Past to the Present: The History Behind MaGerk’s Pub & Grille

There is more than meets the eye to Fort Washington’s own MaGerk’s Pub & Grill, and you don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy it!  This local restaurant offers great food, drink, and live entertainment, as well as a proud glimpse into our areas past.  We take a closer look at the story behind it’s walls, and uncover how this popular establishment came to be.

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The Fort Side Inn; 1901

The first recorded settlements on the tract of land where MaGerk’s Pub sits, have been dated as far back as 1698.  What is now Bethlehem Pike was known then as Bethlehem Road, the highway responsible for the areas growth and development.  As years passed, businesses and small homes were being built in rapid succession on this particular property.  Among these structures was The Blue House, the neighborhoods first tavern.  Just think, the next time you stop into MaGerk’s for a pint, someone may have been standing in the same spot, doing the same thing, more than 200 years ago!

The land and buildings continued to go through multiple owners, until they were purchased in 1901 by Rondo W. Zeitz.  He constructed a brand new hotel on the site called the Fort Side Inn.  Four years later it was then sold to a man named William P. Greene, the very man responsible for the outside appearance of MaGerk’s as it is today.  In 1910, Mr. Greene hired renowned Philadelphia architects Sauer and Hahn to help reinvent the Inn to have a Colonial Revival appearance.  The Ambler Gazette also reported in 1911 that the dining room would have an elegant Japanese decor, with Strawbridge and Clothier installing almost five hundred yards of carpeting inside.  Fort Washington had become an area of great wealth during it’s progression in the early 1900’s, and The Fort Side Inn was a reflection of the times.  Hunting, shooting competitions, and auctions of livestock were common activities here.  It also boasted an open hearth fireplace, and a one of a kind Seeburg Orchestrion (Self Operated Piano).  Much like today, this location was the place to be for entertainment, food, and great drinks.  After a long run, it was again bought and renamed The Bent Elbo, a name all Fort Washingtonians would be familiar with.
magerks-building

Finally, in the fall of 2009, MaGerk’s Pub & Grill opened their doors for business.  It was a homecoming for John & Paul Dolaway, and Erin Tate, the current owners and long time Philadelphia natives who brought with them all the success of their Baltimore locations.  With 30 T.V.’s, 3 bars, and quite possibly the best cheesesteaks in town, it is a haven for Philadelphia sports fans.  Weekly live entertainment keeps the patrons dancing, while the bar and wait staff excel in providing a fun and relaxing atmosphere that caters to all ages.  The restaurant has been totally revamped on the inside with new lighting, mahogany wood paneling, and marble top at bar #2!  However, the owners also preserved the oldest and most historic pieces of the building.  The stained glass windows, and refurbished bar #1 keep the legacy of old, living on to this day.  They are also unveiling a brand new outside fire pit accompanied with tables and covered bar, due to open this summer!  If you are looking for a sports pub with great grub in Montgomery County, then MaGerk’s Fort Washington is the place to be!

582 S. Bethlehem Pike
Fort Washington, PA 19034
Phone #215-948-3329     website: http://www.magerks.com

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