People can certainly be saddened by the music industry these days. I totally understand.

My first live concert was at the Fillmore East, an experience I still think about all the time. Music, both live and on vinyl, provided me with life-changing experiences that I draw upon to this day.

Back then, I had never heard of a tribute band. But like any business, things change, and you adapt.


Most of the original bands we book these days at the Mauch Chunk Opera House can thank tribute bands for the paying work, and also vice versa – because it’s all part of how the doors to our venue stay open, hence making it possible for people to support live music.

BlogArticle2100% of the tribute band members that work here are also members of other bands, some tribute, some original. The players are all good – really good. It would be beautiful if all their original projects ended up rocking the world and getting them great-paying gigs, but, well, I probably won’t be wearing Yankee pinstripes either.

Nonetheless, like the bands we book, we keep trying for the big time. Until that happens, when I get up and march off to the day job, I wish I still didn’t have to do it, but I’m grateful for the work. For musicians, they’re simply glad to be able to perform live, and a paying gig, whether tribute or original, pays the bills as well as makes an audience happy.

Paying work is hardly a bad thing.  We have a venue to keep open. Meanwhile, each weekend, our events help make it possible for restaurants to open, hotels to get booked, innumerable tradespeople to get work, and a small town in Pennsylvania to prosper. We all work in a big circle, each depending on the other.

The biggest thing for me personally is that it makes it possible to occupy a little piece of the music business. Presenting live music and seeing happy faces, both from audiences and bands – that’s what it’s all about.

Blog Article3


Adapted from an article by Jakky Johnson that appears here.

Stepping into Len Brunson’s cigar shop on Broadway is like strolling into an earlier, simpler, and more authentic time.

There’s no artifice. OK Cigars is really a snapshot of Jim Thorpe – it says, “What you see is who we are, so come on in.”

You’re immediately greeted with Louisiana-born warmth as Len shows you his wares. OK Cigars is filled with historic and vintage artifacts, and, of course, a huge variety of premium cigars.

InsideInfoOKCigar1Notice the display case full of antique lighters and various smoking paraphernalia. Get a quick lesson and description of a handmade lighter from the trenches of WWII.

Len carries himself like a broadcast journalist –  appropriate because he himself was a TV news anchor for three years back in Louisiana. But he wound up leaving that world for New York.

Len owned a cigar shop in SoHo for 18 years, also called OK Cigars, with a business partner, also a gallery owner representing artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Len and his wife, Patricia, were contemplating the end of the lease for the cigar business, and, growing weary of the New York pace of things, they escaped one weekend and happened upon Jim Thorpe, PA – which, by the way, is only two hours from New York’s George Washington Bridge.

Well, we could certainly offer them a more relaxed pace here, so they settled down, had a bite to eat, then went to a concert at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, just up the street.

Maybe that subtle Jim Thorpe embrace was just what they needed. It was an awakening, so to speak. After his SoHo lease expired in May of 2014, they moved to Jim Thorpe, and the rest, as they say, is history.

InsideInfoOKCigar2Watch Len Brunson interact with guests and it becomes apparent that he relishes his exchanges with people.  He enjoys the architecture, the mountains, the river, the kindhearted residents, and the artistic people who live here. He’s a very informative and gracious host to boot.

So, New York’s loss is Jim Thorpe’s gain, and we are able to have somebody like Len in town. If you’re looking for a taste of history, someone who looks you in the eye when you talk, or a wonderful cigar, pay OK Cigars a visit.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out he knows his way quite well around a microphone and a guitar, and so he’ll open for Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (from Canada’s Prince Edward Island) at the Opera House on Friday, May 20. Funny how things work out in Jim Thorpe.

LGSR Regular Schedule 2016
www.lgsry.com for more info!

$9/Child (3-12)
Free Under 3

Open-Air Car
$10/Child (3-12)
Free Under 3

Trips Depart Jim Thorpe Train Station at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 (70 minutes round trip)

May Schedule             7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30

June Schedule             4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26

Trips Depart Jim Thorpe Train Station at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 16:30 (70 minutes round trip)

July Schedule              1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

August Schedule         3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31

September Schedule   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
11:00, 13:00, 15:00 (16:30 only on Sept. 1 through 5)

October Schedule       1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
October Weekends:  10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00
October Weekdays:  11:00, 1:00, 15:00

High Bridge Trains     1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23
Trips Depart Jim Thorpe at 10:30, 13:20 on Saturday and Sunday (2 and a half hours round trip)
$25/Adult, $15 Child, Under 3 are Free

November Schedule    5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
11:00, 13:00, 15:00 (Starting Nov. 25-Santa Specials at 10:30, 13:00, 15:30)

December Schedule    3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
10:30, 13:00, 15:30 (December 3 to 18)
NOTE 26 thru 30 scheduled as RDC trips at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00

2016 Special Excursion Schedule
April 9 & 10 – NARCOA (Speeders) trip Jim Thorpe to Tunkhannock-Day 1
Tunkhannock to Jim Thorpe-Day 2- Times TBD

September 17 – PA Dutch Treat Train – Diesel – 16:30
$35/ticket; $65 one way cab ride

September 25 – Greater Pittston Charity Event – Steam – 09:00 (NOTE:  This trip is not finalized)

October 1, 2, 22, 23 – Port Clinton to Jim Thorpe – Diesel – 09:00
$39/ticket, $125 one-way cab ride, $125 Pullman

October 8, 9, 15, 16 – Port Clinton to Jim Thorpe – Steam – 09:00
$69/ticket, $250 one-ride cab ride, $175 Pullman

(Note:  All October trains will arrive in Jim Thorpe by 11:20)

Bike Trains to White Haven
One Way with Own Bike-$25/person
One Way with PB Rental-$42/person
Round Trip Adult-$25/person, Round Trip Child-$15, Round Trip Under 3-Free

April 23 & 24 – 09:30 ONLY
May 21 & 22 – 09:30 & 12:30
June 25 & 26 – 09:30 & 12:30
July 16 & 17 – 09:30 & 12:30
July 30 & 31 – 09:30 & 12:30
August 20 & 21 – 09:30 & 12:30
September 10 & 11 – 09:30 & 12:30
September 17 & 18 – 09:30 & 12:30
October 29 & 30 – 09:30 & 12:30
November 12 & 13 – 09:30 ONLY

Jim Thorpe has been Shelley Roberts’ home for more than half of her life. She and co-owner Amy Levinson have been involved in massage, wellness and healing since 1989 and founded Mountain Massage, Inc. at Split Rock Resort.

Now they’ve just re-opened in Jim Thorpe! Jim Thorpe Massage & Wellness Studio is located at 69 Broadway and open 7 days a week. Their grand opening is on April 23rd, Earth Day, from 10 am to 5 pm. It will include drawings, discount coupons, snacks and beverages.

Shelley’s passions include herbal medicine and natural cooking. Some of her children were born at home- one in a birthing tub, and one at the hospital. Inside of her right wrist a tattoo done by her oldest daughter says, “Anyone can have boring.” Shelley is currently working on her first book.

Shelley met Amy Levinson, her new business partner at Amy’s “pick your own” A & B Blueberry Farm in Forest Inn during the summer of 2014. Amy, a licensed massage therapist from New York, had relocated to the area several years earlier.

Over the next years not only a friendship developed, but partnership was born. Amy has been practicing massage in the Tri-State area since 2001. Amy’s interests include growing, cooking, and preserving food, she is also a KCBS bar-b-que judge. Amy has two daughters, a dog, chickens and turkeys.

When they met, Shelley was working as a cyber-school elementary teacher, and Amy was tending her farm. They decided to join forces, secure a location and share their healing arts. Jim Thorpe Massage & Wellness Studio is located at 69 Broadway and open 7 days a week. Stop in and meet us. 570-995-3025.

Food and drinks for everyone just weren’t enough. 

Now, the Stone Row Pub & Eatery on Race St. is hosting an open mic night in their pub every 2nd & 4th Thursdays, starting at 7pm.   Along with tasty food specials & inviting drink prices that start at 6pm, local folks showcase their talents.


So far, there’s been singing, poetry reading, guitar, bass, flute, ukulele, accordion, and spoken word performances. A sign-up sheet is available for those who want their 15 minutes of Jim Thorpe fame.  Spectating and socializing and having fun encouraged!

For further information about open mic’s awesomeness, check out this article that recently appeared in the Times News. 

Stone Row Pub ▪  45 Race St.  Jim Thorpe (1 block off Broadway) ▪ 570.732.0465

There was incredible energy in the air as Jim Thorpe Sidecar Tourz proprietor Barb Timberz and three other sidecar rigs, filled with leprechauns big, small and four pawed, made their way down Broadway in the Jim Thorpe St. Patrick’s Day Parade last weekend.


The bagpipes were playing, the drum brigades were drumming, and the crowds were cheering – all while enjoying the beautiful spring day we were so fortunate to have. Just two years ago Barb was waitressing in town, dreaming of days like this.

Believe it or not, fairytales do come true; for Barb Timberz and Jim Thorpe’s Sidecar Tourz – it happens one sidecar ride at a time.

Experiencing Jim Thorpe in a sidecar is like having your own fairy tale, find out more here and schedule your own tour!


We would say there are more than two deserving restaurants here in Jim Thorpe, but the word is clearly out via the Zagat guide, that Jim Thorpe is a good place to dine.

Two local restaurants, Moya and Wheel, have made the Zagat guide this year, and deservedly so!

Zagat guides are used by travelers to find the best in dining and overnight accommodations (which we’re also good at). Originally distributed in a printed edition, the guide, around over 30 years, has adapted with the times with mobile applications.

Moya is located across from St. Marks Church at 24 Race Street. Chef Heriberto Yunda, originally from Ecuador, has brought an international flair to his menu.


“I don’t like to follow the rules,” Yunda says. “I cannot pick a favorite dish on the menu, because they are like my children and you cannot have a favorite child.” Moya’s website is at www.jimthorpemoya.com.

A little further uptown on Broadway, next to the Mauch Chunk Opera House, is the red/orange-brick building that houses Wheel. Part of the eclectic nature of the place is revealed by the menu – it menu arrives at your table inside a record album. Chef and owner Tom Gorman is full of ideas when it comes to the décor of his establishment and the food within.


“I have been in the kitchen since I was a kid in New York. I worked in Little Italy and then I spent 10 years at The Breakers in Palm Beach,” Gorman said. Wheel’s menu is very much influenced by Gorman’s time in those cuisine-oriented cities.

The selection ranges from items like Gorman’s prime rib lasagna to Palm Beach-inspired seafood dishes. The restaurant seats 40 and is open year-round. The hours do change with the season, as does the availability of some of the items on the menu – so inquire ahead before making plans.

Congratulations, Wheel and Moya! We invite you, the reader, to experience the lively restaurant scene here in town.