For those in the Hummelstown area, you probably have been to the Boro Bar and Grill in town, if not for beer, for food, especially the wings. Located at the nexus of Main Street and Walton Avenue (at the Hummelstown Hill as you would come into town from Hershey), for many years it was one of the most (if not THEE most) popular restaurants and bars in town.
Sadly, yesterday, early in the morning they announced they are “retiring” the Hummelstown location, so they can focus primarily on their Riverside Bar location. The Hummelstown location was their primary location (and their sole location for many years). The bar and restaurant has been a staple of the town for several decades now.
The below is a group of Google Maps images of the Boro (at different zoomed in sizes) so you can see its location.
The location for the bar is interesting. Its centrally located and is in a good place as far as being seen and easy getting to… but the building itself is small, with no chance of outdoor seating being added (for COVID reasons) and the parking lot is both small and awkward with regards to the two roads, as is the building itself. There has been a few cases of cars hitting the restaurant over the years.
COVID restrictions and the pandemic itself has certainly not been helpful – if not possibly a leading factor – in the closing. The restaurant itself is rather small, with the majority of the indoor seating being the large bar surface. From March 16-18th (when most places closed) 2020 (due to the pandemic) til August the restaurant stayed closed, keeping themselves closed longer than most other restaurants in the area. Neither doing take out or dine in.
The food was high end ‘bar’ food, and their wings were regularly voted as the best in the area (for many years running). In the Hummelstown, Hershey, Middletown, and Harrisburg area, they were especially highly regarded for their wings.
The bar itself has changed a bit over the years. Renovating itself and adding more seating and making a more casual dining area a few years ago. The bar and restaurant itself has changed (as a ‘place’ or as ‘an entity’) over the years. Having gone from a typical ‘bar’ for shots and lower quality mass consumption beer (Budlight, Coors Light, Yuengling Lager, etc) to trying to fit in with the times and become more craft beer oriented.
The town of Hummelstown, as well as alcohol consumption has changed over the years. Chick’s Tavern in town was always the ‘dive bar’ and Warwick Hotel was more of a restaurant, but in the 2000s nearby to the Boro Bar the Gas Station bar came in, and was aimed primarily at a frat boy/drinker group. Warwick Hotel became more of a craft beer ‘beer nerd’ type location with a very nice high end food (though at times a bit pricey), and Boro Bar stayed consistent for the most part with its food, but tried to keep up with the alcohol trends. The Gas Station closed a few years ago (probably roughly five years now). The Warwick Hotel has changed ownership and is still upscale though trending away from beer nerd though kind of keeping that reputation, but still staying pricey.
Also coming into Hummelstown in 2020 will be the Rubber Soul Brewery – located at the old burough building (police station) on South Hanover Street. This might have also factored into their decision to shutter the doors.
I – B. Kline – have quite a fair amount of fond memories of the Boro Bar. It was the first bar I went to (legally) as a 21 year old, going in at midnight with my ID proudly in hand. It was also located just down the road from D. Scott’s first apartment, so we often would stop there as our local watering hole, before finishing our nights at Chick’s where the drinks were cheaper and you got pitchers (and they stayed open much later).
It was also one of the stops for my bachelor party. Quite a few times I can recall running into a co-worker – Brian – and we would trade shots, one time I tricked him into taking a volcano shot (on round #8 or so). Ming and I would often stop there on our runs, doing 3-4 miles of running before stopping there for drinks, (him water, me beer), before walking the mile or so back to our houses (he was my neighbor at the time).
There was also the time I got flagged and wouldn’t be served for the night because of swearing once in the open area, which apparently was a ‘no-no’.
Needless to say, lots of memories there, and will be sad to see it close. If you ever visited or enjoyed the restaurant and bar, I’d love to see your memories or thoughts in the comments section.
Hopefully something new and exciting will come into the building. But as of right now, everything is up in the air, so who knows!