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Bites Nearby: Porters' Pub

The menu at this Easton restaurant -- styled after old European pubs -- may surprise you.

Imagine an old-world pub mixed with a contemporary bistro, and just for kicks, throw in a selection of more than 100 beers from around the world.

That should give you some idea of what is like.

In 1988, three brothers bought a partially dilapidated building west of downtown Easton at the corner of Northampton and 7th streets -- without the slightest thought of it becoming a restaurant.

“We really loved the architecture in [Easton],” explained co-owner Larry Porter. “We bought the building and it came with a liquor license… by chance we got into the restaurant business.”

The three brothers -- Larry, Ken and Jeff Porter -- remodeled the entire building -- from the stone walls to the hardwood floors to the handcrafted mahogany bar to the entranceway. Everything that makes up Porters' Pub was truly built by the brothers.

The pub, which opened in 1990, features 10 beers on tap, including Guinness, Smithwick’s and the local favorite, Yuengling. The "Mug Club" consists of 60 different beers out of a total selection of more than 100 that aspiring patrons drink from pewter flagons.

The prize for completing the list? Your own pewter mug with a personalized engraving. According to Larry Porter, there are more than 3,300 mugs in the "Mug Club," most of which hang from the pub's ceiling.

Probably the most surprising aspect of this small establishment, however, is the menu, replete with seafood like catfish, soft-shelled crab and scallops; an assortment of sandwiches with grilled chicken, crab cakes and ribeye, and unique bistro salads.

“We don’t have a fryer, so it forced us to be a little more creative," Porter explained.

With no fried fare -- a rarity for a place that most would label a bar -- the menu at Porters' is an uncommon treat. Everything comes in fresh, nothing is frozen. Produce comes in daily from local sources, including nearby .

According to Porter, the Tuscany chicken with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto is a popular dish, as is the Sea Gypsy, a Mediterranean seafood mélange that includes scallops, sautéed shrimp and clams with artichoke hearts over fresh spinach.

“It’s really a full-fledged restaurant,” Porter said. “Our dinner hours get busy.”

Four nights a week the pub features live music from an eclectic variety of genres, like jazz, rock, Celtic, Americana and bluegrass -- just to name a few. Musicians are, at times, local artists, but some come as far as Philadelphia, New York and beyond.

“It’s a busy little place,” Porter said. “There’s a lot going on.”

Porters' Pub, at 700 Northampton St., is open daily from 11am to 2am and accepts all major credit cards.

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