Camelot Inn

The Camelot Inn

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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”.

image from the property listing

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.

July 24th 1929 Reading Times article

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.

Camelot Inn

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.

Camelot Inn

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.

Camelot Inn

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.

Camelot Inn

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 ).

Camelot Inn


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marcia scroble
marcia scroble
4 years ago

Our band played there in 91′ and 92′. The owners son, Lou, played in our band. Great times and a lot of parties. One of the last time we spent there was when we had a 50th anniversary party for my parents. The owners, Lou and Judy, cooked all the food. Was an awesome time

Chris
Chris
4 years ago

Good ole Louie…a bunch of coworkers and I would stop every Friday after work. He would put our ham and cooper cheese chunks out for us all the time

David Procter
David Procter
4 years ago

I was a little confused, and then I realized that I was mixing this place up with the Beverly Hills Tavern located on the Old Fritztown Road. I haven’t been in that area for almost thirty years. I don’t think I ever went to the Camelot.

Joe Lienti
Joe Lienti
4 years ago

At some point in 2008 or 2009 the kitchen got remodeled I was told by the contractor that it had to be done or they would loose there liquor license. It was definitely creepy place. I know for sure they never opened. The owners son Lou was or still is a patrolman for spring township because his card was tacked up on the bulletin board behind the bar.

Devyn D Amore
Devyn D Amore
4 years ago

Been driving past there for 30 years. Never realized it was still open, as I’ve never seen a car parked there or a light on. After this pandemic passes, I’ll definitely stop in. I love a throw back bar.

Jen
Jen
4 years ago

My mom bartended there in the early 80’s and stayed a tiny apartment above the bar till our home was finished construction in wernersville. My dad was part of the crew from Baltimore that moved here in 83 (??) to work at AT&T plant in Reading (which changed to Lucent then Agere). I remember sitting at a table in the bar and eating Lou giving me berks version of chicken pot pie. I remember him as having such a big heart and stayed in touch with my parents for awhile after we were settled.

Bill Reber
Bill Reber
3 years ago

We used to drink there in the early ‘70s. It was easier than going to New York.

Tracy Olivieri
Tracy Olivieri
3 years ago

That was my great uncle’s restaurant. Louie Fronina was my grandfather’s brother. I remember going there when I was little. His house was on the same lot as the restaurant. My grandfather helped cook there sometimes. Great memories!

Ronald
Ronald
8 months ago

Can I have a Tour inside

Vickie Correll-Rick
Vickie Correll-Rick
8 months ago

My sister and I were the bartenders there in the 90’s.


Berks Nostalgia