O'Malley's J P Pub

Bar, Eatery

1528 Union
Allentown, Pennsylvania, 18109
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Last stop on a quick trip to NJ and PA a week or so ago. The original plan was to meet up with BA Junior and his wife Stacey at the Bethlehem Brew Works with BA Erica - but sadly the staff at BBW decided, rather unconvincingly and for whatever unknown reason, not to open!! Definitely some GWBush logic at work there, because despite the overnight snow there were several people outside ready to grab a beer, oh well, BBW’s loss was J P O’Malley’s gain.

BA Junior suggested this place once we had to regroup and find and alternate Sunday Lunch venue and what a fantastic choice, in fact, I’m quite glad we got here. The overnight snow made it an interesting journey, and the side streets were still deep with snow, but we made it in one piece.

Interesting exterior, street corner location on W. Union Boulevard. We took the back entrance up a few stairs, not sure if this is the only one but it seemed like it. Once inside an interior heavy on wood paneling and literally full of nooks and crannies makes for a warm feeling. We headed due left and were soon sat in one of a handful of tight fitting 4-person booths opposite the long bar. The back of the bar area had pool tables and housed tables and chairs in a series of smaller more intimate rooms. Lots of metallic and tin pub signs, old breweriana from long-gone PA brewers, posters and bric-a-brac. The interior feels a little forced, but it’s nice enough and it has a cozy feel with a few places that are snug but warm.

However, much more importantly, the beer range is very good indeed. Seven of those polished brass round tap stands, each housing around 5 or 6 taps, offers a truly great beer range in an area that can suffer from such choice. Despite a few Ciders, Imports and BMC items, most of the taps are given over to micro brews and some interesting out of town offerings. I recall that the Left Hand Double IPA was solid and the Winter Warmer was a spicy treat. As well as the 25-30 brews on tap, there are a similar amount of bottles to choose from too; in fact I finished with a Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper, a nice Porter brew with a cool label to boot. Solid selection of brews, a few regulars interspersed with many local and nearby brews, and certainly one that kept me entertained during a cold snowy February Sunday afternoon. Prices seem very good too.

I didn’t have any Food here, but I noted that the Menu looked to have a solid pub fare feel to it. One good thing, which I would have missed was it not for BA Junior, was the fact that there was free popcorn on offer; this nicely accompanied a few Pints. A neat touch.

Service was reasonably good and attentive, though it was a little quiet no doubt thanks to the snow, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my visit here. Great to meet BA Junior (Chris) and his lovely wife Stacy, and a big thanks to BA Erica for driving me out here and then on to the nearby Airport. I wouldn’t mind getting back here again.

Last Visit: Sunday 12th February, 2006.

Feb 21, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of jscottku21
jscottku21 from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

West Allentown is truly the mecca for Lehigh Valley BA's. With Cannon's, Liberty Street Tavern, O'Malley's, and the yet to be reviewed Jack Callaghan's and Stooge's all within blocks of one another, this definitely is the place to sample some great beers. That being said, I don't know what took me so long to visit O'Malley's. Friends of mine have gone there for years, but for some reason I never made it there. So, when someone suggested it for happy hour, I happily agreed. First impression is of a normal neighborhood pub in a good area. The on-tap beer selection is certainly the best I've seen in the Valley in regard to micros. I had an Arrogant Bastard as well as a Smuttynose IPA that were delicious. From what the bartender told me, the taps rotate frequently. There were 25-30 beers on tap, in addition to the above I remember SNPA, Magic Hat #9, Leinenhugel's (sp?) Southampton, Rogue, Bell's, Tremens, River Horse, Dale's Pale Ale and Victory among others. I didn't have any food, but it was reasonable priced and looked very good. After that trip I would certainly add O'Malley's to the growing list of great beer bars in Allentown.

May 25, 2007
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francisweizen from Alaska

3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

A very fake looking wooden bar with a long bar/room, another small seated area, and another room "behind" the bar. The atmosphere is pretty cool with some nice breweriania all over the place, but this place is generally way too smoky and cramped for me. The quality of the beers varies and lacks consistency. Many bars do it better. Service is fast and attentive, although beer knowledge is limited. Selection is good, but not as good as McGradys. The last time I was here the tap list was so uninteresting that I just got a pint of Woodchuck. Maybe i've just had bad experience, but this place is not my favorite.

Dec 14, 2004
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AlexJ from North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Been going here since I was 19(sorry Chris), one of the best beer bars ever! Yeah it's a bit on the small side, call it cozy. But it's all about the beer. I make a point to stop here when I go home to visit the folks in Allentown, it a tradition in my family. They always have good, fresh, and interesting beers. My last visit I drank Alpha King, Anderson Valley Brother David, and Brooklyn Black Choc. They also had 90 minute IPA, Leffe, Delerium, and Storm King. The menu features good, inexpensive pub food and the Sweet N Sweaty wings alone are worth the trip. Go during happy hour and get 2$ appetisers and 1$ off micro pints. They have pool tables, a good jukebox, and shuffleboard. If you go during happy hour make a reservation, seating is quite limited.

Dec 09, 2004
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goindownsouth from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A very good stop, any time you are in the Lehigh Valley, JP O'Malley's has a lot to offer to just about anyone. Centered in the midst and shadows of Muhlenberg College, O'Malley's has been one of my favorite haunts for some years now.

I will not mince words here. Their decor is not the greatest. It is really wooden, but the booths are tight, and for a big guy like me, that can be a major issue. Smokey as hell, to be sure, but they do offer a shuffleboard table for some kind of diversion.

Service can vary, depending on when you are there. Considering that these are usually college kids serving you, consistency is an issue, but I have never had terrible service here.

Now, on to the important stuff. Nowhere in the area will you find a better selection of Bier, a rotating one at that. They manage to keep some 25 or so different taps flowing and changing with the seasons. Their bottle selection covers some micros, some macros, and some imports, including Belgians.

The grub here is standard pub grub, aside from the sauce used for their wings and chicken fingers. Try the Judgment sauce, which is a combination of their sweet and sweaty with some garlic and other spices. Really tasty.

This is a place that must be hit when you are in the area. A very worthwhile stop.

Zum wohl!

Mar 25, 2004
O'Malley's J P Pub in Allentown, PA
Place rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 5 ratings