Tap and Table Closed

by theelvee_w2oe3m

This just in from our friends down southThe Bookstore Speakeasy in Bethlehem and Tap and Table in Emmaus have closed, along with sister spot Fork & Barrel in Philly.  The same owners recently opened The Farmer’s Cabinet in center city Philly, which is to remain open.  We can only guess that they expanded too much too quickly.  Obviously this puts plans for Bahnhof, the German beer bar project at the old Main Steet Depot in Bethlehem, in very murky waters.  The El Vee will be heading down there for an event tonight and hopefully we can get more info from the owner about the recent closings.

Update 2.5:  Just got a statement from their PR person that reads as follows,

“It’s been a great year at Fork & Barrel in East Falls, but we made a business decision to close since The Farmers’ Cabinet has so many of the same elements.  We hope that our Fork & Barrel customers will continue to visit us in the city.  We’ve also decided to close Tap and Table in Emmaus and bring the concept to Philadelphia in the coming months.  The new restaurant will also have an Old World atmosphere, a menu based on fresh-ingredients including fondue, mussels, flatbreads, sandwiches and entrees and will feature American and European craft beers.  We’ve had incredible opening success at The Farmers’ Cabinet and look forward to our next venture in the city.  The Bookstore, our 1920s speakeasy, in Bethlehem will remain open.”

We inquired about the future of Bahnhof and will post the response shortly.

Update 2:  Foobooz confirms as well, adding that the Tap and Table concept will be transported to Philly in the coming months.  Sad to see a great beer bar leaving the valley to open in Philly, especially since we enjoyed the food and service at Tap and Table so much more than The Bookstore.  Sigh.

UPDATE:  Confirmed that The Bookstore Speakeasy in Bethlehem will remain open, according to one of the business partners.

You may also like


RJ April 19, 2011 - 11:05 am

Total bummer! Philly doesn’t need more cool stuff, the Lehigh Valley does!

Rae April 19, 2011 - 5:27 pm

The facts are this- He does not pay his bills, he owed thousands of dollars to landlords . That is why they closed. Landlords wanted $ and he couldn’t deliver. Employee checks constantly bounced, starting over a year ago. Power shut off many times, no heat, all because of not paying bills. No notification to any employees of closing. They found out because a bartender happen to drive by and saw moving trucks. Yes, moving trucks. They were caught emptying out the restaurant. So much so, beer lines were cut. He only has the Farmers Cabinet in Philly, now. That is just the tip of the iceberg…
Hard working employees who loved what they did, and loved the people they worked with so much that hardships didn’t matter. Their story deserves to be heard by everyone ( and it’s a good story).

Dave April 21, 2011 - 4:48 pm

Wow… Thanks for the information! I came across your blog a mere two days ago (I’ve only been in the LV for a year and was looking for more food/drinking options)- sure enough, while browsing, I saw the intiial reviews for the Bookstore and discovered the Tap & Table here in Emmaus (I never knew it was there!)- but both looked awesome…go figure that the same day I hear of them, one closes. Glad to hear it wasn’t both!

Keep up the great work!

K-Z April 22, 2011 - 5:14 am

I can second Rae’s response. This is the same thing that happened at The Atlantic Jazz Yard they attempted to open in Delaware. Employees went unpaid. Checks bounced. And then, one day, the place closed down.

I loved Tap and Table. I do not, however, love their owners. Beware.

subindie April 22, 2011 - 8:07 am


Steve April 22, 2011 - 1:16 pm

Does anyone know who the former chef was at Tap and Table?
We loved their food but discovered earlier this year that their chef had suddenly changed. The food still tasted great but that special something was missing. If the previous chef is still working in the area we’d love to go to there!!

The El Vee April 23, 2011 - 8:23 am

The previous chef was Peter Felton. He’s now at the helm at the Farmer’s Cabinet.

HomeBrewer April 22, 2011 - 2:12 pm

Son of a …was just there for Happy Hour Friday the 15th. LOVED the staff, loved the beer and food. LOVED the beer.

Shame on those owners…I’ve been an employee in that same situation, so I can relate.

I’m really depressed about this, sigh, I need a drink.

I will never set foot in the Bookstore or any other business of theirs.

The El Vee April 23, 2011 - 8:24 am

Just a note, they don’t own the Bookstore anymore, it’s a new owner 🙂

Kate April 23, 2011 - 11:26 am

this is really a shame. I’d love to know why they closed. As a resident of the same township that Tap and Table was in, I hope that it wasn’t anything to do with township rules/regs.

Kate April 23, 2011 - 2:30 pm

Wow. Just read Rae’s comment that they didn’t pay their bills. That is the worst. I wondered why for the first few months after they opened that their credit card info always came up as a place from Phoenixville PA. I am betting they did the same. If this is the case, despite the good food and beer, I won’t patronize the Bookstore or the Philly Farmer’s Cabinet. This is no way to run a business.

beergirl April 24, 2011 - 5:06 am

First chef was Eric Stempf, now owns Baked in Emmaus.

Mark Remy May 23, 2011 - 10:50 am


Is not paying your bills better or worse than making public, slanderous comments about others — anonymously — with nothing to back up the allegations?

Barman May 30, 2011 - 7:42 am

hey Mark! How about this? The Bookstore?…nice concept, for a night, a weekend, a month…a classic cocktail THEME is cute temporarily, but to build your entire business based on this concept, is foolish. Had you done a little research, also know as feasibilty studies and demographics, you would have made an informed decision NOT to go with such an obscure trend that only works (kind of) in bigger markets in strong economies. Naming it “the bookstore”on a college campus was also a mistake. Sounds like a college bar…and would’ve been better served as one, duh. As far as not paying bills, who knows, but I can tell you, you need to “run lean” not “wear thin”. Meaning, be great at ONE thing, knock it out of the park. Keep costs down and profits up! Having grandiose plans of knocking people’s socks off with obscure offerings such as 300 Belgian beers, gastro pumps, Absenthe, etc is EXSPENSIVE. You know what it costs to inventory all that?? I suppose you do, since you’re the one with all the debt. Opening 3 places so far away from one another, with completely different offerings takes money, man-hour/power, and knowledge. None of the owners were in the biz before (and “managing” the craft beer board at the Spinnerstown Inn doesn’t count), so they weren’t available to take an active role in any of the places (i.e. a working bar manager, a lead bartender, FOH manager,etc) outside of actively hiding behind a curtain, drinking beer, and romanicizing about old Jazz Legends all night. It would be kinda like a bar owner or an expert in hospitality pretending to be an architect or printer for instance. Good for’em! Get back to the printing press and the drafting table..and leave the entertaining to us. I should charge you for this, I get paid for this specific and catered advice.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.