New Hope for the Holidays     logo         

Story and Photography by Chris Poh

As a New Jersey native, I am proud of the role that my state has played in the history and eventual prosperity of New Hope, Pennsylvania. If it were not for the mismanagement and miscommunication of those two early colonial governing bodies, this tourist mecca and legendary haven for writers, musicians, artists and craftsmen might have never come into being. In 1710, responding to the need to develop a better route between the fast growing cities of Philadelphia and New York, surveyors were employed by both colonies to engineer a new road over the waterways and through the dense forests of the Delaware River valley. The professionals from Pennsylvania founded a path that brought them to the banks of the Delaware at a place that would eventually be known as Centre Bridge, while their counterparts in neighboring New Jersey thought it best to make the crossing a few miles to the south. As a result of some political horse trading, and perhaps the influence of those wealthy ambitious investors that had owned the grist and saw mills on the tract of land that is present day New Hope, it was decided to yield to the engineering expertise of the lads from New Jersey.

The coming of the new roadway would also require the establishment of ferry service across the Delaware. And with that would also be the need to provide proper lodging and libations on both sides of the river. The combination of transportation, industry and those aspect of commerce that enhance our creature comforts, would cause the area to flourish over the next several decades. And because of its strategic importance the town, then called Coryell’s Ferry, would play an important role in America’s struggle for independence. Its inns and taverns were often the center of rebel activity, and by some historic accounts General Washington dined and drank in town the evening before his Christmas Day attack on Trenton in 1776.

In May, 1790, the town suffered a severe economic setback as a result of fires that destroyed two mills belonging to Mr. Benjamin Parry. Within a year this industrious and well respected businessman rebuilt the operation calling it New Hope Mills. His personal dedication to the rebirth and revitalization of the community prompted its citizens to adopt its current name. My own need to find my personal inner phoenix from time to time has often brought me to this majestic setting on the banks of the Delaware.
On most occasions, my travels to New Hope have had me lifting a glass in those establishments south of the bridge that connects it to the city of Lambertville. But on one particular afternoon in late fall, I found myself seeking realignment and refortification on the north side of town. My comrade and counselor for that session requested my presence in the riverside terrace bar at the Landing Restaurant. I was not necessarily in the frame of mind to experience unfamiliar surroundings, but the gravity of the situation dictated that I comply with his wishes. As I soon as I sat down at the bar, and gazed out over the river, my mood vastly improved. And after a couple of pints from their superior selection of lagers and ales, I had almost forgotten the difficult circumstances that had brought me here—but I knew that I had found a new place to call home. There was only one catch though; this bar was a seasonal affair. But a run of unusually mild November days, would allow me to return a couple of more times before this section of the restaurant was shuttered against the approaching winter.

On my last visit to the Landing, I was hoping to spend one more time on the terrace, but the Jet Stream had finally resumed its usual December position over North America, and I was forced to seek my beverages indoors. But there was a roaring fire, and the warmth and cordiality of the staff and locals gathered around this welcoming intimate bar. I had found a second home inside, complete with a view of Main Street bedecked in its Christmas finery. The Landing had given me new hope for the holidays—and new hope for all the other days of the year!

Bridge between New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ as seen in American Public House Review
New Hope- Lambertville Bridge spans the Delaware river between New Hope Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey

Sign at The Landing Restaurant in New Hiope, PA as seen in American Public House Review

The bar at The Landing in New Hope, PA as seen in American Public House Review
Intimate atmosphere and splendid woodwork grace the bar.

Dining room at The Landing in New Hope, PA as seen in American Public House Review
Sir, Your table by the fire is ready!

The Landing Restaurant

22 North Main Street

New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938





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