The King George Inn started as a haven for soldiers fighting during the French and Indian War and later as a backdrop for exercises conducted by civilians preparing for the Revolution. A host to a plethora of townspeople, the location is now a designated National Historic Site and has a lengthy list of notorious ghost stories. Ask most anyone that has been in the Lehigh Valley for a few decades and they will have most likely visited the King George Inn at some point. Lately the Inn is a shell of its former self — a beautiful old building wasting away, leaving only supposed ghosts and disgruntled employees occupy the space.
Upon entering the King George Inn one is greeted with an old-timey feel, with some artifacts and ancient documents adorning the walls. Saddling up to the bar reveals quite a decent liquor selection in the way of variety, not quality. There is no drink or beer list, and when inquired about I was told they have “some craft beer”. I opt for “a darker one” which turns out to be a Victory Yakima Glory far past the best drinking window. At around 4:45 I was the first patron in the establishment, and my server inquired whether or not I minded that he turned the 40’s/50’s radio station down to watch the Phillies game. I don’t know what was worse…the fact that 40’s/50’s music was playing in the first place or the fact that the employee even asked this question.
Peering around, the walls are covered in old sports memorabilia and photos that anyone born past 1980 might struggle to recognize. A weathered and out-dated dining room sat empty and unimpressive. My server commented that the place is rarely busy with only a few regulars that stop in, and some of them have even been absent. My server and another commented openly at each other and to me that the owner takes no steps to update anything, advertise, or take care of the business. One mentioned that they were leaving their job for Buffalo Bill’s Wild Wings. Pondering all of this over my faintly-flavorful French Academy potato soup, rife with undercooked carrot shavings, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the building itself. Such a storied history and such spectacularly yawn-worthy decor.
My Jail Island salmon, drowning in a sea of tangy bleu cheese fondue, arrived with a salad that most assuredly came straight from a bag. The salmon tasted fresh and the bleu cheese fondue complimented it well, and turned out to be one of the only decent parts of the entire experience. The accompanying rice was dry to the point of requiring the rest of my brew to wash it down. Peering around, bored of the Phillies scoring incessantly and fried from trying to figure out the portraits of sports stars long deceased, I came across a shoddy board listing lack-luster specials that were never mentioned and ugly papers littering the bar touting a new brunch.
And so it was time for dessert. A bit weighed down, I opted for the sorbet over their homemade cheesecake. Out comes rainbow sherbet undoubtedly straight from the Edy’s carton. Sometimes billed around the Lehigh Valley as a fine dining restaurant, The King George Inn is resoundingly not so. What could be a beautiful tribute to a 255-plus-year-old building is a sloppy (interior and exterior) attempt at maintaining a vastly under par restaurant. The current state of the King George Inn is that of a washed up sports bar with employees whose lack of caring is only outdone by the owner himself in trying to pass the operation off as fine dining. After $40 including a tip one would hope to be infinitely more satisfied than the King George Inn leaves you.
The King George Inn
3141 Hamilton Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18103-3629