Archive for the ‘Community’ Category


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.


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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.

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The four of us decided to skip out of town up a mere three miles up Route 209 and have dinner at Macaluso’s Restaurant, even though it was a Friday night and we didn’t have a reservation.

Macaluso's Restaurant Jim Thorpe PAHowever, we were greeted by a nearly-full parking lot, and then, going inside, we saw that the two dining rooms were full. What to do?

We decided to simply eat at the bar. Besides, we were starving and beers were necessary, too.

So we ordered a bit of a cross-section. One of us had a sausage sandwich and skamutz (a kind of Italian cheese), there were two meatball and skamutz sandwiches, and I went with an entrée, the Chicken Parmesan.

Macaluso's Restaurant Jim Thorpe PAMacaluso’s has been serving excellent Italian food since before Jim Thorpe had lots of restaurant choices and was really a trail-blazer in this regard. After all these years, it’s still the hangout of choice of local politicians and residents, and is an exceptionally pleasant surprise for visitors.

Not only was the food excellent – I set upon my chicken parmesan ravenously, meanwhile sipping a couple of brews (I noticed my friends did the same with their meatball and sausage sandwiches) but in the process, we had a great time at the bar and got to avoid the weekend rush in the dining room.

Macaluso's Restaurant Jim Thorpe PAAnd the bill for all four of us (including a couple of rounds) was only $90. That just doesn’t happen in the city.

Their website is really nice, too. Check them out at http://macalusosrestaurant.com.

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Jim Thorpe is a great place for Valentine’s Weekend with all kinds of things going on. One of those things is that our many restaurants have special events prepared just for the occasion! Check here often for updates on the variety of places to go for your special Valentine’s getaway.Valentines Dinner in Jim Thorpe PA

Romantic Valentine’s Package at the Inn at Jim Thorpe (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 732-4343) Grab your sweetie and celebrate Valentine’s in one of America‘s most romantic towns!  Philadelphia Magazine voted Jim Thorpe, and the Inn, as their “Best Romantic Getaway” a couple of years ago.  Two night packages include lodging, a delicious gourmet Valentine’s dinner, complimentary bottle of wine and souvenir wine glasses, daily $7 breakfast voucher, taxes and gratuity and start at just $229 per person.  Optional massages and spa services available, too. February 13-15 or February 14-16

Stone Row Pub and Eatery (47 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, 570-732-0465) – Valentine’s 5-Course Dinner for Two: Tasty food + romantic setting + 2 options (2/13 & 2/14) = SHAZAM! Dinner includes a shared appetizer, cup of soup, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, tea or coffee. Vegetarian, vegan, allergen-sensitive options & special Valentine’s Cocktails are available. $65 Per Couple. Reservations strongly suggested. See website for details. Bonus offer: for those who “can’t get rid of the kids,” family seating is available on a separate floor, away from all the couples looking at one another with googly eyes.

Penn’s Peak Valentine’s Dinner Dance with Remember When (325 Maury Rd, Jim Thorpe, 866-605-7325) – Your evening begins with a delightful meal followed by the sounds of Remember When.   Ticket prices, which include show, meal, gratuity and applicable taxes, are $49 per person.  Entrée selections are Maryland Crab Cakes, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus.  All entrées are served with a cup of Italian Wedding soup, fresh garden salad, Chef’s choice potato, fresh seasonal vegetables, strawberry layer cake and choice of coffee, tea or fountain beverage.  Cash bar available. Saturday, February 14, 2015, doors open 5:00pm, dinner 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Remember When 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Reservations are available through our Box Office at 866-605-7325 or by calling Deb Biege at 610-826-9663.

The Broadway Grille and Pub (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 732-4343) Have a Romantic Valentine’s Dinner at the Broadway Grille on February 14. Enjoy a special gourmet Valentine’s dinner featuring surf and turf, filet oscar or lobster tail, all served with dinner salad, vegetable du jour, mashed potatoes, dessert and a complimentary glass of Champagne. Reservations highly encouraged.

Moya (24 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, 570-325-8530) Enjoy your Valentines dinner at Jim Thorpe’s most romantic restaurant. Our amazing chef takes great pride in creating you and your special someone a fabulous romantic dinner. Relax in our dimly lit elegant dining room. Featuring a regular menu with plenty of delectable dinner specials. Expect special martinis and an extensive wine and beer list. Reservations will be accepted from 5:00pm until 9:45 pm

Tony Stella’s Encore (66 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 325-4440) – After 35 years in the restaurant business, Tony Stella’s background is legendary, from the food to the service. Join Tony and his staff for an evening of love and romance. Complimentary roses for the ladies, phenomenal drinks, 40 beers, and the also-legendary absinthe. His award-winning 5-star menu and personal attention to you are from start-to-finish: treat yourself.

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In The Mix Nesquehoning PAJim Thorpe has several excellent pubs where you can belly up to the bar and have a great time with your friends. There are fine places nearby too, if you’re interested in the regional color and checking out what the locals do.

Want to venture out a little and visit a close-by hangout that’s easy to get to, comfortable and intimate, has all kinds of different reasonably-priced beers and nice food to boot?

Then take a very short drive from Jim Thorpe to In The Mix, in the neighboring town of Nesquehoning. It’s less than four miles from JT on Route 209S, which is also the town’s main drag, Catawissa Street (the pub’s on your right, in the middle of town).

In The Mix Nesquehoning PAThere we met Mike, the pub owner and impresario, and with whom we discussed everything from good beer to the privilege of seeing Jimi Hendrix live in 1968. I also got some personal attention on the brews I checked out, and what would follow the other best.

While we sipped our brews, he prepared some homemade light-crust pepperoni pizza for us, which we promptly set upon and demolished. Excellent. Hit the spot.

It reminded me of many of the cozy pubs we recently visited in Scotland – small and neighborly, for socializing as well as for having a wee dram.

Small-town prices. Small-town friendly. Highly recommended.


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As you walk up Broadway you will feel you have traveled to a wonderful far away place. Your shopping venture in beautiful Jim Thorpe will start as you step through the door of the first shop and enter the peaceful atmosphere inside – no pushing, no shoving, no distracting music blaring in your ears. After hearing “welcome to my shop” and receiving a smile from the shop’s owner, you will know you are on your way to an enjoyable and friendly shopping experience.

With more than 36 unique shops offering gifts, clothing, jewelry, sporting goods, antiques, homemade foodstuffs, imported items and general merchandise, you are sure to find that something special! The fine quality of merchandise personally selected by the owners will amaze you. And the unbelievably low prices offered to residents and visitors alike will please your wallet. Because our shops are located close together you won’t have to walk a long distance to check out each and every shop.

Let’s go shopping . . . starting at the traffic light by the Josiah White Park and stroll up Broadway, crossing back and forth across the street visiting each wonderful stop. Cross at the traffic light to your first shop.

Pocono Biking (7 Hazard Square) Rental bikes available for all ages, equipment to keep you safe and comfortable as you ride, plus clothing and tee shirts.

For your next shop, cross at the light to the south side of Broadway.

Nature’s Trail (5 Broadway) Large selection of musical clocks and collectible figurines and ornaments. If you want personalized Christmas ornaments, shop owner Anne Marie will be happy to assist you.

Mauch Chunk 5 & 10 ( 9 Broadway) Everything from toys to treats to clothing. Be sure to notice the original wood floor and tin ceiling. This is one of Jim Thorpe’s multi-generation shops. If you meet Tom, the owner, he’ll be happy to introduce you to his son who may be at the register.

IMG_6151Gem Shop (37 Broadway) Extensive collection of beautiful earrings, necklaces, watches and clothing. Be sure to ask owner, Liz, for her guidance when you try on one of the luxurious wraps or shawls.

Flights of Fancy (39 Broadway) specializes in unusual statues and items carved from wonderful woods from Bali, Thailand and Mexico.

Wear It Again (41 Broadway) A consignment shop for women, children and men with an unexpected basement display. Check out the many, gently used toys.

Now cross to the north side of Broadway. There’s no crosswalk, so be sure to watch for traffic. We are a small town, but we still have traffic dashing up the street.

Mulligan’s Toys (38-1/2 Broadway) Od style toys that bring back memories or something more modern. Be sure to ask owner Marge to take you into the dark room – so you can see the latest in light up toys.

Treasure Shop (44 Broadway) General gifts; specializes in Irish imports including Claddagh Jewelry, Aran knit sweaters, perfume and wool caps. Made in USA items and gifts for everyone fill the shop. Be sure to say hello to Peggy, the shop’s second generation owner and maybe you’ll get to meet the next generation, her young sons. Don’t forget to check out the Molly Maguire books by Peggy’s parents, the owners of the Old Jail Museum.

Rainbow’s End (46 Broadway) Nice that they have candy and ice cream that you can enjoy while checking out the quaint gifts and friendly conversation with owners Mike and Sandy.

IMG_8881Somersault Letterpress (60 Broadway) A vintage letterpress shoppe for the modern times – specializing in unique letterpress ephemera and paper goods, including offbeat greeting cards, prints, stationery, postcards, notebooks, journals and more.

Dreisbach House (62 Broadway) Antique clothing, jewelry and accessories from many time periods. Lisa and her mother, Laura, will be delighted to find that something special to please you.

Venus & the Moon (92 Broadway) Antiques and occult curiosities for your selection.

Now cross back to the south side of Broadway to the former YMCA building and continue your shopping.

Vinteragerie (69 Broadway) Vintage treasures including clothing and accessories from the past will delight you and fit into your budget Ask owner Sue for her help if you can’t decide.

Chatelaine (81 Broadway) Jewelry of all types, including earrings, anklets, rings and beautiful necklaces from a wide range of deisgners. Look in the second room for more gifts.

Grammy Bea’s (4 Acorn Court) Country decore, including American custom made pottery, and lovely dolls.

Naturally Yours (103 Broadway) Owner, June, will gladly explain the natural fiber clothing and environmentally friendly fair-trade items stocking her shelves.

Sellers Books and Art

Sellers Used Books (101 Broadway) Books, books, books! Search a bit and your’ll find something to take home. If not, just ask owner, Randy, and he’ll find something to please you.

Time to cross back to the other side of Broadway. But, be careful! It’s a tricky corner for pedestrians.

Rosemary Remembrances II (10 Hill Rd.) Unique, personally designed memory boxes made from trinkets with each box telling a tale. Owner and treasure maker, Marj, will be thrilled to explain her memory boxes and find one just for you.

Now it’s time to walk down Race Street, aptly named because many years ago water from the mill race ran in this area on its way to the Lehigh River. Cross carefully and begin your walk down Race Street.

As you walk down Race Street, look to your right to see the fountain known as Kennedy Springs. The water spout is connected to a natural spring up in the mountain. Until just a few years ago the spring was continually running with wonderful, clear spring water. When we wanted delicious water, we took jugs to the spring and brought the water home. Sadly, the spring has been closed off for a few years. While you walk the next few feet, be aware that the garages and patios on your left are built over the running water of Mauch Chunk Creek. If you listen closely you may be able to hear the water rushing down below ground. Also be sure to look up the mountainside on your right and you’ll see the homes hidden above on a street aptly named High Street.

You are now at the first shop on Race Street.

Horizons (105 Race Street) Head shop with a wide selection of incense to fragrance your home. Ask Shelli, the owner, for a demonstration of a fun hoola hoop.

Serendipity (67 Race St.) Large selection of antiques and books, including rare books. Be sure to check out the custom-made jewelry and silver and goldsmithing.

Country Cottage (37 Race St. Homemade foodstuffs including delicious pickles, salsa and jams all made by Lori herself. Try a sample of her pickles.

13th Moon (31 Race St.) Custom blended facial and hair products. Owner, Selena, will be delighted to explain her custom blended fragrances.

Big Creek Vineyard (27 Race St.) Wide selection of delectible wines for every educated palate. You can even sample your selection before you complete your purchase.

Homespun (12 Race St.) Country crafts for your table and walls. Discover the wonderful homemade soups and gourmet packaged foods to fit all tastes.

You are now at the bottom of Race Street with one more shop to investigte. Be careful as you cross Rt. 209 to the Josiah White Park.

Everything Nice – (41 Susquehanna St.) Candles of all types, including large, decorative candles and small tee lights, general gifts and children’s puzzles, Ask the owners, Judy and Larry, about the wonderful little items made from real coal.

We know you enjoyed your tour of the shops and boutiques of Jim Thorpe. Thanks for shopping small business – the backbone of our wonderful country.

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For such a small town, we have a lot going on New Year’s Eve. Our motto is, “You don’t have to go far to feel far away.”

Indeed, once you park your car, we’ll take care of the rest. Whatever you choose to do, it’s going to be fun.

As restaurant and other details come in for New Year happenings, we’ll post them here. Meantime, also check with our excellent restaurants!

New Years Eve, Jim Thorpe, PATony Stella’s Encore – (66 Broadway) – A 5-star restaurant in the historic Albright Mansion right downtown. Dinner will be served from 5PM until 11 PM, bar open until 2 PM. Experience Tony Stella’s class cuisine and service in a casual setting. Enjoy the lovely Melissa Van Fleet performing on the 1886 grand piano. Ring in the New Year with class!

Broadway Grille & Pub – (24 Broadway) – New Year’s Eve Dinner and Party. Special gourmet prix fixe dinner menu, complimentary glass of Champagne. Live music with award-winning musicians Steve Brosky & Jimmy Meyer from 9:30-12:30 am, noisemakers, party favors, drink specials, no cover.

New Years Eve Jim Thorpe PAMacaluso’s – (1257 East Catawissa, Nesquehoning, PA – just 3 miles away, they pick you up in town!) – It’s New Year’s Eve1 at Macaluso’s Restaurant. Happy Holidays and especially a Happy New Year! We celebrate New Year’s Eve with dinners from 4:30 until 10:00 PM. We offer our regular menu plus our “Best-Selling Additions of 2014.” We do require reservations so please call us at 570-669-9433. Next door, our motel offers great lodging and discounted lift tickets from nearby Blue Mountain Ski Resort!

Stone Row Pub & Eatery – (45 Race Street) – We’re a made-from-scratch restaurant, specializing in tasty food & drink for everyone at great prices. We keep our menu small so that we can accommodate allergies, intolerances & food choices. We use ingredients that are abundant & in-season. NYE New Years Eve 2014 HD wallpaper for Standard 4:3 5:4 Fullscreen UXGA XGA SVGA QSXGA SXGA ; Wide 16:10 5:3 Widescreen WHXGA WQXGA WUXGA WXGA WGA ; HD 16:9 High Definition WQHD QWXGA 1080p 900p 720p QHD nHD ; Other 3:2 DVGA HVGA HQVGA devices ( Apple PowerBook G4 iPhone 4 3G 3GS iPod Touch ) ; Mobile VGA WVGA iPhone iPad PSP Phone - VGA QVGA Smartphone ( PocketPC GPS iPod Zune BlackBerry HTC Samsung LG Nokia Eten Asus ) WVGA WQVGA Smartphone ( HTC Samsung Sony Ericsson LG Vertu MIO ) HVGA Smartphone ( Apple iPhone iPod BlackBerry HTC Samsung Nokia ) Sony PSP Zune HD Zen ; Tablet 2 Android 3 DVGA HVGA HQVGA devices ( Apple PowerBook G4 iPhone 4 3G 3GS iPod Touch ) ;includes: glass of champagne, wine or inspired mock-tail. Choose one of each: soup, salad, appetizer, entrée & dessert. $65 plus tax & gratuity. Reservations are helpful for our 2 seatings: 7:30 & 9:30pm. Our pub will be open with a select menu.  Please contact us to discuss any additional dietary issues that we will do our best to accommodate. Vegetarian choices can be made vegan, excluding crème brulee & the bouchon.

Penn’s Peak (325 Maury Road) – Featuring Get the Led Out, the fabulous Led Zeppelin tribute. 9 PM, 21 and older event. From the bombastic and epic, to the folky and mystical, Get The Led Out have captured the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin and brought it to the concert stage. The Philadelphia-based group consists of six veteran musicians intent on delivering Led Zeppelin live, like you’ve never heard before.  GTLO re-creates the songs in all their depth and glory with the studio overdubs that Zeppelin themselves never performed and brings what the audience wants…a high energy Zeppelin concert with an honest, heart-thumping intensity.

Mauch Chunk Opera House (14 W Broadway) – 70’s Flashback rings in the new year 2015 with a night to remember. It is an 8-piece show band, performing the greatest music of the 1970’s. Their playing is almost like seeing your favorite performers onstage. Dance and party till midnight, right in town!.

New Year’s Package at the Inn at Jim Thorpe
 New Year's in Jim Thorpe PAIncludes 2-night stay, special gourmet New Year’s Eve dinner at the Broadway Grille, bottle of wine and 2 souvenir wine glasses, live music and party in the pub, daily $7 breakfast voucher, noon checkout and all taxes. Starts at $265 per person, double occupancy.

For accommodations, we can take care of that – check here.



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