Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black and Blue Is Open for Business!


Posted by: Noël Jones


The long wait is finally over! Fans of Porter's Pub and the old Which Brew alike have been waiting with bated breath for the opening of the latest entrepreneurial effort of Kelly-Jo Ditze and Larry Porter. Tonight, although they did not publicize the opening at all, Black and Blue
(located where the old Blue Tone used to be, across from the courthouse in Easton) was packed by 9pm. 


When I arrived around 8pm...it filled up completely by 9pm...


As rumors of the new pub began circulating back in April, one thing on everyone's mind seemed to be, "Will it be similar to Which Brew?" The answer is yes and no. What made Which Brew what it was, was owner Kelly-Jo Ditze and her witchy bartenders, many of which have returned, three years after Which Brew's closing, to work for her again. The decor, however, is totally different. Gone are the cob webs, spiders, brooms and other witchery. Black and Blue has a bit of an Art Nouveau theme to its decor that hints at the magic in a more subtle manner than its Halloween-esque predecessor. And there is a new potion on the drink menu: absinthe.

Absinthe is a mysterious, sometimes clear, sometimes cloudy, sometimes pale green, distilled herbal spirit made from wormwood, anise, and other herbs, that is well-known in the bars of Prague and other places in Europe, but still not available in most American establishments, although it has been legal now for several years. "I believe we are the only bar with absinthe towers in the Lehigh Valley," Larry Porter tells me. An absinthe tower dispenses iced water through a sugar cube and into the absinthe to make the drink. "This is called 'louche-ing'" Porter explains, "that's when the absinthe turns cloudy in the glass."



...later, a bartender brought out the absinthe tower (she's straining the iced water through a sugar cube on a slotted spoon above the glass)...


Other potions on the drink menu include 12 specialty beers on draught, along with 31 import beers by the bottle, and 8 domestic micro-brews. 50% of the beer menu is Belgian--so I'm in heaven--but the pub also features brew from Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Norway, and the U.S.


While this may all sound very different from the old Which Brew, hints of punky witchy-ness remain. First of all, the bartenders are all still witches, they're just incognito. The food menu, entitled "Here's Your Menu Bitches (that's not very nice, we know, but we got a chuckle)" offers soup, salads and "sandwitches,""pommes frights," "Verboten" chili (made with Weyerbacher Belgian Style Pale Ale) and other appetizers. I had a bowl of Judy's Sultry Gazpacho, which was super fresh and delicious, and Judy Jones--who brings the soup in fresh daily--was on hand for the festivities, so I got to tell her so myself (I'm pretty sure she's a witch too).


Food items range from $4 - $9, beers range from $4 - $24 (for a couple of the wine-sized bottles of import beer), and absinthe runs $9 - $11 a glass. Black and Blue is located at 683 Walnut Street in Easton, across from the courthouse, and is open Tues - Fri 4-11 and Saturday noon to midnight. They do not take reservations, but for more information call (610) 438-3604. 


I have a feeling that there will be a lot of pub crawling in the West Ward soon from Black and Blue to Porter's when Black and Blue's bar closes for the night, since Porter's stays open until 2am...fortunately, they're only a few blocks apart--the West Ward just got way more fun.

15 comments:

Lauren Warner said...

best news in a long time! thanks for sharing, Noel - I love the write-up and photos.

Anonymous said...

Will there be a parade?

beerbrain420 said...

Weren't they supposed to have a special opening first for past devoted customers? I'd like to know why I never got word of this from anyone.

Dan D said...

This is great news....welcome back kj!

Larrygirl said...

Let the games begin!!!

RachelBettyCase said...

Yaaaayyyyy!!!! This is great! My boyfriend and I just moved into a house around the corner from Black and Blue and have been sneaking peeks on a daily basis to see the progress. I know where I want to eat dinner tonight!

noel jones said...

I recommend the gazpacho, although I hear the Verboten chili is also the bomb...

as for beer, i had the Weyerbacher Belgian Blanche (did i get that right?)--a white belgian--loved it.

i'd love to get reviews from readers who try the various belgian beers and absinthes, so we get a feel for which are the most popular!

Untouched Takeaway said...

Absinthes?! I'm picking up a box of sugar cubes tonight!

Anonymous said...

I recommend that everyone buys a belly button lint bear.

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

The place is brilliant. Congratulations Kelly-Jo and Larry!

tunsie said...

I am happy shes back.she provides a nice atmosphere....It has been a long time...but we r all happy she is on the scene again............tunsie

tunsie said...

I love U noel and its not tunsie................anonymous

RachelBettyCase said...

Bahhahaha yes! Buying a belly button lint bear will fund my drinkin that delicious Sinco at Black and Blue :)

Anonymous said...

Always glad to help out my favorite artist.

noel jones said...

fyi, i heard that B&B is closed for the holiday and will re-open on tuesday...