South Jersey venues provide nearby break from city life

Right off of Main Street in Glassboro, N.J., during the daytime, there is a modest, family-friendly diner by the name of PB’s Tavern. At night, depending on your luck, there might be a band playing to a packed bar, also called PB’s. Diners and bars line the streets of Philadelphia, so what is special about a place out in South Jersey?

The beauty in PB’s is the constant evolution of mood as the day goes on. Though breakfast is served all day just like every great diner, the family environment of the daytime gradually gives way to a more all-encompassing atmosphere later at night.

Opened in 1953, PB’s Tavern has been quenching appetites in the South Jersey area for decades now, but it was only recently overhauled for numerous redesigns after decades as a “regular diner.”

Reconstruction can often be a breaking point for even the most seasoned diners, with some patrons losing their patience with “sorry for the mess” signs for so long before moving to another establishment. Worse still, diners often become woven into a town’s landscape in a specific way, and a design overhaul that brings too many changes could easily lose older customers.

Thankfully for PB’s, its diners tend to be a loyal breed, and the reopened establishment welcomed the faithful back in this past September.

Amenities brought on by the redesign include an outdoor seating patio and a larger banquet room that can hold up to 50 people.

“PB’s is really still just a casual diner,” Stephanie Lefakis said. “Though our remodeling was fairly elegant.”

Lefakis is PB’s public relations manager, and the wife of PB’s owner John Lefakis.

Now with more available space, PB’s finds itself more often than not with a full calendar. Fridays and Saturdays are reserved for live bands during the nighttime. “Bands usually start around 8 [p.m.] and get done near 11 or [midnight],” Lefakis added.

Though Lefakis stresses the “family friendliness” of PB’s, fans of 21-plus activities like sitting on bar stools and drinking beer will also find a haven on the bar side of the restaurant. Not only boasting a full bar, PB’s also serves many local craft brews as well for those looking to indulge in a bit of Jersey pride.

Menu prices are average for the area, with breakfast ranging between $3.75 and $7.25 and dinner entrees coasting up between $9.99 and $13.99.

South Jersey is only a train ride or a bus nap away, so PB’s is certainly worth a glance if Philadelphia’s got you down.

Bus Stop MUSIC Cafe
148 South Broadway,
Pitman, N.J.

Where can you get a grilled chicken panini nicknamed “The Cure” and a 3-foot long 1/4” to 1/4” guitar cable at the same place? Only at the musically indebted Bus Stop Cafe.

Along with a full food menu, the Bus Stop Music Cafe features live music three times a week varying from full jazz jams to an acclaimed open mic. Located in Gloucester County, the combination cafe/live music venue/musical equipment store/used record store/restaurant/music lessons workshop is a true one stop shop for everything related to music and hanging out.

Comedy Cabaret
200 North Route 73,
Marlton, N.J.

Comedy clubs have been sprouting all throughout the tri-state area throughout the last few years, and it’s no small wonder: There’s been a small but noticeable increase in both funny people and people venturing out for new laughs. There are dozens of comedy outlets in the area, the Comedy Cabaret in South Jersey, one of five of its locations, and has been consistently booking great bills and selling out most shows at the same time. Shows are every Friday and Saturday night, but the more intrepid can test out their first five minutes of material at the Wednesday night open mic.

Panzarotti Pizza King
349 Marlton Ave.
Camden, N.J.

The proliferation of pizza places with titles featuring words like “famous” or “king” certainly cheapens the allure of potentially great restaurants, but how many can lay claim to being featured on a program called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”? Panzarotti Pizza King, located in the very-nearby Camden, has been rolling dough for years but only recently was made famous for it by the Food Network. “Generous portions” are promised so don’t plan on leaving with anything but a full stomach.

Kevin Stairiker can be reached at kevin.stairiker@temple.edu.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*