The Pit Stop becomes Decades Speakeasy and Restaurant.
Written by Karen L. Chandler
Colebrookdale Township, PA —
After a rough road during its last year as The Pit Stop, owner Mike Rohrbach decided it was time to switch lanes and recreate the 1964 Colebrookdale Township landmark as Decades Speakeasy and Restaurant.
This restaurant has gone through so many changes the past years with owners, menus, management, decor, hours, said Rohrbach, who bought the restaurant in May 2017 with three partners, and re-opened it as The Pit Stop in May 2018. I saw the need for a family-type restaurant that provides night life after a certain time.
Continuing to respect the history of the area was key for Rohrbach, a Boyertown native and 1995 graduate of Boyertown High School and 2000 graduate of Kutztown University, who will act as the sole operating partner with only his parents, William and Phyllis Rohrbach, retired Boyertown school district teachers, as his silent partners.
Decades Speakeasy features new decor in historic shades of dark gold and red with photos and artifacts highlighting local and regional history since the 1900s, with actors and singers included from each decade, and the bar area redesigned in keeping with the theme.
Rohrbach received strong support for his vintage display from the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, as well as Kevin Zimmer, owner of Boyertown’s Zimmer’s Pets.
He has a vast collection of local history, Rohrbach said, of his ongoing search for area treasures to display. There’s a lot of wall space in here.
Slotted doors and passwords
Reading Eagle: Ben Hasty |
Decades Speakeasy and Restaurant in Colebrookdale Township.
Brand new to the restaurant, with a nod to an authentic speakeasy serving illegal beverages during Prohibition, will be the addition of slotted doors and passwords to access the Speakeasy banquet room.
David Wade, a resident of Colebrookdale Township, was part of the crew renovating The Pit Stop to become Decades Speakeasy. He has fond memories of working at The Pit Stop as a teen and experiencing the restaurant in its heyday.
People don’t like change, but racing in this area is not what it used to be,” Wade said. “The Pit Stop ran its course. I think it’s really courageous of Mike to step up and do this.
And the sizzling steaks The Pit Stop was famous for serving tableside on a burning steel plate are no longer feasible, according to Wade.
He said, The ability to do what everybody asks for is gone. It only takes one person to touch that plate. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Rohrbach said while the method of serving the meat may have changed, the well-known quality of the steaks remains the same and Decades Speakeasy will continue to serve them top of the line and hand cut.
The restaurant’s new general manager, Ken Parsons of Washington Township, said much of the food served at Decades will be sourced locally.
Early bird specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily except for Fridays and Saturdays will feature a smaller portion of a meal not on the regular menu, including comfort dishes of meatloaf, shepherd’s pie and turkey.
Not only will the new Decades menu be diverse and highlight seafood and sandwiches, but the continued focus on history brings an entertaining menu with choices named after music hits from the 1950s to present day, including Dock of the Bay scallops and All Shook Up loaded fries.
Music will flow from the menu to the stage as Decades will offer live entertainment every Saturday night, Rohrbach said, with karaoke or a disc jockey playing music on Fridays.
With 70 seats in the dining room and up to 35 in the banquet room, Rohrbach hopes his 1,700 square-foot restaurant will be a draw for families with children, seniors and anyone looking for night life, and that local businesses and private parties will take advantage of holding events in the Speakeasy banquet room.
And Rohrbach’s covered patio area will be utilized this year.
The outdoor part was finished at the end of last year, he said. We want to expand on it.”
Upcoming for Rohrbach are fundraisers at the restaurant directing proceeds to local Veterans’ Administration hospitals and the One-Wish Foundation, cross-promoting with local businesses, and offering Decades class reunion nights.
We’re starting with a staff of hard hitters, Parsons said. We’re confident the food and service will be top-notch from day one.
Contact Karen L. Chandler: 610-371-5066 or [email protected].
Decades Speakeasy and Restaurant
Location: 961 N. Reading Ave., Colebrookdale Township
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays through Sundays, 4 p.m. to midnight. Closed Tuesdays.
Facebook: Decades Speakeasy & Tavern