The Town Hall is closing

The Town Hall Restaurant - one of the last places in rural Lancaster County to serve authentic Pennsylvania Dutch dishes is closing. People often recommend the nearby Shady Maple as the place for local dishes but The Town Hall is where Shady Maple employees ate when they could.

Our local newspaper tells us that it’s closing because the family that owns it is retiring. I have no idea what will replace it, but in every case around here, Pennsylvania Dutch has been replaced by pulled pork, burgers, or pizza.

It’s time to revisit the few remaining old school restaurants to see if they’ve still got something interesting on their menus.


oh no!! as for the Shady Maple its a horror show now. at the Town Hall, one could sit cozily among locals and eat your (inexpensive) meal in peace, at the SM its standing in line amongst bus tourists for what is often slop and is certainly relatively expensive. Thanks to you Brian for recommending it to us - maybe they will sell to someone with similar sensibility.

For me, the real heartbreaking story is the way the whole cuisine has just faded away. The White Horse Lunch - once an icon of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking - is now a place for plastic baskets of fried chicken tenders and pre-formed burgers. And I can think of three or four others too.

We once had a cuisine here!

Our best hope is that at least one of these places will be taken over by somebody that knows the local foodways. In homes, it’s going strong; a quick look at what local supermarkets carry will tell that story, why aren’t we sharing it with visitors?

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