While Lancaster’s Cherry Street Pub is not quite at the end of the rainbow, to owners Billy and Lorena Smith, it is as valuable as a pot of gold.
The pub’s exterior reflects such appraisal, its gold and red colors still vibrantly crowning the building, despite being nearly 100-years-old. Indeed its outer authenticity blends Irish folklore and legend, while still keeping in mind the genuine hometown feel of its location.
What’s Old is New
Owners Billy and Lorena Smith quickly admit the nostalgic hometown-proud feel is
absolutely on purpose. “When people walk in, they have memories of sitting in a booth with parents and grandparents. It can be nostalgic, as they are carrying on the tradition, even by just sitting in a certain booth,” Smith says.
Sitting in the pub, one can look around from any booth and see artifacts of local Lancaster history, with wall hangings and memorabilia from yesterday and yesteryear.
The Smiths regularly update the pub’s interior, with one exception: the bar. The centerpiece of the restaurant has been used for decades. “The antique bar is amazing and it’s over 100 years old. Everything else is new minus the bar, which is the center of it all,” Smith
Cherry St.’s Blossoming New Addition
Billy Smith says that they were inspired to open the restaurant in a less-corporate area of their hometown of Lancaster because they felt it was something the city did not yet have. “Lancaster didn’t have a good neighborhood pub with great food. I wanted to do a restaurant that I would like to frequent,” Smith says.
The Smiths, lifelong Lancaster residents who moved to Florida for a bit before returning with their new idea, have thoroughly enjoyed the community’s reaction of constant support to their venture. “The reaction has been absolutely wonderful… There has been a lot of buzz. When we opened, the line was out the door, and it hasn’t changed since,” Smith says.
As to what makes the Cherry Street Pub an official pub, the Smiths say they “walk a fine line.” “It’s small, in a neighborhood location, the atmosphere is Lancaster history based with historical pictures on the wall,” Smith says. “It’s classy and casual, clean. Not a dusty neighborhood pub, but has a warm welcoming feel that any pub needs.”
Plenty to Eat
And then there is, of course, the food. Their most popular item is a pub standard. “People love the fish and chips,” Smith says.
But the restaurant is not without its own signature dishes, setting its menu apart from the average pub. The menu boasts “polliwog dip,” a pimento cheese and pork dip, “the big lojeski” kielbasa and pierogi and a variety of different mac-and-cheeses. Their most popular signature item, Smith says, is the pecan crusted chicken and waffles.
In what seems like a nod to Food Network’s “Man Vs. Food” the pub also offers the Cherry Street Challenge, a mass of food that features three waffles, 10 ounces of corned beef, six scrambled eggs, 12 pieces of bacon, American and Cheddar cheese, with butter and syrup on top.
“It’s gluttony but it’s good,” Smith says with a laugh.