I can pretty much enjoy and drink beer anywhere. Yet, space is important, especially if the building is a place that has a longer history than 2007. As my brother Mike and I meandered through the backlands of Valley Forge and Phoenixville, Pa., past creeks and through woods (at the behest of my askew GPS), we wound up taking a left on a major road and a right into a strip mall to go to Sly Fox. The place had the soul of a laundromat.To be fair to Sly Fox, there appears to be a back story on the strip mall story mentioned on their web site:
“In the Beginning:The Sly Fox story began in 1994 when Pete Giannopoulos, who left his job in corporate sales earlier that year to pursue his dream of opening a brewpub, found a site in Phoenixville that seemed perfect, an old inn with a barn in the rear which he envisioned as the brewery. But when he talked to the New Jersey investors who’d been encouraging his search, he discovered that talking was the extent of their game.”
There were other issues after this too. Probably some hoity-toity suburban Czar zoning affair. Still, a strip mall? It is like strip-mining. No fox in this neck of the woods long cut down.
Now, JoBoy’s on the other hand, was in a building that has been a gathering place for food and drink since the 1800’s. Decidedly both modern and classic, the exterior and interior capture the essence of space and location. The beers and barbeque were tasty. I could tell that downtown Manheim has been beautified and this Brew Pub is a jewel. Gee, I am gushing like a school girl over Justin Bieber. Plenty of parking nearby and friendly owners and patrons. Well done! I’ll be back!