We wandered into Stooges one night around St. Patrick's Day, looking for a place to hang out, drink some beers, and chat. When we entered Stooges, after getting the 3rd dagree from the bouncer, the small bar was standing-room only, except for the tiny dance area that was dancing-room only. We squeezed up to the bar and ordered a few drinks, then tried to find a comfortable corner to park ourselves for a little while. Well, after one round of drinks, each of us had been bumped into enough times that we were ready to move on to someplace quieter. Rookies, just down the street, was a welcome relief after the noise and crowds here. Maybe I am getting old.
The bar is clean, well lit, and it attracts a large and pretty diverse crowd. Well, as diverse as a crowd of all white people can be! Old, young, hootchies, guys in sports coats, rednecks, and frat boys.
Rookies is a quiet, comfortable bar in downtown Allentown. We stopped here one night after a single drink down the street at packed and crazy Stooges bar. Rookies was not too crowded, just maybe 10 customers. We grabbed a table along the wall, and I enjoyed checking out the 80s sports autographs from players like Herschel Walker, Micky Morandini, Steve Carleton, and Mike Schmidt. The TVs were showing sports, except for the two large flat screens that were broadcasting the local cable information channel.
The waitress was pretty good, though she was busy chatting it up with the regulars. We had about seven drinks, and our bill ran just $17. Very cheap compared to places I'm used to in California and Northern Virginia.
I liked the Pennsyltucky bumper sticker on the towel dispenser in the men's room.
Cannons: Only looks like a dive bar
Downtown Allentown is not an area I would usually be quick to recommend people visit after dark. Some areas down there can get a little sketchy. But Cannons is a place to hit up regardless of its location. I walked in there and it immediately felt like a high school reunion - I knew half the population of the bar, and I haven’t lived in Allentown for nearly ten years!
The bartenders offered some of the quickest service I've seen and the food was pretty good while reasonably priced. On the Saturday night we were there, a live band played. The bar is quite small and fills up quickly, especially with the band taking up the far end, so be ready to feel intimate with total strangers.
The atmosphere at Cannons is friendly and the drinks were good. There is a wide variety of international and hard to find beers on hand and a full cocktail bar as well. I've heard some people refer to it as a local "Cheers", and I couldn't agree more.
Dress Code: Casual.
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