The Camelot Inn was located at 665 Fritztown Road in Sinking Spring. It was built in 1925 as a speakeasy and was originally named “Die Scheier” which is Pennsylvania Dutch for “The Barn”.
Ralph C. Riffert was the proprietor of the restaurant and bar. During prohibition Die Scheier was raided by state police after they received reports of the establishment taking part in illegal alcohol distribution.
After prohibition ended Riffert again found himself in trouble in 1937 when he was indicted for selling liquor on a Sunday as well as maintaining gambling devices in the building. He sold the property in 1947 when it became known as “The Kennel Club” which lasted until it went bankrupt in 1961 .
AmericanTom.com, a dive bar review website, wrote the following in 2002 to describe the Camelot Inn:
[01-05-02] The Camelot is a time warp bar – the dying breed of tavern that makes you think that you went back in time as soon as you pass through the doors. It is not only exactly like it was about 5 years ago when I last went in – but the sole patron at the bar said it is exactly like it was 25 years ago.
The dining room still remains setup, complete with placemats, even though they haven’t served food in years. The bar is heated by a woodstove. There are some old and interesting photographs of Reading – its vibrant downtown and trolley/street cars.
The old man who owns this diamond in the rough apparently does not believe in change. He has a recliner next to the woodstove and when I was last here – he was asleep in it in the middle of the day. I think I left without a beer because he never woke up. This time, he was away somewhere and a friend was tending bar. He wasn’t sure if they had Captain Morgan ( they did ) and had to go find ice to finish the captain and coke. He didn’t even know what to charge for a highball so he said $2.
The walls of this place are pine board paneling. The men’s room has two urinals and two sinks. Unusual in such a small place and a hint that this place was often hopping from the workers of a nearby steel fabricating company.
The only guy at the bar said there is never a band but the owner’s cute niece and her friend tend bar from time to time. The old man often opens at 1PM and closes at 6PM is things are slow. The basement houses many rooms and another bar – a speakeasy of sorts from the days of prohibition or simply to stay open past the legal hours.
I like this place even though there are only two draft beers ( Rolling Rock was one but the other was out of order and had a cup covering its tap head ).