Business and Beautification Bloom Across River
By Christopher Holland • The Current Contributing Writer
While the downtown business district is a main destination for visitors to the town, the east side of Jim Thorpe also offers an array of attractions and businesses to accommodate guests and residents alike.
From outdoor activities to local dive bars and breakfast eateries, the east side isn’t something to be overlooked when visiting the borough.
The draw is the natural beauty of the area with access to the Lehigh Gorge State Park and Glen Onoko Falls trail. Some notable businesses that are attractive to visitors are Pocono Whitewater for rafting on the Lehigh River, Skirmish Paintball for battles, Penn’s Peak for concerts and other events and the burial site of the town’s namesake, Jim Thorpe.
In addition, the Jim Thorpe Market, known for its fresh meat selection, the wine and spirits store and the Jim Thorpe Pharmacy also help visitors enjoy their stay. Dining options include breakfast eateries such as East Mauch Chunk Eatery for breakfast, Tommy’s Steaks and Subs, and a renowned dive bar, Union Publick House which offers exquisite farm-to-table specials, as well as Trattoria 903 for lunch and dinner.
And for those looking for places to stay, the east side is well-equipped with guesthouses and bed and breakfast places that can accommodate your every need.
One of those places is The Glen Onoko Guesthouse, named for its close proximity to Glen Onoko Falls.
Built in 1874, this vintage commercial building at 529 North Street was known as the Annie Martz building who once served ice cream and sodas there. The now re-purposed building serves as a Guesthouse that offers two options for a weekend getaway: a spacious, three-bedroom for groups of family and friends that sleeps up to eight people, and the Serenity Suite, a private getaway for two.
Another local attraction is the Mint Salon and Spa, the town’s only full-service salon that offers a spray tan package.
“Whether you are looking for a fresh new look or a relaxing experience, Mint Salon and Spa offers a variety of services to make every visit a relaxing experience,” said Dee Reitz, owner of the Glen Onoko Guesthouse that occupies the adjacent building.
Also within the complex is Davenport Studios with artist and instructor Jay Davenport, located at 531 North Street behind Mint.
Davenport offers classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and also does paint parties.
He sets up his students with supplies that can be purchased at the studio and gives individual attention to the novice sketcher.
And these are just some of the notable attractions the east side has to offer.
Coming soon is the east side’s Beautification Project on the corner of Front and North streets.
“As a member of Jim Thorpe Shade Tree Commission, along with our Borough Council and Borough manager, Maureen Sterner, we will plan for a fall planting which includes a layer of spring bulbs,” Reitz said.
“We have an architectural landscape plan which is simple in design… It will benefit visitors to the area with a logistical sign which will tell you where to turn to go to the Lehigh Gorge State Park, east side businesses, with an arrow pointing North on North St./903, food and beverage markets, with an arrow pointing east toward the Jim Thorpe Market complex,” Reitz said.
The east side has a lot going on, and its encouraged that visitors make sure to cross the river and get a first-hand experience of their own.
The town has so much to offer, and all of these small businesses are an economic engine for the borough and the county.