West Chester trivia: The MTV stunt sensation known as Jackass originated in West Chester and many episodes were filmed in and around town.
West Chester is the capitol and socio-economic epicenter of Chester County and has almost everything you could possibly want. A university, retail stores, all varieties of ethnic food, a hookah bar, etc. etc. Plenty of stuff to cater to the college kids, the discriminating Main Line shoppers and townies alike. The downside is that it’s lost some … well, most of it’s “small town” feel. It feels like Center City Philadelphia shrunk down, complete with pushy traffic and parking shortages. When I moved here in the late 90s, Iron Hill Brewery had just opened and started this renaissance of upscale shops, bars and restaurants that are here today.
West Grove’s Kreutz Creek Vineyards opened a tasting room on East Gay Street a few years back. It offers a nice alternative to all of the college bars that surround it. Wineries cater to an entirely different dynamic than bars. They also have a different set of rules to follow as far as hours of operation, what they can serve, etc.
Fran and I decided to spend the afternoon meandering around town since it’s been a couple of years since we moved away. We stopped at the tasting room for some vino before going for a late lunch. Makes the day a little brighter, am I right?
The timing has been great for these tasting room visits. The place was empty so we had it all to ourselves … for the moment anyway. Behind the bar was Katie who greeted us with a smile. She chatted us up while we enjoyed a couple of glasses of the local flavor. She is an engaging hostess and longtime employee of Kreutz Creek. A teacher by trade, she was well versed in creating a welcoming climate. I tried to be on my best behavior so as not to test her disciplinary skills.
I decided on a glass of Kordeaux, Kreutz Creek’s powerful blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sav, Petit Verdot and Merlot. This is a big wine with full flavor and a long finish. A nice prerequisite to a late lunch.
Fran savored a chilled glass of Steuben, their strawberry flavored wine which goes well with spicy foods. Kreutz Creek does encourage you to bring your own food to enjoy with their selection of wine. They even offer menus of local restaurants in the tasting room, many of which will deliver your food there. There is also live music on Fridays & Saturdays from 7 to 10.
One very interesting benefit that many of the restaurants in WC offer their patrons is an extremely dog friendly environment. Local restaurant goers have gotten used to bringing their pooches along for meals. I witnessed more than a couple people dining al fresco while their dogs are served along with them. In the spirit of this, Kreutz Creek has a Thursday ‘Yappy Hour’ where you can bring your well behaved canine from 6 to 8 and get $2 off each bottle you purchase. Pity for me, I have cats. Less maintenance.
As we were finishing our drinks, business was picking up so we decided to depart for lunch. I was happy to see that Penn’s Table restaurant up the street was still around and serving up their all day breakfast. Nothing like chipped beef on toast with home fries at 4 p.m.
I absolutely love this town and I work less than ten minutes from here. A disturbing trend that I noticed is that since there isn’t any more room to grow outwards, the expansion seems to be going up. My hope is that high rise condos, hotels and casinos don’t make their way in and destroy this place. It would be interesting but it wouldn’t be West Chester. More like Atlantic City North … minus the boardwalk.