Does Anyone Else Miss or Remember Toad's Tavern?
Does Anyone Else Miss or Remember Toad’s Tavern?
by Brian Coll
Sometimes time has a way of playing tricks on your mind…. I think I was around 21 years old when Toad’s opened. It wasn’t the nicest place in Conshy, but for me and a group of friends it was one of a few places we felt really comfortable. I don’t know if it was the bartenders… a few I remember are John Cairns ( I think he is in Florida and owns his own bar ) a guy named Christian who could do some of the coolest bartender tricks, another old friend named Brendan. The owner Kurt would sometimes work behind the bar and his wife Denise worked in the kitchen. It could have been the pool table upstairs. It almost had a basement party atmosphere up there with a little shag couch in the corner. I think a big part of why it felt comfortable to us was, it wasn’t anything special and that made it special to us. We would hit the other bars in town, but most nights we’d find ourselves there for at least a drink. I think a big part of it was our age and the fact that it wasn’t open that long when most of us were turning 21. The traditional Conshy bars had their crowds. You could hit the smoky bars at the time….. Old Time Saloon, Carol’s, DeMedio’s which turned into Y2K and is now StoneRose. The cool places like the Great American Pub and Boathouse were always fun to go to. Honestly, the Pub and the Boathouse always had the better looking girls. West Conshy had a few places too, Billy Cunningham’s Court, MaGuire’s, that damn place that changed names and owners every year it seemed behind McDonald’s…. (Go ahead and comment in our Facebook post some of the places you remember in that locations over the years)
Getting back to Toad’s, actually I think the real name was E.Y Toad’s….. They actually had a few good things on their menu over the years, I remember good crab balls, the fries were good. I think they had drink specials from time to time which made it a little easier on your wallet. It also seemed like there was enough space for you and your friends to hang out without having to talk over one another, you could sit by the bar or go to the restaurant part or head upstairs and shoot some pool. Does anyone else remember the newspaper shop there? During the day it served coffee and newspapers and at night while Toad’s was open you could go buy a candy bar or something. I’d like to see that part of it come back. It was kind of cool.
The owners Kurt and Denise brought in a number of events and bands over the years. I remember Andre Gardner from WMGK broadcasting live from there once or twice when Conshohocken was the Hometown of the Week. The Jukebox…. I loved the jukebox, in fact, they had one on each floor. If you didn’t like what one person played, go to the other floor and put in your own couple of bucks.
What I can’t tell you off the top of my head is when they opened and when they closed. It’s been awhile and I miss that place. In the photo, you’ll see a young band playing there at Toad’s. A couple of good friends are in that band. Thanks to Ben Mosakowski for letting me steal the photo and I see a young John Lester sitting down playing guitar.
If any of my old Toad’s Tavern crew sees this and wants to get together at some point, let me know. Maybe we can try Southern Cross which is there now. I don’t think they kept the pool table….
While you are here, don’t forget. We are taking orders on our 2 book set Conshohocken & West Conshohocken – People, Places and Stories. Call us at 610-825-7072 to place your order. The 2 books are $120.00 plus tax. Each book is over 500 pages and has about 800 photos per book.