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Thomas Judkins

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In this article, I am going to talking all about Downingtown, Pennsylvania. It is in the Chester County in Pennsylvania, and it is 33 miles west of the metropolitan city of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 census, it had more than 7700 people as its population. Downing town was actually settled by the Europeans and English colonists in the early 18th century and has a huge number of historical buildings and amazing architecture.

 Restaurant

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the restaurants that I’m going to be talking about are probably going to be operating at half capacity, and they will have a lot of social distancing parameters in place. You need to understand that you cannot go against these parameters. You need to conform to them, if you want to dine in any of these restaurants. There are a lot of people who want to go against it, but you need to understand that if you want to avail services in any kind of establishment, especially in the USA, you need to abide by the rules, if you need to make any purchases there.

Structure

  1. The very first place is called the Olive Tree Garden. It is certainly a wonderful place indeed. It gives you the option to order food online. You get all kinds of food here. The price ranges from $$-$$$ and, the most common cuisine you get here is the Mediterranean cuisine. They offer some other options as well. The food they offer is obviously high-quality. I would definitely eat here, and I would certainly recommend it. It has had hundreds of positive reviews on the internet, especially on websites like trip advisor.
  2. Secondly, I would like to talk about Anthony’s Pizza & Grill. This happens to be one of the best place in town, if you want to get a decent pizza or even some really good grilled dishes. They have had hundreds of reviews on the internet and have all been mostly positive. You are really good pizza and Grill dishes here. It is obvious by the name indeed. The prices are definitely affordable, and they are between $$-$$$. Any tourist who is visiting this place will actually have a really good time, because of the wide variety of options that you get over here. They even give you the option to order online, and you can have all kinds of food delivered to wherever you are. The delivery is absolutely spectacular, because they bring it really fast. The majority of people I know actually love pizza, and if I ever went here, I am sure that I would have a really good time, because of the many options they are giving us.

In this article, I am going to be discussing all about Downingtown in Pennsylvania. I am also be talking about the pop culture in this place. In the year 1958, the movie The Blob was actually filmed in and around Downing town, and the diner was actually featured in the movie. Downingtown dinner was actually sold and also transported to another state and has been replaced with a very similar 1950s style diner. They actually started continuing the advertisement of the movie, and it has changed the ownership many times. Over the years, it has gone through a lot of innovations and changes. As of 2021, it is still open. You can actually visit this place, if you are ever near Downingtown.

Youtuber Dave Days is actually a very popular person who grew up in Downingtown. She is a YouTuber who has more than 1.5 million subscribers on the platform. He also has a lot of videos and songs.

Here are some statistics and demographics of the place.

As of the 2010 census, the borough was actually 76% non-Hispanic white people and 12% black or African-American people. It also had a few Asians and Native Americans. 7.2% of the population were either Latino or Hispanic. Downingtown actually has a mass population of residents who are very well known for having an Italian ancestry. The town also has two very different Italian American organisations and is listed as an Italian American stronghold in the United States of America. There were more than 3100 households, out of which almost 31.2% of people had children under the age of 18 years, living with them, and 42.8% were married couples living together. 12.9% had a female householder with no husband but with children. The average household size was almost 3 people, and this was very common indeed.

The population was actually very spread out and with 25.3%, under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24 years and 32.6% from 25 to 44 years old. There were 19% of people who are 45 to 64. The median age was actually 35 years, and for every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. This means, there were more females in the place than males.

Downing town

The median income for any given household in this area was around $45,000. The males had a mean income of at least $38,900 versus $29,000 for females. The per capita income for this place was around $21,000.

The downtown area school district is actually the school district there are operating schools in the entire area. There are four elementary schools, and they have a high school and middle school as well. The high school is called Downingtown East High school.

When Lance and Valerie Castle bought a quaint Kimberton home in In Chester Pennsylvania they had little idea of how valuable the purchase would turn out to be. The couple bought the home in land covered with several dozens of black walnut trees. Armed with fermenting business idea, they started to destem pounds of vineyard grapes by hand in the sprawling country land.

They started preparing wine at home during fall. As family and friends continued asking for “black walnut wine”, the name stuck and Black walnut winery as born. Initially, they were producing about 300 gallons of wines. As the demand grew, they started producing the wine as full time business.

Black walnut winery was opened officially in July 2009 in a newly and thoroughly renovated bank barn. The 200 years old fantastically charming building is located on Lincoln Highway, Sadsburyille Chester County. The winery has received accolades and won awards, one after the other over the years.

Accolades

In 2010 Pennsylvania Wine competition, the winery received a bronze medal for Chardonnay 2007. At Pennsylvania wine competition in 2010, the winery received another bronze medal for Merlot 2007. The winery has established itself in the industry.

Every winery has its own style of producing wine. According to Lance, their personal preference is making dry wines. They, however, appreciate that diversification is also important. So, while they majorly deal with dry wine, they also produce a handful of off dry sweet wines.

Tasting Room

Currently, the couple and their business partners jack and Karen Kuhn have expanded their business to include a Tasting Room in Phoenixville. Connoisseurs and wine novices can sample any of their 17 wine varieties. The tasting room was opened in 2010 at a grand party. It is located in an exquisite, renovated property in downtown Phoenixville. You can book the tasting room for private events. Sometimes they host live music and wine, and chocolate pairing.

The partners were pivotal in establishing an array of wine varieties with great taste. It has grown to be one of the most successful wineries in Chester County and extending the growth to the tasting room in Phoenixville.

Birth of the Winery Idea

Lance and Jack met while they were both working in corporate jobs. Coincidentally, Karen and Valerie also worked in the same company at some point. Fate and love for wine connected then to start a winery.

With a land covered with over 40 mature walnut trees, they started making wine as a hobby. The walnuts kept falling from the trees during autumn. As a result, they kept moving during the winemaking process. The couples even had to make wine in a driveway at some point. These entrepreneurs even involved a consultant before opening the gallery. He advises them to get a name that has a story behind it. Eventually, they came back to Black Walnut Winery.

The winery is located in a well-traveled rod which has significantly helped in its success. However, the first days were not a walk in the park. Trying making people know and find them was quite exacting.

The black walnut winery produces a variety of wines. One of the best performing wine is Pinot Gris. While it is hardy, it boasts of great soft flavors and does very well in the region. Similarly, apple wines are unique.

The process of making wine at Black Walnut Winery

Harvesting starts in the fall at the beginning of September. Between September and October, the company spends time destemming and crushing the grapes, separating the skin from the juice, fermentation process initiation and racking. They break from cellar activities after putting everything tanks at the beginning of November.

Black nut winery focuses its attention tasting room and winery holiday activities. Winter activities include raking oak, filter and pampering wines waiting to bottle in summer and spring. The winery stores their wine in 28 tanks which are usually full. In fact, they have to empty some to prepare for the fall harvest. They have to fill about 30000 bottles to loosen up space for processing new wines before crush at the start of fall. The whole process takes place in over two-decade building in Sadburyville, Pennsylvania. The building measures 10000 square feet.

Lance and Val Castle friendship with Jack and Karen Kuhn has given birth to a winery with tip-top sip. It has also created an experience where people bond, laugh, share memories, relax and enjoy music as they enjoy local wine.

If your perception of the upcoming Philly Farm & Food Fest conjures up thoughts of leafy greens, grass fed meats and artisan cheese, prepare to be surprised.

Dad’s Hat, ManhattanAttendees of this premier regional food and farm expo are going to have their taste buds expanded and spirits lifted. Although farm fresh food will make up a large portion of the vendor area, a guided tasting of Pennsylvania’s most exciting alcoholic beverages has been added to the program. Producers from Victory Brewing Company, Frecon Farm Cidery, Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey, Philadelphia Distilling Company and Subarashii Kudamono Asian Pear Dessert Wines will all be on hand to create the inaugural Local Libation Lounge.

VictorySwing_NinaLeaPhotographyEntry to the Local Libation Lounge requires a special timed ticket available through the Philly Farm & Food Fest website (participants must be at least 21 and will be required to show photo ID). Tastings will be held on the hour between 12 noon and 3 p.m. and are limited to groups of 40 participants. Get your tickets soon so as not to miss out on sampling Frecon’s Early Man Cider, Victory’s spicy citrus limited release known as Swing Session Saison, the award-winning Dad’s Hat Rye and the debut of the “Pennsylvania Martini,” a combo of Philadelphia Distilling’s aromatic Bluecoat Gin with Subarashii Kudamono’s Asian Pear Dessert Wine.

Adding local spirits to the diversity of products available at the Philly Food & Farm Expo is a natural progression for the Fest organizers, Fair Food Philly and PASA. From farms that have expanded their product line to include wines and hard ciders to local brewers and distilling companies who explore partnerships with the farming community, there seems to be a trend toward connecting tasters and producers to celebrate the terroir of our region.

Frecons_GaryColyerJosh Smith of Frecon Farms explains that “The Philly Farm & Food Fest is the perfect showcase for our products at the perfect time of year. By April, we’re easing into our blossom season and prepping for another fruit harvest after the long winter, plus releasing our newest batch of hard cider. This event gives us the chance to reconnect with all our customers that we see throughout the growing season, plus chat with new folks that feel the same way we do about locally produced, high quality, fresh food and products.”

Smith continues, “This year, we’re bringing our line of fruit butters, cider applesauce and our brand new Mother Mary’s Garlic & Honey Apple Cider Vinegar—handcrafted by us with our very own apples, local honey and just the right amount of garlic. It’s great for salads, marinades, broth and for overall health. Plus, with the Local Libations Lounge featuring our 2013 release of the Early Man Cider, it makes for a great day and great kickoff to another year. We’re honored to be featured alongside folks like Victory Brewing, Subarashii, Philly Distilling and Dad’s Hat and really excited to get the newest fermentation in everyone’s hands.”

Bill Covaleski, Brewmaster and President of Victory Brewing Company, adds, “The consumer groundswell that has lifted craft beer from a fad to a phenomenon is simply a channel of America’s awakening appreciation of foods of integrity and full flavor. We specifically located our craft brewery in Chester County to contribute to, and experience, the best aspects of local production. It is a delicious reality we are enjoying.”

Photographs credited to the following: Dad’s Hat photograph courtesy of the distiller, credited to Todd Rice. Victory’s Swing Saison photograph credited to Nina Lea Photography. Frecon’s cider credited to Gary Colyer, Mizfam Photo.Video.Design.

Food lovers rejoice! Food festival season is slated to debut the moment September hits the calendar! Soon, Chester County will be blossoming with culinary celebrations, as well as wine- and beer-infused affairs. So relax, get hungry (and thirsty) and pull out our planners — you have a lot of date saving to do!

This unique campaign from Bringing Hope Home will run for 4 months all throughout the Philadelphia area. The goal of the challenge is to directly pay household bills for 100 families battling cancer. You can help the Hope in many ways. Adopt a family, collect change, run in the STOMP 5k, text to donate, create a fundraising page, dine for hope, or hold a gift drive. A list of participating vendors is still in the works and constantly growing. Do you plan to get involved? More info HERE.

Join G&G Cigars, local aficionados’ go-to provider of fine cigars and smoking accessories of West Chester, as they team up with the Desmond Hotel to host an outdoor dinner featuring an introductory reception (equipped with open bar), plus a 3-course dinner (featuring seafood cocktail, Snake River Waygu Sirloin Steak and coffee ice cream), and of course, top-notch cigars! More info and how to secure your space HERE.

This giant celebration in the Mushroom Capital of the World is back for it’s 27th year and better than ever. Mushroom lovers from all over will gather in Downtown Kennett Square for eating, crafting, dancing, learning, drinking and non-stop fun. There are many events unfolding throughout the two day festival including celebrity appearances and demonstrations, eating and cute baby contests (don’t worry, those are held separately), parades, cook-offs and more. Whether you’re a big fungi fan or not, the good company and plethora of happenings will keep guests of all ages happy! More info HERE.

To celebrate the end of another great summer, Broad Run and The Bordley House Grille invite you to attend their End of Summer Bash! Details are still being determined, but expect to see two live bands (Steve Liberace Duo & The Mystery Guest Band), delicious gourmet Popsicles, local vendors, fun for kids, and all-you-can-eat BBQ! Better yet, Victory Brewing Co. is joining in for the bash, with a fine inventory of their craft beers promised to be in stock. The event is for a great cause too, with proceeds to benefit Mommy’s Light.

When you hear that the best of Chester County restaurants are all going to be in one festival, why would you not come running? That is definitely the case with West Chester Recreation’s Chester County Restaurant Festival. The popular celebration of all things delicious in our beloved area is in its 33rd year in 2012. Aside from tasty food, there will be live music, dancing, the Chester County Culinary Challenge, a Beer & Wine Garden ($3 to enter) and The Town Dish Choice Awards. Hungry guests can taste their way through a variety of offerings from restaurants like Teca, Kildare’s, Roots Cafe and many specialty food vendors as well. It’s a foodie haven and should NOT be missed! More info HERE.

Living in Chester County is happy to present the very first BLIND cupcake competition in Chester County. The sweet event will bring together seasoned professionals, hobby bakers, restaurants and pastry chefs to determine an ultimate cupcake winner. There is no bias involved since taste testing is performed sans-labels and the judging table is made up of people like you! Those who aren’t looking to weigh in can attend as well. It’s free for voters and non-voters so don’t be shy! Many vendors will be on site to explore before, after, and in between tastes like Cupcakes Gourmet, The General Warren Inne, Chester County Best Kept Secrets tour and more! Everyone can use a good cupcake tasting in their life and proceeds will benefit Bringing Hope Home (same from campaign above) so why not attend? More info HERE.

When winemaker Lance Castle of Black Walnut Winery in Sadsburyville decided to tackle the tantalizing world of producing homemade wines, his attempt was far from small-scale.

In 2001, with the help of his wife, Valerie, and friends Jack and Karen Kuhn, all of which are now co-owners, they destemmed by hand 500 pounds of local Hopewell Vineyards grapes, constituting this “labor of love” as the first unofficial crush.

Under the Castle’s canopy of 40 Black Walnut trees (the winery’s namesakes) at their Kimberton home, the winemaking continued, with the Kuhns always on hand to assist through even the “non-sexy” jobs, like scrubbing recycled bottles that Lance thought would offer the most “bang for the buck” when having an at-home winery.

In 2006, the partnering couples for what had become the Black Walnut Winery chose an alternate location: a 200-year-old Chester County bank barn on Lincoln Highway. Besides being imbedded in local history, the potential in the bank building’s appearance, which clearly needed some sprucing, drew in the entrepreneurs.

“We all had full-time jobs [and still do], and would come here nights to work on the barn,” said Lance.

“We tried to save money and we all knew what we wanted it to be like,” said Valerie. “It just took us three and a half years to get it this way.”

The owners are now reaping the benefits of their hard work to restore the bank barn to its full potential, having entered Black Walnut Winery into the local wine market in July of 2009.

The cozy countryside location, which features an inviting tasting room with a fireplace, a special-events room, a private tasting reserve room, a retail space and an ideal processing facility, is exactly what the Castles and Kuhns envisioned – a soothing spot where the art of the sniff, the swirl and the sip is appreciated, as are wine-infused conversations and discussions about the historic building.

Black Walnut Winery is focused on developing the balance of aromas and flavors in their wines, which now boast 17 blends, and identifying tones and tastes approachable by many palates. Not yet reaching their one-year anniversary, the winery already received a bronze medal at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show for their Chardonnay 2007 and another bronze win at the 2010 Pennsylvania Wine Competition for their Merlot 2007.

“We want to offer our visitors nice wine through an interactive experience,” said Lance. “We want people to enjoy themselves and not feel that they have to rush through what we have to offer.”
The traditionalist winemaker, who adores rubbing elbows with those enjoying his wines, has been caught several times covered in grape juice allowing visitors to sample a wine that, at that very moment, is filtering in his facility.

“I enjoy people having fun at our winery, as well as engaging them with what we are working on,” he said. “We aren’t Mondavi; everyone gets to interact with at least one, if not all four, of the owners here. We want to talk to the people who are experiencing our wine.”

Always striving to enhance a guest’s experience, from the amateur to the connoisseur, the Chester County winery also offers pairing suggestions with chocolate and cheese stemming from an ideal working relationship with Amazing Acres’ Goat Dairy of Elverson. They suggest you’ll experience an incredible partnership if you sample their Spiced Apple 2007 with Amazing Acres’ Chipotle Chevre; their Blanc Franc 2007 with Amazing Acres’ Cranberry goat cheese; and their Vidal Blanc 2007 with Amazing Acres’ Blue Stilton Cheese.

Even more appreciated is the ease and convenience of visiting Black Walnut Winery, and the co-owners have decided to open a retail space and tasting room mid-to-late summer on the corner of Bridge Street and Gay Street in Phoenixville.

“The comment we get a lot is that ‘our place is so welcoming’,” said Valerie, who confirms their second location will be just as approachable.
“Some people feel that if they don’t have wine knowledge, they can’t even ask questions,” she said. “We don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. We are here to offer them as much as they want to learn. We just want people to have fun.”

Black Walnut Winery is located at 3000 Lincoln Highway in Sadsburyville Township and is open Thursday to Friday from 2 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The tasting room is open during hours of operation and, through October, the winery offers an outdoor concert series every Saturday and Sunday.

On the morning of Thanksgiving Eve, November 24, as early as 7:30 am, beer fanatics flocked to Victory Brewing Company, in hopes to score a case of the brewery first-ever bourbon barrel-aged beer, Dark Intrigue.

Just one month ago, the brewery leaked, via their Facebook, that their upcoming release had made use of an attractive lineup of Heaven Hill Kentucky Bourbon oak barrels found in-house. Keeping up with the mystery of what one-off marvel would soon be available was an adventure in itself, and even more so, the excitement of only 80 cases available for purchase, at a limit of one case per customer—an amount that quickly sold-out in less than 45 minutes.

Recently accepting an invitation to sample the elusive brew aside the mad-scientist mastermind, Frank Iosue, a small beer-hungry crew and I became cozy in the brewery’s barrel-aging room, just hours after the sold-out mayhem.

Iosue, as he uncorked a bottle of the Dark Intrigue, his first-ever experimentation with aging that used the well-known Storm King Stout, detailed his wish to have Victory dance within the barrel-aging trend. Suggesting that brewing beer is “half art” and “half science,” the Quality Assurance Manger/Brewer of Victory was pleased to get a little creative with the already-established imperial stout and personally explore the plethora of flavors once its aging of 97 days concluded.

Dark Intrigue may have slightly varied from barrel to barrel, he says, but the entire batch came across pretty consistent. Well-balanced, and without a harsh bourbon punch, Dark Intrigue pours thick and ridiculously black, concluding with a toffee-colored head. Although first-impressions may suggest it is fuller in body, sips appear otherwise, even with its 9.10-percent ABV.

Subtle, while sailing through several gentle flavors of dark chocolates and roasted malts, this beer boomswith a pleasant vanilla nose. Even if you aren’t a hophead nor a seeker of bourbon barrel-aged brews, this beer may surprisingly be for you!

While I’m saddened to say that there is not any on tap in Downingtown’s brewpub or available through their store, you may be lucky enough to spot a bottle or two among your friends, at your local distributor or bar—and, if you do, don’t pass their special release up!