The Glockenspiel Restaurant – Rt. 222 – Richmond Township

The Glockenspiel was landmark Pennsylvania Dutch restaurant in northern Berks County. It originally dated back to 1751, built as a two-story farmhouse and later added on dining facilities and offices. It was located along Route 222 between Fleetwood and Kutztown. The restaurant specialized in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, and served a famed fruit & cheese tray with dinner. It also had a gift shop and the “Dutch Tavern” which was a bar area.

1971 Aerial Shot

Above, an aerial photo of the Glockenspiel Restaurant along 222 in 1971. Below, the famous fruit and cheese platter served with every meal.

The French Room

View of the French Room and waitress with a cheese tray, in the 1950s. Source

The “French Room” pictured on both above Postcards, was located in the basement of the building. The Glockenspiel was described in a 1984 Morning Call article as, “Decidedly colonial with traditional antiques, barn wood paneling, stone walls, and open beamed ceilings, the restaurant’s atmosphere helps diners lose track of cares and concerns of the everyday world. “

On the above image: Dutch Tavern on top right, Gift shop on bottom right.

Some fondly remember warm cider was served from the pot at this large fireplace just inside the entrance to the restaurant.

Bankruptcy

The Glockenspiel Restaurant had financial troubles starting in 1981 and was pulled out of bankruptcy in 1983.

It was closed briefly in 1981 by a state police task force when a previous owner, American Leisure Services Inc. of Austin, Texas, was cited for failure to pay sales taxes.

In 1982, problems with back taxes prompted state agents and deputies from the Berks County sheriff’s office to seize financial records at the restaurant.

The Glockenspiel was brought out of bankruptcy proceedings in 1983.

After renovations it reopened that year by the Glockenspiel Management Corp.

1986 Fire

Smoke billows from one of three adjoining structures destroyed Tuesday night in a blaze at the Glockenspiel Restaurant complex on Route 222 in Richmond Township -Eagle Photo
Blair Eakin, an assistant manager of the Glockenspiel Restaurantm escaped the flames by leaping from a second-floor window of this building. – Eagle Photo

More than 150 firefighters battled the multi-alarm blaze that destroyed the historic Glockenspiel Restaurant along Route 222 southwest of Kutztown Tuesday night. The damage, including many antique furnishings, was estimated at more than $2 million.

The Glockenspiel Restaurant was a total loss, and the owner stated initially that there were intentions to rebuild and add a motel with other facilities on the site. This never came to fruition.

1992 aerial showing the remains of the Glockenspiel. It would decay for another 13 years before the property was redeveloped. -Google Earth

The ruins remained standing until nature took course and slowly covered them. In 2005 the property was sold and redeveloped; a Shed Manufacturer built a new building on the property and has remained there since.

Sources: Morning Call, Reading Eagle

Be a Berks Billionaire – The 1984 Berks County Monopoly Board Game

Be a Berks Billionaire is a fairly rare board game developed by a citizen of Berk’s County; Joan C. Zintak of Wyomissing. The game was developed and sold in 1984. It was originally intended to have a print run of 5000 games but I don’t know if they ever reached that goal or not as there was apparently some “drama” with the game at the time of completion. Competition issues of some sort? Source

The game features Berks businesses in the place of the standard Monopoly properties. If you have any information about this game or what the story is get in touch. contact@berksnostalgia.com

A 100 Year Review of Berks – Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year Berks County! Not only is it a new year but also the beginning of a new decade. As we leave behind the 2010s, let’s look back on the beginning of the last 10 decades, and some of the events that we experienced together as a community during them. The past is important and sometimes comforting, but it is also important to look forward. There is so much more nostalgia yet to be made!

1920

Notable Events from this Decade

1930

Notable Events from this Decade

1940

Notable Events from this Decade

1950

Notable Events from this Decade

1960

Notable Events from this Decade

1970

Notable Events from this Decade

1980

Notable Events from this Decade

1990

Notable Events from this Decade

2000

Notable Events from this Decade

2010

Notable Events from this Decade

Berkenstock Store – “Berky’s” – Sinking Spring

If you grew up in Sinking Spring during the 50, 60s, or 70s you probably remember Berkenstock’s Store, or just called it, “Berky’s” or “Fern’s”*. The people who have mentioned it to me specifically remember it being a candy store and calling it Berky’s. There is absolutely no information about this place on the web, but I did some sleuthing to find some information about who ran this store. What I had was a last name, location and an idea of a timeframe of when this store was in operation.

*Apparently some called it Fern’s, I have added this info after the original release of the article

It was located on the corner of Columbia and Hull Street, 101 S. Hull Street. Just caddy-corner from the Sinking Spring School grounds, making it easy for students to walk there for candy. I found record in the 1940 census of a Berkenstock Family who lived at that address. I knew it was a lady who ran this store, so I figured it had to be one of the daughters. It ended up being Fern Berkenstock.

At first I thought it might be Ethel but my sources said it was definitely Fern. I found Ethel in her 1946 senior yearbook from Sinking Spring High. I wasn’t able to find Fern in any of the mid-late 30s Sinking Spring yearbooks. Perhaps she didn’t go to high school, not surprising or out of the ordinary, many in that time didn’t.

I was able to find that Fern passed away in 2000. Her obituary was in the April 1st, 2000 Reading Eagle. It mentions her owning the store and gave the definitive time of operations, from 1940-1986. She was married at some point and her last name changed to Eyrich.

I would love to see and share some images of Berky’s if anyone has them. Any added info would also be appreciated. People remember this place fondly and I would love to bring it back to them. If you have any memories of the store please share them in the comments.

1958 Aerial of Columbia Ave and Hull St Intersection where Berky’s operated

Hugo’s – 5th Street – Muhlenberg

Hugo’s was a dance club and bar, incorporated on August 17th, 1972. It was located in Muhlenberg, specifically Laureldale, at the location of the current Alebrije Mexican Restaurant in Plaza 222. Hugo’s was owned by Leonard Kochen, who also owned Grammy’s Restaurant in Reading. It was originally called Disco Hugo’s, but eventually dropped the “Disco” and was more commonly referred to as “Hugo’s”.

Hugo’s offered disco dance lessons in the 70s, but also had a lot of popular bands headlining on other nights throughout its tenure. Many may remember a few of the acts that played there; a couple notable ones being the Sharks and the Jordan Brothers. There was something to go do or see almost any night of the week.

Hugo’s closed in 1988.

In 1991 the club was revived briefly under new ownership but still went by the Hugo’s name.

(click to enlarge)

There were issues with the liquor license transfer and the club was forced to have only “all-age” shows with no alcohol. This must have been short lived because there is no other information on the club until 1996.

In 1996 Hugo’s would gain its liquor license, change its name to the Lions Den and reopen. This was the beginning of the end of the establishment.

Muhlenberg Township police have called in state troopers and county detectives to try to close down the Lions Den, a bar and dance club where there have been numerous fights and a police officer was hurt in a melee last week. – Nov 3, 1998 Reading Eagle

The club was starting to attract a less than savory crowd who caused trouble in the parking lot. Police were consistently called to break up altercations and eventually deemed the club a public nuisance. The owners of the club again changed the name to the Confetti Nightclub & Bar, assumedly in an attempt to move away from the reputation the Lion’s Den had gained. By the end, there had been two different shootings outside the club and it was finally shut down and the club’s contents were auctioned off in February of 2001.

Robert M. Flanagan, Muhlenberg Township police chief, stands outside the closed Confetti Night Club and Bar, where equipment and furniture were auctioned off Monday. – Eagle/Times: Richard J. Patrick

Today, Alebrije occupies the space, and has for a long time. If you remember anything being in here between Confetti Nightclub and Alebrije, please let me know in the comments.

The site of Hugo’s today.