The Peanut Bar has built a reputation for wing sauces and letting customers “break out of their shells.”
Michael and Carla Moran own the establishment at 134 Cottage St., Carbondale, where Monday Wing Nights give patrons a chance to sample the featured wing sauce of the week. But guests also can find pizza and house-made dips, burgers and more.
Chef’s Table chatted with the husband-and-wife duo about the creative menu available at their popular eatery.
Q: When did you open?
A: The Peanut Bar has been open since the 1940s. It is one of the longest-running establishments in the area. The Moran family (Michael’s aunt and uncle) has been running the business since the early 1990s.
Q: What is the history of the restaurant?
A: The “Nut” as many call it has evolved so much over time. In the past, it was a place for coal miners to get a bite to eat and a drink after work. Over the years, it has turned into a family-friendly bar and grill that serves a variety of food for people of all ages. Our motto is “Come and break out of your shell at the Peanut Bar.”
Q: What kind of food do you serve, and what is available for people with special diets?
A: It is more than “bar food.” We have typical fan favorites like pizza, house-made dips and, of course, the best chicken wings in the area. We also have handcrafted salads, burgers and a ton of other amazing options. We have a gluten-free cauliflower pizza that is out of this world and can cater to nearly any diet or allergen.
Q: What are your most-ordered menu items and why?
A: The most popular item is hands down our “Garbage” Wings. It is often imitated but never duplicated. (It’s) a combination of sauces that would have typically gone into the garbage (but instead are) turned into a wing sauce that is out of the world. We make upwards of 20 gallons of this per week. We also make dozens of pizzas nearly every day; some days it can be close to 100 (pizzas) in just a few hours. Our pizza sauce is on the sweeter side with a house blend of cheeses baked to perfection.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: We wanted more than just bar food. We wanted to offer classics that are kid-friendly but also get on the wild side with wing sauces like salted caramel and PB&J. Our goal was to take bar food to the next level with different mashups and creative, hand-crafted items. Who doesn’t love barbecue chicken or grilled cheese? We took both of those items and mashed them into a killer Chicken Bacon Melt that is to die for. We get a little “nutty” with some of our items.
Q: How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
A: We are a family-friendly sports bar and grill that literally caters to everyone. We might have some high school kids popping in after school for boneless wings, friends coming in after work for a drink and quick snack, and everything in between.
Q: What type of seating do you offer?
A: Indoors, we have several tables and a few booths with full bar seating for over 20 patrons available as well. Our tent is waiting for you with outdoor seating for 30 to 40 people.
Q: What kinds of promotions do you offer?
A: Our Wing Night is Monday, where we feature a new sauce each week. Some recent ones were Middleswarth BBQ, Cool Ranch Dorito and maple bacon Bourbon. We rotate different specials seasonally, and from time to time pizza and wing combos and select appetizers. Fishbowl Fridays are officially back in action as well.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: Offsite catering is available and can be requested via our website by visiting peanut-bar.com. Semi-private and private functions also can be arranged in-house for all occasions.
Q: Are you offering delivery, takeout or curbside pickup?
A: Currently, we offer takeout and curbside with the hopes of delivery in the near future.
Q: Where do you see the restaurant headed in the future?
A: Ideally things will go back to normal in the near future, but for now our main concern is keeping out staff and customers as safe as possible. As we get to the other side of the pandemic, we will bring in some creative new items to pair with even more handcrafted cocktails. We hope to see our famous wing sauces available in grocery stores near you in the future. We have hopes to add on a patio with a fun atmosphere for all in the future as well.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228.