TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 71 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by woodychandler:
4.78/5 rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Transcribed from undated notes, probably early-to-mid June 2009.
This was my third and last stop of the day as I would transition off of SEPTA's R5 line and back onto Amtrak to return to Lancaster when I finished. In retrospect, I have no idea why it had taken me so long to get here. I had spoken to one of the co-owners, Jeff, at many fests previously and they have a sign on the rear of the building near the roof that is visible from the train. I must have been an idiot. Sure, because I'm not now, right? Ha!
Theirs was a wide storefront in the west end of the Paoli Stores Plaza, accessed on foot to the west of the train station from the eastbound platform and up the steps and over the bridge from the westbound platform. Do NOT cross the tracks! Even I am not THAT stupid. Also, be very cognizant of the southbound traffic when crossing the road from the train station into the plaza. Oncoming northbound traffic is easy to watch, but the southies have to crest the bridge and are not visible until they have done so. I AM too stupid/lazy to walk down to the light, but you should be aware of the danger inherent in such a decision.
Entering, the m.d.s. was slightly to the right, followed by the bar area with the restaurant area to the left. I think that in all of my visits, the only time I was in the restaurant was on this occasion so that I could take complete notes.
Along the front wall, on the bar side, were four (4) interconnected coolers filled with bottles for take-away, fronted by a couple of really comfy sofas. The center of the bar area was filled with high tables and chairs. The bar, which ran along the back wall, was an elongated "U" shape topped by mica-flecked dark marble or granite. The back bar was on two levels, the top with two (2) two-doored coolers divided by liquor bottles. Above each of the shelves of liquor bottles were backboards listing "Featured Drafts". The lower back bar was used mostly for glassware but there was also a three-doored cooler in the centerline. Speaking of the centerline, to the extreme left of the bar area and through a portal past the satellite jukebox were the lavs.
On the left-facing side of the house, past the m.d.s, was a waiting area with a group of leather couches and chairs. Beyond that was the restaurant area with its standard restaurant tables and chairs. The remarkable thing on that side of the building, to me, was all of the exposed brick archways which gave it a very medieval feel.
Beer: Somehow, I forgot to quantify how many taps and bottles, but they really keep their website up to date, plus they regularly Tweet about their rotating draft selection. You should do your homework, rather than taking my word for it.
Food: Gourmet Mac 'n' Cheese that is NOT to be missed. It is a staple of my diet when I visit, which is fairly frequently now that I know where it is located.
08-19-2010 23:29:55 | More by woodychandler
More User Reviews:
4.68/5 rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is a place I have always wanted to visit, and finally I was in the area and made sure I put this on my to do list for the day. It is located in a strip mall area that seems to not have enough parking for all the stores. Got one of the last parking spots available. Walking inside you are greeted by a hostess, and I decided to head to the bar in the right room of the place. The left seems to have dinig tables.
The bar was nice as it had a granite top and could seat 15 or so. Dark colors throughout, and 3 large TVs are showing sports. There are LCD panels that are showing the offerings and they look like a blackboard which is cool. A "No Crap On Tap" neon sign is over the cash register.
There were about 25 beers on draft that focused on a good variety, but big beers were a good portion of the menu. The night before they had the Ithaca Hop Box beers on draft, and luckily they still were available. Add to that Bell's Stout and Two Hearted, Ballast Big Eye IPA, Weihenstephaner, Smutty Pale Ale, DFH American Beauty, Deshutes Mirror Pond, Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp, Goose Island Honkers, and Sierra Nevada Enjoy By were some of the other drafts. Happy hour prices are very good for beers especially the ones they are looking to kick to keg.
Service was good and very knowledgable about the selections. The appetizers we had were very tasty and were listed to pair with a style of beer.
This is a wonderful place and I can consider it one of my favorite craft beer bars I have visited across the country. Defintely put this on your beer destination plan.
10-26-2013 17:00:03 | More by Gavage
4.31/5 rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Went to TJ's for the first time this past weekend. Small place, but a great atmosphere. It sits back in a strip mall kind of building, so it's a hidden gem.
The brew list is absolutely great. Definitely better than 95% of places I've been to, but it's also not the "best" so-to-speak. Prices are a little high, but it's on the Main Line, so I guess it comes with the territory. Still, wouldn't hurt them to drop the price on some of the brews, as I've seen cheaper prices at other restaurants in the area. TJ's is definitely not a place to sit and hang out all night, unfortunately.
The food and service were absolutely fantastic, and definitely will keep us coming back in the future on occasion.
10-07-2013 17:00:59 | More by grimey68
3.5/5 rDev -21.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
TJ's.... food is really heavy, Mac and Cheese heavy, tasty, but heavy. "Good" selection of beer, and the atmosphere is chill but no one goes there for some reason. everytime my pals and i go there it just never becomes a "fun" night. we leave early and I wish it wasnt like that..
09-13-2013 03:49:26 | More by beerded_drunk
TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli, PA
98 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.