ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jazz & Martini Fridays at Cafe Waldorf, Reading PA

Updated on April 16, 2014
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Music permeates Maren's soul, whether performing (voice, piano, drum, guitar, clarinet) or acting as a crazily enthusiastic audience member.

Inviting Exterior

Besides the neat, well-maintained restaurant - note the herringbone brick sidewalk!
Besides the neat, well-maintained restaurant - note the herringbone brick sidewalk! | Source

In the same city as Berks Jazzfest

The Café Waldorf is tucked in the corner of N. Sixth and Oley Streets in the city of Reading, Pennsylvania. This immaculate, comfortable restaurant serves beef, seafood, and chicken dishes and has gained a following for its reasonable prices. It is in the city and neither in the best nor the worst section. Mitigating the location, Café Waldorf has the rare bonus feature of its own well-lit and maintained parking lot. Once inside, one experiences a mild nautical theme in the street level dining rooms and full-service bar. However, to me the draw is the restaurant’s second floor.

Atmosphere from the past

To get upstairs, one must open a heavy door of etched glass. This door served to keep smoke from the former cigar bar upstairs seeping into the non-smoking dining rooms below. (Smoking is no longer permitted upstairs.) As the building is over one hundred twenty-five years old, the door’s décor is in keeping with the turn-of-the-century interior woodwork. One walks up a carpeted staircase with wooden banisters as thick as my forearm. Polished moldings provide a warm ambience. Every doorway and pass-through is surrounded by at least four inches of gorgeous moulding, interrupted by ornamental corner blocks with etched circle. Above old-fashioned wallpaper rests stately crown moulding. Thick red-brocaded window swags complement the even thicker milles fleurs rust-hued carpeting.

Swags, Steins, and Glorious Woodwork

This room tells one to lean back and relax.
This room tells one to lean back and relax. | Source

Martini Bar

Two rooms, about 15 by 18 feet, bookend the upstairs see-through galley “Martini Bar.” Nick, the ever- faithful upstairs bartender, presides. He is the Master of Martinis. Always wearing a tie, Nick is fit, stylish, and friendly. Furthermore, he is very composed under pressure, which pressure includes running downstairs frequently to procure an aged scotch or a new bottle of Cabernet. All the fixings for martinis, however, are at hand. Therefore, patrons who want the trendy drinks gravitate upstairs and they enjoy the concoctions he creates.

On one side of the bar in the first room at the top of the staircase, one finds a comfortable gathering place with two tables for four. At one corner is the locked door of the former cigar stand. Then, extending beyond the see-through portion, the long bar continues down most of the long wall. Guests can mingle, or go to the eight-foot wide opening to chat with Nick and look through to the other room with the entertainment.

Lounge and Listen

The room to which my autopilot guides me is the other: the music room. Both upstairs rooms are treated to the tunes, but this is the one with the musicians. Two or three high-backed stools kiss the bar and the rest of the room is furnished with a cushy stuffed leather sofa and three easy chairs. (The obligatory sports TV also occupies a low spot but blessedly is always fully muted.) The room’s lighting is darkened to jazz club duskiness with only two Victorian fringe-shaded lamps. Window shades are drawn, the radiators are quiet, and the music is hot. On Friday nights a music duo occupies a corner. Friday night is live Jazz Night.

They take requests

The music corner while the cats are on a short break.
The music corner while the cats are on a short break. | Source

Friday Jazz Night always features a duo. Any combination of local and talented guitarists, keyboard players, sax, bass and others appear. Generally, they perform from 8:00 until 11:00 PM. Downstairs restaurant patrons wander up and a grand time is had by all. The first time I went to a Friday Jazz Night, a sax and guitarist were performing. Then, another sax player sat in. A little later, a trumpeter from a local college joined the fray. One never knows what to expect. And, by the way, there is no cover charge.

Cafe Waldorf

A markerCafe Waldorf -
Oley St & N 6th St, Reading, PA 19601, USA
get directions

A lively spot worth experiencing on a Friday night.

A Meal and a Music Deal

I recommend that locals and musicians give the Café Waldorf a try. It is not the ordinary corner restaurant – it is an experience.

Photos and text copyright 2011 Maren Morgan

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Frugalfamily, thanks for your comment. This place is a jewel which, I feel, does not get enough attention. If you are ever in the greater Philadelphia area (meaning about an 80 minute drive from the airport), come check it out. :)

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX

      Oh how quaint! Thanks so much for sharing!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)