by Lauren Rooney
You may remember a fiery train crash in 1981 involving the SEPTA Southampton train station and Fox Chase train line. The station, which opened in 1892 and closed in 1983, was right by a coal loading station which was one of the first structures in the area at a time when Bucks County was mostly farm land and forest.
How the times have changed! The former coal-loading building, which closed in the 1980s due to the crash, has since transformed in an art studio, a hair salon, and for the past two years the Steam Pub bar and grill. The four owners of the establishment – Paul “tubby” Kushner, Martin Hoeger, Mike Breslin, and Gene Agnew – are friends and former restaurant industry professionals with a combined 80+ years of restaurant and bar experience.
The pub celebrated their two year anniversary on July 2, 2014.
“We are right where we hoped we'd be,” says Kushner, sharing what it's been like to go from the dream of owning their own place to the reality of it.
The owners renovated the building themselves, building a deck outside and even having an authentic train-track foot rail below their impressive 55 foot bar.
“We want to be a destination for a deck,” says Hoegar who was largely responsible for its construction. In fact, the area has been so popular that they are planning on expanding the deck in the near future and want locals to know how great of a place it is to eat and drink under the stars.
“We don't want to be known as a pretentious beer bar we want to have something for everybody and broaden people's horizons when it comes to beer” Kushner explains. In addition to 21 rotating beers on tap they carry over 90 specialty bottled beers and an amazing cocktail list including the “Jack Sparrow” which is served on fire! And indecisive beer drinkers need not worry! Beer flights are offered so you don't have to choose just one.
On Monday through Friday from 4pm to 6pm, happy hour includes 1/2 price drinks and a $4 specialty cocktail-of-the-day. Knowledgable and friendly bartenders spend time with customers, helping them choose the perfect drink for their night out. Plus, they have entertainment every night of the week – from live bands, to DJs, to karaoke.
So after all this drinking and dancing, one is bound to get hungry, and that is where head chef and co-owner Mike Breslin comes in with specials that change weekly. Food is certainly NOT an afterthought at this bar. Chef Breslin shares his mouth-watering specials almost daily on Facebook. The most popular special is the weekly changing gourmet burger.
What do they attribute to their success so far?
“Knowledge of our clientele. We are from the area, and we know what are customers are looking for” says Hoegar. The Steam Pub is where restaurant industry guys are combining their knowledge to create a place where you can eat and drink for a reasonable price in a friendly and historic atmosphere.
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