"There are places I remember..."



What's new in (& around) Hazleton ?

Leiby’s Ice Cream House & Restaurant REOPENED at its original location, at the corners of Routes 309 & 443, in the town of South Tamaqua, PA.

The name: “Leiby’s”
Leiby’s Dairy was established in 1927 by Daniel F. Leiby. In 1942, he sold his dairy business to his brother-in-law, Walter Zimmerman, whose sons purchased the business 14 years later. The Zimmerman family had retained the original name of the dairy as a tribute.

The Restaurant
The original restaurant began construction in 1964, completed and opened in May of 1965. Marketing their own fresh, home-made ice cream, the Zimmerman brothers began building their empire of Leiby’s Premium Ice Cream and that business is still operated within their family to this day at their facility in the scenic Lewistown Valley (only a few miles from the restaurant). By 1976 the building had undergone several additions as the business demanded expansion. The Restaurant became famous for miles around, noted for their flavorful ice cream products, delicious pies and family dining environment.

They had decided to retire from the restaurant portion of the business in 1991 and sold the business to the Stillman family who operated the restaurant until the closing of it’s doors in December of 2007.

More recent interest in Leiby’s (the restaurant) began in May of 2015 by the Leiby family, direct descendants of Daniel F. Leiby. After many considerations, the decision was made to pursue the purchase of the property with intentions of reopening the local landmark eatery. Nearly 12 months later, the property was acquired and plans began to unravel as the Leiby family started the labor intensive process of reviving the Restaurant.

We hope to provide a family friendly dining experience with home style meals, friendly service, homemade pies and of course, Leiby’s Premium Ice Cream.


Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress has been working to make the downtown an exciting, safe and vibrant place to live, work and visit! Check their Facebook page for upcoming events! They have changed "2nd Friday's" to "1st Friday's" - Posted 5/15/15: Here is the final schedule for the June 5th First Friday in Downtown Hazleton. Please share! Activities feature two free art exhibits, an outdoor Bikes, Blues, and BBQ event, a free historical walking tour, live professional wrestling, several children’s activities (including Family Nerf Wars, summer crafts, and pageantry modeling classes), as well as many merchant promotions. For full details visit: www.downtownhazleton.org. Though not downtown, there will also be a free HAHS Jazz Band concert at the Wiltsie Center at the Historic Castle that evening, so lots to do!

Fellow Classmates Carmine Maddon Parlatore and Linda Forliano Sentiwany are business owners who often host events - so, if you're in town on the 1st Friday of the month, attend and support Small Business and our friends!


“Music in Our Schools Month” 

For those who remember the heyday of Angela Park, Tuesday night’s concert in Hazleton High School’s auditorium concluded with a one-of-a-kind musical celebration, giving the timeless experience of the park its very own soundtrack. From the Hazleton Standard Speaker:

The piece was performed by a combined group of Hazleton Area middle school students, along with several high school and faculty musicians.

Maybe you remember the roller coaster? The bitty boats, pastel tea cups, the dizzying paratroopers?

Remember the whirling horses of the carousel?

How about the snort of Porky the Paper Eater, who taught kids not to litter?

With such an unexpected take on nostalgia, the spirit of Angela Park came alive for the audience, as some relived moments from their childhood.

Now imagine taking the entire expanse of the park, from entry gate to the long turquoise swimming pool — and finding not only the instruments, but the right score — to portray the entire experience — from the point of view of wide-eyed kids.

For those who never experienced the park’s revelry, something which delighted the public from 1957 through 1988, a slide show of now-heirloom images joined orchestration to give visual power to the piece commissioned for the occasion.

Valley Elementary music teacher Thomas Fadden, the catalyst of the project, said, “This is a first for the Hazleton Area School District,” referring to the commissioned work to commemorate an area landmark.

As a boy growing up in Weatherly, he shared a common bond with most of the kids in his neck of the woods, reveling in a trip to the park followed by a pit-stop at Burger King.

Rob Walker of Boise, Idaho, composed the piece, running with Fadden’s concept of creating band literature and using an amusement park as inspiration.

Angela Park’s unique stamp on generations gave the project historical grounding.

Walker tells how the piece came into being, “I wrote a piece for Wilkes College Civic Band celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Address. And Tom Fadden is a member of the Wilkes Civic Band.”

Another local musical link made Fadden’s idea come alive. “I also knew Tom from working at the Ferrwood Music Camp in Drums. After the performance, Tom ran his idea by me, and I agreed to write for his students,” the composer said.

While Walker never actually visited the park when it was operational, he found that YouTube videos and “The Sam Lesante Show” provided windows to the past.

The composition took three months to complete, mostly due to research. Walker dug up and used the actual music from the carousel. He was able to find the tracks for the Wurlitzer Band organ, and recreate its familiar calliope sound.

He said, “It turns out that the carousel company also provided other rides to Angela Park. It was my hope that the use of actual music would evoke the emotional connection to the park.”

But recreating that actual music required a plan. Walker realized that his emotional connection or interpretation of certain rides was not as important as the power of having the old music make the connection for the listener.

“I initially approached this as a film composer would a silent piece of footage,” he said.

Jim Fichter is a resident of Drums and active on Facebook’s Angela Park pages. He self-describes as one of Angela Park’s all-time top 10 fans.

Born in 1962, he maintains, “The park was always a constant in my life.” His son Brad was born in 1986, giving Fichter the chance to share the park with his son for two years.

“Of course, he doesn’t remember the park,” said Fichter, nevertheless maintaining that the opportunity to take his son to the park remains priceless.

Walker contacted Fichter through Facebook, having seen his activities in keeping the memory of the park alive. Eventually, Fichter became responsible for putting together the slide show that the audience saw Tuesday evening.

He merged his photo collection with those of Monica Barletta, whom he got to meet for the first time after the concert. Barletta, along with Mary Jean Barletta and Mary Cusatis, were guests of honor at the event, representing the family that created the park.

Fichter also designed the Angela Park commemorative T-shirts on sale online, benefitting the district’s instrumental music department. The sale ends Sunday. Anyone interested in purchasing a shirt should go to www.booster.com/hhsband2.


The Honors Jazz Ensemble conducted by Jennifer Gerhard entertained with diverse selections, including a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water,” followed by seventh-grade pianist, Ethan Mariano, who energized the crowd with his version of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Killer on the Keys,” with the jazz ensemble jamming with him.

They finished their performance with a spirited performance of “Sway, Quien Sera,” featuring eighth-grade vocalist Lisbeth Mora, whom Gerhard described as singing like Ella Fitzgerald.

The Honors Concert Band was conducted by Louis Kugelman, who marveled that “they came together just weeks ago and have played so well together,” not like the strangers they had been just weeks before. Among their pieces was “Happy,” from the movie “Despicable Me 2.”

Tom Fadden led the Honors Wind Ensemble through a diverse set that included the cartoon sea chantey “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and a rousing “Plaza de Toros,” which brought the spirit of a Spanish bullfight to the auditorium.

Neil Forte took advantage of a “teachable moment” with the audience, leading students through a demonstration showing why musicians always have to give 100 percent to their audiences during every performance.

He asked his students to play a snippet of music giving it their absolute effort, an A-plus performance. And the audience approved of their perfection.

Next, he instructed the students to add some errors, playing at a B, or 85 percent, level. Sure enough, the audience noticed the flaws.

He then followed by asking them to give a 70 percent performance, peppered with sour notes. This average performance yielded many unfortunate gasps from the audience.

Forte got his point across, using the exercise to show the audience the level of commitment students brought to their music — and the concert.

mjacketti@standardspeaker.com   © Hazleton Standard Speaker


The Hazleton Area School District Music department commissioned [Rob] Walker to compose “Angela Park Celebration,” a piece that, accompanied by a slide show, will be the grand finale of the “Music in Our Schools Month” concert at Hazleton Area High School Tuesday night (3/17/15).

Multiple groups from the district program will take turns on stage, concluding with the about 80 students grade five through eight playing Walker’s commemorative piece, crafted from music that likely floated from the Angela Park Carousel as horses made their circular journey into lifetime memories. -- "Decades after demise, Angela Park gets musical tribute" by Mark Guydish, March 15, 2015 © 2014 Civitas Media, All rights reserved....TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE CLICK HERE. 



Exciting news for downtown (& your tummy)! THE PINES is open in the Markle Building:

Known for its homemade dishes, especially its pork barbeque, Byorek’s Knotty Pine restaurant was a Hazleton staple for 73 years before closing in 2010.

Those sandwiches, which cost 15 cents when the Knotty Pine opened, remained a best seller through its final days, and will once again be available thanks to a new partnership.

Projected to open in June, “The Pines,” is now under new ownership led by the DeAngelo family.

Featuring the original Knotty Pine pork barbecue, the freshly updated menu will also include several other well-known local items, but with a new flare.

Susan and Bernie Byorek are currently consulting and assisting with getting The Pines up and running, sharing their experience and, yes, their original recipes.

The Byoreks operated the original Knotty Pine restaurant for 43 years, after taking over for Bernie’s mother and father.

Bernie Byorek stated, “This is a great opportunity to continue to share the Knotty Pine tradition with the greater Hazleton area again. The initiative taken by the DeAngelos to support the downtown revitalization should be commended. It is an honor for our family to be part of this effort.”

Lifelong local resident and experienced restaurateur, Jimmy Scalleat, will be managing the new establishment. He has an extensive 30-year background in the restaurant industry including owning, operating and managing various eateries.

“The Pines has great potential for success. Plus it will be a wonderful benefit to our downtown area to add another unique restaurant to the mix,” said Scalleat. “I am excited the Byorek’s original recipes will be featured on our menu, and I am looking forward to developing fresh and unique dishes using the Knotty Pine standards. Our goal is to create some new hometown favorites as well.”

The Pines will be located in the lobby and 1st floor of the Hayden Tower at the Markle. With more than 200 people currently working in the building, many expressed their anxiousness to have another restaurant fill that space due to its convenience.

Renovations to the former space will be done in phases with many updates to come. Though The Pines will be utilizing some of the original décor, it will have its own identity and appeal to a variety of customers.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available. Other features will include full service catering for private functions and separate rooms for business meetings or large groups, as well as delivery to businesses within the building, free Wi-Fi and a take-out counter.

“This is just another step towards making our downtown successful and enjoyable. We remain committed to improving downtown Hazleton because we believe in its future. As I have stated before, we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy Hazleton just as we did growing up,” said Neal A. DeAngelo.

“And honoring such a local historical establishment while creating new memories for the present and hopefully future generations of Hazleton is an awesome thing we are proud to be a part of,” said Paul D. DeAngelo.

Hirings will begin in the near future for the estimated 20 jobs the new business will create. 

Contact information: Neal DeAngelo III | Phone 570.459.1112 | Email ndeangelo3@dbiservices.com

~ © Hazleton Standard Speaker, and as posted on The Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress FB page.

Getting Home to Hazleton (From the South - using the "Pit Stop/Leiby's Ice Cream route"):

The PA Turnpike is great – but not so much when you’d like to stop to, well you know, ("P" for "Pit Stop")…

My preferred route is :

Route 309 N (plenty of WaWa’s & McD’s & Turkey Hill’s all along 309 to stop at)

Route 78 W (bypasses Allentown to Fogelsville exit)

Route 100 N  (Rollie’s Ice Cream is where 100 deadends - when you turn left onto Rte. 309 N - make a quick right into the little shopping center )

Route 309 N – (Katie’s Macalush Family Restaurant in New Tripoli has LEIBY’S ice cream (and homemade pies to go with that ice cream)! Then ahead, Hartman’s Butcher Shop has the best kielbasa & hottest hot pepper cheese in the world! Then ahead, Bear Rock Junction and Skipper Dipper's also have LEIBY’s)

WARNING:  Please observe ALL SPEED LIMITS in Tamaqua and Hometown – ticketing is vicious there!

Also, the Valley Hi Drive-In on Church St., W. Hazleton also has Leiby's ice cream.


WARNING: Do not view any of the following videos if you are hungry!!!   smiley

NOTE:  If previous songs are still playing, please "Pause"  (the "  | |  " bar) on the Radio Player icon aboveThen, press the play arrow on the video below that you'd like to watch. 




Did you know Hazleton has its own museum?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greater-Hazleton-Historical-Society-and-Museum/117173841630441  or  http://hazletonmuseum.org/

Before you go, brush up on your "Heynabonics"  wink