Article By: Bonnie Williamson
Photos By: Josh Triggs
When you first walk in, it feels like home. The lobby is filled with comfy couches and chairs. The servers are friendly, initiating conversations with customers as if they have known them for years. The L-shaped bar is comfortable and inviting, too.
The B Street 104 Restaurant and Pub at 104 E. Baltimore St., in Greencastle, Pa., feels homey and solid because the structure itself has been around for a long time. According to the online site Living Places, the restaurant is part of the Greencastle Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
The Greencastle Historic District consists of approximately 350 properties located along the town’s three main streets, Baltimore, Carlisle and Washington, as well as a few adjoining residential areas. The district has tree-lined streets, a square, brick-paved sidewalks, and a collection of residential and commercial buildings representing the town’s development from the late 18th century through the early 20th century. The restaurant has the building’s original deed from the late 1700s on display. Its bar contains bricks from the original structure.
The B Street 104 Restaurant and Pub has gone through several metamorphoses over the years. It has been several hotels, The Greencastle Hotel then the McLaughlin Hotel in 1904. It has also been several theatres, including the Star and the Gem Theaters.
All of these changes contribute to the restaurant’s unique atmosphere. It opened in July 2016 with its new executive chef Chris Fisher taking over the kitchen in August of this year. Fisher says he has been cooking most of his life. He enjoys making familiar dishes just a little bit different.
“For the fish and chips dish, I like to give it a different twist by using a tempura batter,” Fisher says. “The batter is much lighter and makes the fish more crisp.”
The fish is haddock. It’s served with cut fries and slaw made on site. Another popular dish is the salmon filet. Fresh Atlantic salmon is served on a bed of spinach topped with an heirloom tomato cream sauce with basil butter.
Even the chicken salad BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich is served in a different way. The chicken salad sits between pieces of flavorful toasted Focaccia bread, thick and loaded with herbs. “The bread is out of this world,” Fisher says.
He also recommends the B Street cheese steak: shaved prime rib, peppers, onions, and mushrooms on a hearth-baked amorosa roll.
The grilled Reuben sandwich is made with shaved corned beef, house made sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on a thick marbled rye.
Fisher says he is particularly proud of his thick cut pork chops that are marinated in Bourbon honey, dusted with Za’atar—Middle Eastern herbs, and topped with onion relish.
B Street offers baked French onion soup or a soup du jour. The recent soup du jour was chicken tortilla—a little taste of Mexico but not too spicy. Along with lunch and dinner, served from 11 am to 10 pm during the week and 11 am to 11:30 pm on Saturday, Sunday features a brunch from 10 am to 3 pm.
Brunch has such delights as a chorizo and pablano omelet: three eggs with chorizo, a type of pork sausage, pablano pepper, house made cheese sauce, toast and potato hash; Old Fashion Benny: a toasted baguette topped with prosciutto, poached eggs and hollandaise, an emulsion of egg yolk, liquid butter, water and lemon juice, whisked together over the low heat of a double boiler; and even a dish called green eggs and ham: pesto scrambled eggs, ham steak and toast.
The restaurant has received rave reviews on Facebook with one customer calling it “amazing.” “This is a classic American fare restaurant. We were very impressed with the great food and very nice presentation. Excellent crab cake.
Plus, the crab dip was original and tasty. We then topped off this incredible meal with three-layer chocolate cake! The restaurant’s atmosphere is impressive but, at the same time, almost homey. My only complaint is that I couldn’t order more selections! Everything looked so good!”
The crab cake is served on brioche, a rich and tender French bread, with lettuce, tomato and onion with a house made tartar sauce. The crab dip is served on a braided pretzel.
Another patron says, “From the moment we walked in, I felt relaxed, the atmosphere was quiet and casual, yet elegant at the same time.”
And this: “Finally! We have another ‘go to’ restaurant for our area! We were blown away! They had a special B Street nacho appetizer (not your typical nachos). They were mouthwatering! And the drink special was a Gin Basil Smash with a roasted lemon on the side! We didn’t want to leave.”
Fisher says the menu will change periodically so customers will always have a new dish to experience. The main thing Fisher says he wants is for the community to feel at home at B Street.
“It’s a relaxed atmosphere, a pub atmosphere with good food,” Fisher says. “And the staff is like a family. I really enjoy coming to work.”
Entertainment is also part of the B Street experience. On Friday nights, from 8 pm to 10 pm there is live music. On Saturdays bands perform in The Gem, a 160-seat banquet room. The Gem is open for banquets and has a special menu for groups. The restaurant itself seats about 150 people. Check the website at bstreet104.com.
Fisher’s wife Caroline is in charge of marketing and events. She is trained as a photographer. “I enjoy taking behind the scenes shots of the restaurant and bands and posting them in our newsletter,” she says. “I really want people to see the atmosphere here.”
December events include the End of Prohibition Party Dec. 2 from 8 pm to 11 pm. The Gin Ricky Band will perform at this 1930’s themed evening. There will be dancing along with prizes awarded for best dressed, best dancers and most creative couple. There will be a themed menu and wine and cocktail specials.
Caroline says she is particularly excited about an upcoming event when The Gem hosts the east coast’s premier dinner theater Murder Mystery Company on Dec. 9 at 6 pm called “The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year.” Participants can see if they have the skills to solve the murder. The show and dinner are $45 per person.
For more information call 717-643-1621 or go to Facebook.