The Lounge keeps the memory its founder alive as a spot where patrons can take it easy as they grab a bite to eat.
Located at 1024 Jackson St., Scranton, the Lounge serves typical bar fare — including wings, burgers and fries — and has found a silver lining during the pandemic: gaining some new customers.
The corner bar, originally called Spindler’s Lounge, opened under husband and wife George and Grace Spindler. Although, George Spindler died in July 2019 after losing his battle with multiple myeloma, Grace, her daughter, Kim Spindler and husband, Charles Henn, carry on the business, now known as the Lounge.
Chef’s Table chatted with Kim, who keeps the memory of her father alive through the business he started in 1988.
Q: What is the history of the restaurant?
A: My dad was a foreman in a local garment factory. He knew the clothing industry was slowing dying and took a risk and quit his job to start this business. The real name is Spindler’s Lounge. When my dad got sick five years ago, he asked me and my husband to bartend until he recovered. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and had to have a stem cell transplant. The last year or two of my dad’s career, he opened a few hours a day. He stopped selling draft beer. He stopped cooking. My mother used to say he only went over there to get away from her (they live across the street). It was his “boys club,” so to speak. A few months into it (my husband and I) decided to just call it the Lounge, the name that was on the sign outside. We felt we needed to make the bar sound new or inviting to new customers. When I asked (my father) if he cared that I had shirts made up that said “The Lounge,” he was less than pleased. After a couple days, he called me and said, “Babe, that was a smart idea. You do whatever you need to do to keep it going.” Unfortunately, my dad never was really healthy enough to come back. Although, my mother is still very involved in the operations. His dream was for us to keep the business going.
Q: What type of food do you serve?
A: American pub food.
Q: What’s your specialty?
A: Wings. We pride ourselves on fresh, never frozen, all-natural, crispy fried wings.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: We started making wings in the early ‘90s with a tiny table-top fryer. My mom created two sauces, mild and hot. She’s the queen of adding a sprinkle of this and lot of that. Then we created George’s Famous Double-Dipped Wings. My husband started experimenting with dry rubs, and he created Cool Ranch and Salt & Vinegar wings. They are two of our most popular. The rest of the menu is your typical pub food: fries, burgers and cheesesteaks. Easy, quick foods that our customers enjoy at late night.
Q: What type of seating do you have?
A: We have five high-top tables and seats at the bar.
Q: What kinds of entertainment and specials do you offer?
A: We have two different types of virtual dart boards and a pool table that doesn’t stop. We have dart leagues all year round. We’ve even participated in tournaments in Las Vegas for both pool league and dart league. Our customers come from all over the valley to shoot darts.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: We have had many birthdays celebrated with cakes and treats but nothing super formal.
Q: What are your most popular dishes and drinks?
A: Our Strong Island Iced Tea and flavored vodka drinks. Customers love the Strong Island because it’s loaded with booze and is cheap.
Q: Where do you see the restaurant headed in the future?
A: We hope we can continue to live out my father’s legacy of running a neighborhood corner bar. We aren’t super fancy, and our customers like that. Most come straight from work to grab a quick bite to eat and a few drinks. We make them feel comfortable. The silver lining in all of this COVID-19 pandemic is we have gained so many new customers. Friends really helped share our posts and get our name out there. We couldn’t be more thankful.
Q: Are you currently offering take-out, curbside pickup or delivery?
A: Take-out only.
Address: 1024 Jackson St
Owners: Grace Spindler, Kim Spindler and Charles Henn
Cuisine: American Bar Food
Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 2 a.m.
Online: Visit the Facebook page.
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. Additionally, Laura curates events online and copy edits print editions of the Life&Times and Weekend Times sections of the newspaper. 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. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5228; @laurarysz