Craft Beer Spotlight: Hotel Crittenden
Northern Pennsylvania possesses some of the most beautiful parks and landmarks in the North Eastern United States. Some of which include:
-The Allegheny National Forest
-The PA Grand Canyon, and it’s forming waterway, Pine Creek.
-The stunning wreckage and skywalk of the Kinzua Railroad Bridge.
-The gorgeous Elk and Eagle havens residing within Sinnemahoning State Park
-Lastly, an astronomer’s dream… Cherry Springs State Park. Home to the darkest skies in the entire North East.
Sitting as a hub in the midst of all of it is the historic Hotel Crittenden. Within the brick walls of ‘The Crit’ as locals and knowing travelers affectionately call it, are endless pints, wild stories, and a history unlike any other tavern in the region. Eliot Ness, death, and prohibition shenanigans just to name a few
From the beginning: The earliest versions of the Hotel Crittenden were the Crowel House, and the Coudersport Hotel (burned in 1880). During the early days of the current establishment, the structure was used as a station along the Underground Railroad during the 1840s. The current building erected and opened in 1891. Throughout its history, The Crittenden has always stood as a hotel and bar in one fashion or another.
Some notable visitors to the hotel throughout earlier years were jazz musician Cab Calloway, actress Joan Crawford, and the entire Boston Braves roster. Probably the most noteworthy individual being none other than Eliot Ness. Ness was not a Coudersport native, nor did he live in the town for long, but his ties to the town and to the Crittenden are not insignificant. Ness would frequently meet author Oscar Fraley at a table in the hotel restaurant to hash out details over Ness’ time in Chicago pursuing Al Capone during Prohibition. A lot of what was discussed would later be used as a basis for The Untouchables book and film.
Onto the more important details, the Hotel Crittenden as it operates today. In 2014 owners and proprietors Hans Nielsen and Chandra Livingston Knight took over control of the hotel and bar from the previous owner and immediately started placing their own imprint on the historic establishment. What you’ll find today is 5 years worth of renovations, and a facelift that makes The Hotel Crittenden the premiere food and craft beer stop on Route 6 in Northern Pennsylvania.
The ground floor of the building hosts a recently renovated dining room, and front cafe-esque entrance that all transitions back through the 100 plus-year-old building to the bar in the rear. 12 taps of rotating beers almost always host an NCBC draft (or four), and the food menu is nothing short of mouthwatering. Daily specials featured regularly, all meats smoked in-house, and all fresh ingredients make The Crit the best dining and watering hole for hours in any direction.
Hans and Chandra go WAY out of their way to bring new and unique entertainment into Potter County. From loads of up and coming folk acts to bluegrass, to even brass fronted punk-folk music. We’re warning you now, you’ll have a spectacular time when you visit. We suggest you take the opportunity to make it a night and stay in one of the numerous renovated hotel rooms upstairs. There are rumors of hauntings in this traveler’s hideaway. We’ve stayed here countless times over the years, but we can neither confirm nor deny those claims… you’ll just have to find out for yourselves!
If we can emphasize one thing, it’s that The Hotel Crittenden, and especially ownership, are more accommodating and genuine than most other taverns from our travels. There’s no shortage of fun and stories to be made, as well. We won’t go into details, but let’s just say that NCBC staff and Crittenden ownership and staff have had their fair share of adventures over the years. If you want to know more, you need to sit at the bar on a Friday evening and share a pint or two.
Whether looking for a break from your normal routine, a place for food and drink while taking in the beautiful scenery of the region, or a destination for the weekend, make the journey to Coudersport and prepare yourself for an experience you aren’t likely to forget.
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