, Kenhorst

Mama’s Pizza has announced that delivery drivers and cashiers will now be wearing gloves, along with increased disinfecting of their locations.

Mark’s Sandwich Shop
Kutztown

Beginning Monday, March 16, Mark’s Sandwich Shop in Kutztown has temporarily discontinued dine-in service. Delivery and modified pick-up will continue.

Mazzola’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria
Fleetwood

Mazzola’s is operating as usual and has also added curbside service for takeout orders.

Nuse’s Deli
Morgantown

Now through March 30, Nuse’s Deli will be takeout only. They are also recommending – but not requiring – that customers call ahead for faster service. Curbside service will also be available.

Paolo’s Restaurant and Bar
Shillington

Paolo’s is continuing to offer full service in their restaurant, but they have temporarily closed the self-serve soup and salad bar.

Park Road Cafe
Wyomissing

Beginning Monday, March 16, customers will not be able to dine in at the Park Road Cafe. The restaurant will still offer takeout (with curbside service) and delivery through Delivery Dudes.

Sly Fox Wyomissing Taphouse
Wyomissing

Sly Fox’s Wyomissing location will continue to operate with its normal business hours, but special events have been cancelled. In addition, curbside takeout will be available.

Stony Run Inn
Kempton

The Stony Run Inn will be temporarily limiting seating, operating at 50% capacity to increase distance between tables.

The Market Cafe
Topton

The Market Cafe will continue to operate normal hours and menu, but with less items in the common area: coffee accessories, salt and pepper shakers and condiments will be behind the counter for the time being.

Tony’s al Taglio
West Reading

Tony’s al Taglio is temporarily closing its dining room. All orders must be placed online with a credit card. Deliveries will also be limited to the elderly and shut-ins.

Union Jack’s Olde Congo Hotel
Barto

The Olde Congo Hotel limited the bar menu and hours beginning Sunday, March 15.

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Klinger’s taking over Fleetwood Grille; two new restaurants open; more food news

Klinger’s to open new Fleetwood Grille

The owners of Klinger’s on Carsonia are the new owners of the Fleetwood Grille, and they plan to reopen in June, according to posts on its official Facebook page. The former Fleetwood Grille and Simmeria Bistro closed in April after five years in business.

Guacamole Mexican Grill opens on Route 61

A new restaurant has opened in the former Ray’s Original O’Grady’s on Route 61 in Muhlenberg Township. Guacamole Mexican Grill opened their doors at the end of April. The new restaurant does not have a website, but you can find more information, including the menu, on its Facebook page.

Premium Pasta Pizza & Subs opens in West Reading

Premium Pasta Pizza & Subs is now open on the corner of Franklin Street and Second Avenue in West Reading. The new restaurant opened on May 15, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. The location has been home to restaurants in the past, including D&D Sandwich Shop.

Chatty Monks scraps Phoenixville expansion

Chatty Monks Brewing Company has cancelled plans to expand to Phoenixville, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Chatty Monks had announced in August that they were going to open a new, larger location in Phoenixville. Instead, the West Reading brewery and restaurant will not expand, citing concerns with growing too fast, too soon.

 

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Patty’s closes; El Morro announces opening dates; more food news

Wyomissing’s Patty’s Soups closes

Patty’s Soups, Salads and Such in Wyomissing has closed after four years in business. The announcement was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page last week. The restaurant was located on Park Road in the same strip mall as two other restaurants, Nino’s of Wyomissing and Mikura.

El Morro to celebrate Grand Opening May 19 & 20

The new El Morro Cafe will celebrate its grand opening on May 19 and 20. The new West Reading restaurant, the second location for the owners of Old San Juan Cafe in Reading, will have live entertainment and free samples both days. El Morro is located at 808 North Ninth Street.

Rutter’s planned for Hamburg

Hamburg is set to get a new Rutter’s Farm Store, according to an article in the April 26 Reading Eagle. The new convenience store will be open 24 hours. Rutter’s menu is similar to Sheetz’s with made-to-order burgers, wraps, chicken, nachos, sandwiches and more. Scheduled to open in late summer, the store will be located at the corner of Route 61 and Grand Street.

Chef Tim Twiford wins Taste of Wyomissing

Chef Tim Twiford from the Crowne Plaza Wyomissing earned top honors in the annual Taste of Wyomissing event, his second victory in as many years, according to the April 29 Reading Eagle. Chef Twiford’s dish was voted best among six participating restaurants in the community choice category.

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Fleetwood Grille, Simmeria sold; new fast-food restaurant planned for 5th St; more food news

Fleetwood Grille, Simmeria sold

The Fleetwood Grille and Simmeria Cafe have been sold, according to a post on their official Facebook pages. Details were few, but the new owners are veterans of the restaurant business in Berks County. Here is the full post:

N and I thank you all for your patience, concerns, and kind notes!! I am EXTREMELY proud to announce that we have found a Berks County area family — decades successful in Berks County, that specializes in FRESH food, great beer selection, and the kind of service that can only come from a truly family run business, to reopen. This will be their second location, the first one (as I noted) wildly successful.

Over the course of the past few years, it became painfully obvious to N and I that absentee ownership simply does not work. We, therefore, focused our efforts on finding the “right” person(s) to bring what we have always believed our Community is craving, (finally) alive.

Please stay tuned for further details, some GREAT stuff (and awesome FRESH food and beer and wines and custom drinks — already honed to be some of Berks’ County’s Best), is coming VERY soon!

Popeye’s planned for 5th Street Highway

A new Popeye’s could be coming to the Fifth Street Highway, according to an article in the April 21 Reading Eagle. Plans for the restaurant were brought before the Muhlenberg Township Planning Commission. The restaurant would be built on the site of the vacant discount movie theater in Plaza 222.

Wild Fox Farm running Barnraiser campaign

Barto’s Wild Fox Farm is currently running a Barnraiser campaign to help the business reduce its carbon footprint. The Footprint Campaign seeks to raise $30,000 for the farm to install a walk-in freezer and solar panels to generate 50% of the farm’s energy needs. The farm supplies many area restaurants and is a regular at the Emmaus Farmers’ Market. You can watch the full campaign video below.

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New name for Old San Juan’s new location; Wing Fling returning Oct. 1; and more food news

Old San Juan’s second location gets new name

The second restaurant from the owners of Old San Juan Cafe will have a new name. The new El Morro Cafe in West Reading will share a name with a 16th century citadel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The new restaurant is scheduled to open in early May.

Wanamakers General Store completes renovations, celebrating with open house

The Wanamakers General Store in nearby Lehigh County has recently completed renovations to its cafe, and is celebrating with an open house on May 7. The day begins at 8 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. The day’s activities include live music, giveaways and the unique “Meet a Neighbor You Didn’t Know You Had” event that encourages visitors to unplug and disconnect from their phone during their visit.

Greshville Inn wins Boyertown chili cook-off

The Greshville Inn earned top prize in the annual chili cook-off during Boyertown’s Coming Out of Hibernation event on Saturday. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, the prime rib chili was tops among the competitors.

Panevino wins top prize at Opp House Souper Bowl

Panvevino Restaurant’s corn chowder with lump crab soup was named best at the annual Opportunity House Souper Bowl on Monday, according to the April 20 Reading Eagle. The event raised around $42,000 to support the work of the Opportunity House in Reading.

Wing Fling returning October 1

The Reading Wing Fling will return to the Santander Arena on October 1, according to a post on the event’s official Facebook page. Ten restaurants, including defending People’s Choice champions, The Outside In. Also confirmed are:

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Liberty Alehouse coming to Lancaster Ave; Sweet Ride opening Monday; Ulrich’s set to close; and more food news

The Liberty Alehouse to open on Lancaster Avenue

The Liberty Alehouse, a new sister restaurant to the Liberty Taproom, is coming to Lancaster Avenue. The new restaurant launched its own Facebook page last week to announce the news. The location at 1501 Lancaster Avenue is the former Avenue Bar & Grill. No opening date is available yet. Liberty Taproom has been open in Exeter Township since 2011.

Sweet Ride Ice Cream opening Monday

Sweet Ride Ice Cream is opening its new West Reading location on Monday, April 18, according to its official Facebook page. This will be the first permanent location for the mobile ice cream business. The new location is on the 500 block of Penn Avenue next to the West Reading Drug Store. Sweet Ride started as an ice cream cart in 2014 and debuted an ice cream truck last year.

Ulrich’s in Shoemakersville closing

Ulrich’s Sandwich Shop in Shoemakersville will close its doors on May 2, according to an article in the April 13 Reading Eagle. Ulrich’s has been serving Shomeakersville and the surrounding communities since 1985. According to the article, the owners are retiring and will not be selling the business, though the equipment and memorabilia will eventually go to auction.

Fleetwood Grille, Simmeria closed for remodeling

Simmeria Cafe and Bistro and the Fleetwood Grille at Simmeria are closed for remodeling, according to posts on both Facebook pages. No date has been announced for reopening. Simmeria opened on Main Street in Fleetwood in 2010, adding the Fleetwood Grille one year later.

Jambalaya J’s reopens after fire

Jambalaya J’s reopened on Friday, according to its official Facebook page. A small fire at the stand on April 7 forced the Fairgrounds Farmers Market to close the next day. All other stands were able to reopen, but Jambalaya J’s remained closed for cleaning and minor repairs.

Food News

Jason Hook is Iron Chef again; Crave opening ice cream stand; Buffalo Wild Wings moves forward; more food news

Chef Jason Hook wins Wilson Iron Chef

wilson-iron-chef-2016

Chef Jason Hook of h2o Kitchen earned his second consecutive victory in the Wilson Iron Chef competition on Sunday, beating out Chef David Shefter from the Penn Werner Hotel and Chef Joshua Haines from Beverly Hills Tavern. The three chefs competed to create the best dish using four secret ingredients: skirt steak, avocado, pickles and marshmallow Peeps.

In the People’s Choice competition, nine area restaurants and vendors competed for a chance to make next year’s competition by crafting their best bacon dish. The Crowne Plaza earned top honors with bacon wrapped pork, crab cakes and bacon shooters. The Bernville Eagle Hotel was named runner-up with their maple bacon crunch ice cream. Those two restaurants are invited to compete in next year’s Iron Chef competition.

Crave Cafe opening ice cream stand

Crave Cafe will be opening an ice cream stand later this spring, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The ice cream stand will be separate from the cafe in a stand-alone shack across the parking lot. No opening date has been set yet.

Buffalo Wild Wings takes step forward

Wyomissing is one step closer to getting a Buffalo Wild Wings. The new restaurant, which is slated to be built on the parking lot of the Berkshire Mall, has posted its liquor license application on the corner of State Hill and Woodland Roads. The application lists “Blazin’ Wings, Inc.,” the doing business as name for Buffalo Wild Wings, as the applicant. No construction has begun yet.

Fairgrounds Market reopens after fire; Jambalaya J’s still cleaning

Jambalaya J’s is still cleaning up after a small fire at the stand Thursday night forced the Fairgrounds Farmers Market to close on Friday. The market reopened on Saturday, but Jambalaya J’s remains closed, with hopes to reopen this week, according to a post on the stand’s Facebook page.

Rumba Martini Lounge evicted

Property owners have evicted the Rumba Martini Lounge in Cumru Township, according to an article in the April 1 Reading Eagle. The eviction notice came days after a shooting occurred outside the bar in front of township police, the second such incident in the past 13 months. At least one scheduled event for the lounge was moved to the 724 Lounge on Franklin Street in Reading, according to Rumba’s Facebook page.

Food News

Spring Township looking for food vendors for Winefest

savory-fusion

Spring Township is looking for food vendors for its upcoming Savory Fusion Winefest. The event is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at the Green Valley Chateau. Here are the details:

The Township of Spring Parks and Recreation Department, would like to invite you to be a part of the 2016 Savory Fusion Wine Fest, offering a unique no-cost marketing opportunity.  Join us for an afternoon of wine, food and music.  In order to showcase the great wines of your business, we ask you to provide wine samples.  A staff member or staff members should attend the event for proper presentation and to market your business.

Due to our partnership with the Reading Eagle, all vendors will be included in multi-media advertising in the Reading Eagle and WEEU 830 AM radio, prior to the event at no cost to you.

As a thank you for participating, you will receive one complementary ticket. Event staff members working the event do not need a ticket.  Also, your business will be recognized in the 2016 Fall Township of Spring Parks and Recreation publication, distributed to over 18,000 households.

Proceeds from this event will help provide safe, attractive and well maintained park facilities, youth playground and adult programs.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to attend, you are asked to return the participant form and return by April 6th so your company name can be included in the advertising.  You can email Teri Hettinger or fax (610) 678-4571.

Food News

New concept steakhouse coming to Wyomissing – April Fool’s

fogo de chow chow

A new concept restaurant is coming to the former Old Country Buffet in Wyomissing. The unique restaurant blends the feel of a Brazilian steakhouse with Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.

Fogo de Chow Chow is the brainchild of Bobby “B.S.” Stoltzfus, who said he got the idea after eating at a Brazilian steakhouse near Philadelphia.

“I ain’t never seen anything like it,” he said. “We used to go the smorgasbords, but they were too much work. You had to get up and fetch some more food every time.

“Then I went to this Brazilian place and they brought everything to me and didn’t stop once now.”

fogo-de-chow-chow-3

Fogo de Chow Chow takes the Brazilian steakhouse and Dutchifies it, as Stoltzfus says.

“We give everyone a card with a hex sign on it,” he said. “When you want more, just turn up the green side. And when you’re done, just turn up the red side.

“But we’ll keep bringing more anyhow because even when you say ‘I’m full,’ we know you can eat it.”

At many Brazilian steakhouses, the meat is delivered on skewers or swords, but Stoltzfus says his servers, dressed in suspenders and straw hats, will deliver it on pitchforks.

fogo-de-chow-chow-1

“We’ll have steaks and pork chops done Dutchy style — always well done with a little salt…heck, we salt everything, even the salad…Then we’ll give you some of our specialties like ham balls, scrapple and stuffed pig’s stomach. And you’ll get to taste fancy foods like groundhog legs and roast pigeon.”

But what about the namesake chow chow? Stoltzfus says you won’t be disappointed.

“Our salad bar’s got lots of good stuff like chow chow, dandelions with hot bacon dressing, and waffles for your chicken.”

Then there’s dessert: shoo-fly pie, funny cake, A.P. and lots of it.

“If you leave here hungry, you ain’t right.”

The restaurant expects to open sometime this summer, though a soft opening could come as early as June.

“I can’t wait for everyone to try our food,” said Stoltzfus. “You’ll get plenty of bull at our steakhaus, or  my name ain’t B.S.”

Happy April Fool’s Day, Berks County.

Food News

Basil’s Pizza opens in Reading; three restaurants set opening dates

Basil’s Pizza & Grill comes to Stadium District

A new restaurant, Basil’s Pizza & Grill, has opened along Route 61 near FirstEnergy Stadium. The location at 1635 Centre Ave was most recently home to the short-lived second location for Dino’s Wings & Things. Basil’s, which opened earlier this month, features pizzas, wraps, paninis, subs, pasta dinners and more.

Francesca’s delays opening one week

Francesca’s Pizzeria & Restaurant has delayed its opening one week, and is now scheduled to open this Wednesday, March 30. The restaurant, located in the former Arner’s on Howard Boulevard, was originally supposed to open last week, but announced on their Facebook page that they would be taking an extra week to prepare for opening day.

Firefly Cafe opening April 8

The Firefly Cafe, a new vegan restaurant coming to Reading Avenue in Boyertown, is scheduled to open on April 8, according to the cafe’s official Facebook page. The latest post touts the cafe’s passing of its final inspections. The cafe has also announced its hours, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Rice Modern Thai opening April 25

West Reading will have a new restaurant when Rice Modern Thai opens on April 25. The opening date was announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page last week. The restaurant will be located in the former Papillon Brasserie at 615 Penn Avenue.

Food News