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

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

On this Day – September 30th, 1974

Above the fold in the Sept 30th, 1974 Reading Eagle:

Wagons Moved from Original Gruber Works Grounds

On the Way -Wagons produced near the turn of the century are moved out of the Gruber Wagon Works along the Bernville Road, Route 183, in Penn Township. The county moved the wagons and will store them until a final decision is made on where the structure will be moved. The building is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer – Reading Eagle

Wagon History – Frank P. Gruber, 90, above, proudly displays one of the many wagons which he helped to construct during his long career at the Gruber Wagon Works founded by his grandfather. At right, two workers lift the old elevator which brings the wagons from the second floor directly outside. Below, one of the wagons is loaded on a county truck to be taken to storage. The structure must be removed because it is in the Blue Marsh Lake Project area. – Eagle Photos by B. Franklin Reber.

In the Theatres…

Earl Building – 523/525 Penn St

Earl Building in Reading, Pa., 1890, 2002251_2_076, Box 1, Folder 2, Warren-Ehret Company photograph albums (Accession 2002.251), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

The M. J. Earl Building pictured around the turn of the 20th century at 523/525 Penn Street in Reading. It appears there were a few offices inside. One was home to an office of Prudential Insurance, ran by J.S. DeHart. It appears there was also a Cigar manufacturer and a Fur Hat store. The rest was a part of the M.J. Earl company. According to their website, the M.J. Earl INC,

“Founded in 1842, MJ Earl Inc. was in the paper business when toilets were outhouses and printers were presses.
First situated in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, MJ Earl has since relocated to the Greater Reading region, and serves a multitude of businesses from Harrisburg to the Delaware Valley.” –
http://www.mjearl.com/

Apparently they are still a local company, now residing on Pottsville Pike.

The words on the facia of the building boasted;

RETAIL, MANUFACTURER, JOBBER
BAGS, ENVELOPES, ROPE
PAPER, WALL PAPER, PAPER

The Earl building in 2019

Is it me or can you still see the faint outline of the word “EARL” on the facia?