New eats on Emmaus' Main Street

The 2nd St. Tavern serves contemporary cuisine and 'twists on old favorites' in former Lee Gribben's on Main space.

Foodies, don't fret. The 2nd St. Tavern at 194 Main St. in Emmaus has brought its own delicious dishes to the space formerly occupied by Lee Gribben's on Main.

"We're offering contemporary cuisine, as well as twists on old favorites," general manager Billy Daniels said.

The 130-seat restaurant, which held a soft opening Feb. 28, features the culinary creations of executive chef Joseph Scull, a former chef at the now-closed Solaris Grille in Philadelphia. Scull is also a co-owner, along with two silent partners.

Selections, which are continuously expanding, include starters such as Belgian fries and Prince Edward Island mussels; stone-baked flatbreads such as the poached pear and fig and farmers pizza; and entrees such as Dungeness crab cioppino and cider-braised Berkshire pork shoulder.

"We believe in the concept of 'go slow, go far,'" Daniels said of the evolving menu.

Another work in progress is the restaurant's downstairs, which the owners plan to turn into an after-hours lounge featuring live music in about a month. There are also plans for outdoor dining on the front patio.

Cosmetic changes to the restaurant's main floor include new lighting fixtures, burgundy and tan walls, repolished floors and a 12-seat bar boasting eight draft beers, more than two dozen bottled beers and a wide variety of wines.

Happy hour, 5-7 p.m. weekdays, features $1-off draft beers, glasses of wine and specialty cocktails, including the locally inspired "Old Time in Emmaus," "Mainstreet Collins" and "2nd Street Mule."

Further evidence of Emmaus pride is displayed on the walls via framed historical prints of the borough.

The tavern, which will not honor Lee Gribben's gift certificates or Groupons, is open 4-11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. It will begin serving lunch in about two weeks.

Takeout is available. Info: 610-967-0639 or 2ndstreettavern.com.

For those wondering what led to the closure of Lee Gribben's and what the future holds for its owners, I can only tell you that Gribben and partner Manuel Gonzalez closed the restaurant to "slow down" and they have since taken an undisclosed opportunity.

"We would like to thank all of our great customers for the past 24 years," Gonzalez said of the business, which expanded from a catering company to a full-service restaurant in 2006.

Another addition to Emmaus' foodie-loving locales is Pott's Dog Barn, which opened Nov. 9 at 1438 Chestnut St., in front of Liberty Bell Beverages.

The drive-thru destination, run by Mike Balco of Coopersburg, is the eighth Pott's location in the Lehigh Valley.

In addition to wieners, the business offers pulled pork, sauteed pierogies and macaroni and potato salads, among other items. A locally inspired hot dog called "The Hornet," featuring mustard, onion and wasabi, will be introduced in April.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Info: 484-612-7900.

OK, one more Emmaus happening and then I'll shed some light on other areas.

Funk Brewing at 19 S. Sixth St. is wrapping up about five months of construction and is hoping to open its tasting room in mid-April. Customers will be able to enjoy tours, as well as free samples of six of the brewery's beers on tap. There also will be growler and bottle sales to go.

The brewery, which contains four fermentation tanks, brewed its first batch of craft beer in late January. Selections are available at Broadway Social in Bethlehem, Strange Brew Tavern in Allentown, Keystone Pub & Grille in Whitehall Township, Volpe's Sports Bar in Emmaus and K'Town Pub and Grill in Kutztown, among others.

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