Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery
Taps: 24 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
35 Paoli Plz
phone: (610) 725-0100
(Place added by: ggaughan on 05-22-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 71 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Having been stung by a goddamn bee at Kennett Square, the right side of my face had blown up quite nicely. All I'm saying is that when you belly up to the Iron Hill table, they should ask you whether you'd like the Russian Imperial Stout with or without a vicious stinging bee in it, instead of just assuming that you do. I'm just saying. I totally had my elephant man freak on. I could have shared a booth at the circus with Tony the lobster boy. I was hot. Some hours later, still all swollen up and now Benadryl loopy and fading fast on the post fest dinner hunt, it was going to be an early night...
Either its only (like) 3 minutes from Kennett Square or I napped briefly; I suspect the latter. There's a big strip mall here, I can't tell just how much of it TJ's takes up, but I'll go inside and find out, and get back to you, just wait here, I'll be right back, no really. There's a bar side to the right, and a dining side to the left, I'm more concerned with the dining side just now as a little food could keep me from seizures and Anaphylactic shock, so we'll start there. Closer in, they've got a bunch of small square tables they can push together to deal a larger seating, some sharing common benches depending where you are. Across the way, another few on the opposite wall below a blackboard listing the tap selections and a crescent shaped cut through on the brick wall, planters on the sill there. Off beyond, the other rooms hold a dozen and a half booths and tables. Shiny wood paneled floors, beigey yellowish walls, drop fold cone lamps, foreign prints, and a small brick foyer with leather chairs.
On the other side, a long granite topped "L" shaped bar seats 18, with tiered booze on the barback and glass front coolers there and in the corner holding their many bottled selections. Half a dozen low tables and some raised bar tables run opposite up to a small forward loungeish area with cushy leather chairs and some comfy couch action. Tan sponged walls with foreign prints, sports & brewery signage and mirrors, tile floorings, and giant flatscreens in the corners. Phil's Golf game (live) and Big Buck Hunter, and if you need an additional gaming fix, they do Texas Hold 'em, Bingo and that quiz thing there on one night or another.
23 taps in all spread across the length of the bar; a dozen on a center tower, 3 doubles holding 2 apiece below, and 5 more down on the end. There's also a pair of handpumps in there too. Half the taps are the regular full timers (Guinness, Bass, Smithwicks, Stella, Hoegaarden, Newcastle, Yuengling, Leffe Blond & Brune, Warsteiner Dunkel, Yuengling) and the other 12 are rotating. That's pretty much where the action is, local and regional (General Lafayette Bavarian Hefe, Barley Creek Octo, Sprague Farm Lightning Rod Belgian, Heavy Seas Hang Ten Weizenbock, Saranac Pumpkin), someone else's regionals (Bells Octo, Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout, Summit Octo, Founder's Red Rye, Left Hand Octo) and a few imports (Mahr's Jubelfestbier, Troubador Blond). The cask offerings were Smutty Pumpkin & Victory Hop Devil.
Also, well over 200 bottled beers, a very good selection laid out nicely in a large beer menu. About 5 dozen American micros broken out by geography (24 Mid Atlantic, 8 New England, 4 Great Lakes, 5 Mid West, 18 West Coast & Pacific NorthWest), and then 4 dozen Belgians, 2 dozen German, a dozen and a half English/Irish/Scottish, some beers of the world, and some cellared & limited stock selections (Alesmith, Deschutes, Alaskan Smoked Porter, Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga & Bam Biere).
And dinner not a moment too soon. An extensive food menu, the selections paired with beer suggestions, and many of the dishes themselves cooked with beer. I had the penne with oil & garlic, tomato and broccoli, it was very good, although I might have worn some of it. I still can't feel my face on this side.
Good house, I just wished I'd been coherent, I think I would've enjoyed it more and I definitely would've had a third beer.
03-04-2008 01:49:02 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Transcribed from undated notes, probably early-to-mid June 2009.
This was my third and last stop of the day as I would transition off of SEPTA's R5 line and back onto Amtrak to return to Lancaster when I finished. In retrospect, I have no idea why it had taken me so long to get here. I had spoken to one of the co-owners, Jeff, at many fests previously and they have a sign on the rear of the building near the roof that is visible from the train. I must have been an idiot. Sure, because I'm not now, right? Ha!
Theirs was a wide storefront in the west end of the Paoli Stores Plaza, accessed on foot to the west of the train station from the eastbound platform and up the steps and over the bridge from the westbound platform. Do NOT cross the tracks! Even I am not THAT stupid. Also, be very cognizant of the southbound traffic when crossing the road from the train station into the plaza. Oncoming northbound traffic is easy to watch, but the southies have to crest the bridge and are not visible until they have done so. I AM too stupid/lazy to walk down to the light, but you should be aware of the danger inherent in such a decision.
Entering, the m.d.s. was slightly to the right, followed by the bar area with the restaurant area to the left. I think that in all of my visits, the only time I was in the restaurant was on this occasion so that I could take complete notes.
Along the front wall, on the bar side, were four (4) interconnected coolers filled with bottles for take-away, fronted by a couple of really comfy sofas. The center of the bar area was filled with high tables and chairs. The bar, which ran along the back wall, was an elongated "U" shape topped by mica-flecked dark marble or granite. The back bar was on two levels, the top with two (2) two-doored coolers divided by liquor bottles. Above each of the shelves of liquor bottles were backboards listing "Featured Drafts". The lower back bar was used mostly for glassware but there was also a three-doored cooler in the centerline. Speaking of the centerline, to the extreme left of the bar area and through a portal past the satellite jukebox were the lavs.
On the left-facing side of the house, past the m.d.s, was a waiting area with a group of leather couches and chairs. Beyond that was the restaurant area with its standard restaurant tables and chairs. The remarkable thing on that side of the building, to me, was all of the exposed brick archways which gave it a very medieval feel.
Beer: Somehow, I forgot to quantify how many taps and bottles, but they really keep their website up to date, plus they regularly Tweet about their rotating draft selection. You should do your homework, rather than taking my word for it.
Food: Gourmet Mac 'n' Cheese that is NOT to be missed. It is a staple of my diet when I visit, which is fairly frequently now that I know where it is located.
08-19-2010 23:29:55 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
TJ's is an oasis of beer! It's a cute little place in a strip mall with a pretty nice looking modern interior. It's got a kind of 'cream walls with black and brown accents' thing going on, and there's a 'lounge' area on the bar side with a sofa and two leather chairs. The bar it self is a good size, and the chairs are comfortable. The one drawback is that the tile floor and exposed ceiling allow the noise to bounce back and forth leaving it a little loud - well, actually LOUD when it's busy. There's also a bit of a sports bar thing going on, but it's not completely full blown. There are poker tables, video games, and 4 big flat-screen TV's.
Onwards to the beer and food, lets get the beer out of the way. "200 Beers ~ 25 Drafts" as advertised on their menu. I was impressed. It's not often I can walk into a bar and find a beer I've never tasted, but they had a few. And the servers knew what they were talking about. That's a big bonus in my book!
Food. Overall very good. Better than you might expect. And, pretty varied. They even use beer in preparing some of their items like "English Ale Cheddar Bisque" for $4.50, "Hoegaarden Clams" for $8.50, and "Anchor Steam Crab Cakes" for $19.75. Other items are just interesting. "Blood Orange Coconut Curry Clams", for example, and a cajun-alfredo and chicken pasta dish. Vegetarian items are present as well, but I didn't notice anything vegan. I've taken my family for lunch a few times, and although it's a bit more expensive than some places, I appreciate the quality and feel it's worth it.
03-08-2009 02:03:29 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Had occasion to visit this place for the first time yesterday. I came up from Baltimore and until I hit hiway 202 in Wilmington, thought I was making good time. What I thought would be a 90 minute drive quickly (or should I say slowly) turned into a two hour drive (God only knows what the traffic is like during work days).
One of the truly fascinating things about Pennsylvania, IMO, is all these small, suburbia towns out in the country, that for no rhyme or reason (at least that I can figure out) will have some gem like TJ's tucked away some place.
The location for TJ's is nothing short of bizarre and I wonder how the owner makes a go of it (except that this place is excellent, the kind of place anyone would go back to). It's off of what passes for the main drag in Paoli (hiway 30), in a strip mall on a back side street. Naturally, I missed the turn off the first time I passed by, but was quickly able to get turned around and get my bearings.
There's nothing wrong with the atmosphere of TJ's, but by the same token this is not exactly the place's strong suit. To my mind there's kind of an institutional, plasticy/formica feel to the place, though the bar area is nice enough.
As for the beer selection, it's excellent and well thought out. I think they have around 20 tap handles here, including 2 on cask. They have a very interesting mix of micros and imports, including several Belgiums I had not seen before. There is also a beer book, which provides information about beer styles and lists the roughly 200 beers by the bottle available here. A very nice idea, and one that shows (IMO) just how passionate the owner (Jeff) is about good beer.
The service here was nothing short of outstanding. OK, granted, it was a late Saturday afternoon and there weren't a lot of folks there, but the bar tender was very friendly and engaging, and the owner came out and chatted for a while as well. Everyone was uniformly friendly and helpful. Full marks for sevice at this place.
The food here was also very good. At the recommendation of the bartender and another customer, I went ahead and got the beef tips smothered in a brown guinness infused sauce/gravy. It was quite good, though I'm not sure I was quite as enamored with it as the other customer at the bar.
If there is any negative to this place (and really, there isn't), it's that the prices here struck me as just a bit high. My small tapas plate of beef tips was around $8.50 I think, and beer prices were between $4.25 and $5 for a 12 oz. glass. The slacker bock I got was around $5 a glass, and the Rogue I2PA was I think $4.75 in a brandy snifter glass. Still, no complaints, I'd definitely come here again if I was in the area. The food and beer are quite good, and I appreciate the fact that the owner is obviously very into good beer.
This is a very solid place.
Update from 3/22/09. Have visited TJsEveryday (now just TJ's) more then a few time now, and IMHO, the place just seems to get better and better. Smoking is no longer allowed anywhere in the bar area now (thanks to recent change in Pa. law), which has dramatically improved the atmosphere and vibe of this excellent beer bar. As for quality, TJsEveryday is among the very best. The other day the beer list included Pliny the Younger, Consecration, KBS, Double Trouble, Nugger Nectar (cask), and Dupont foret and Duvel Green , all on tap. Sure, it was a special event, but the fact that TJs can get a hold of beers like this, and has an interest in doing so.... it just doesn't get much better then this.
06-10-2007 16:42:53 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is a place I have always wanted to visit, and finally I was in the area and made sure I put this on my to do list for the day. It is located in a strip mall area that seems to not have enough parking for all the stores. Got one of the last parking spots available. Walking inside you are greeted by a hostess, and I decided to head to the bar in the right room of the place. The left seems to have dinig tables.
The bar was nice as it had a granite top and could seat 15 or so. Dark colors throughout, and 3 large TVs are showing sports. There are LCD panels that are showing the offerings and they look like a blackboard which is cool. A "No Crap On Tap" neon sign is over the cash register.
There were about 25 beers on draft that focused on a good variety, but big beers were a good portion of the menu. The night before they had the Ithaca Hop Box beers on draft, and luckily they still were available. Add to that Bell's Stout and Two Hearted, Ballast Big Eye IPA, Weihenstephaner, Smutty Pale Ale, DFH American Beauty, Deshutes Mirror Pond, Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp, Goose Island Honkers, and Sierra Nevada Enjoy By were some of the other drafts. Happy hour prices are very good for beers especially the ones they are looking to kick to keg.
Service was good and very knowledgable about the selections. The appetizers we had were very tasty and were listed to pair with a style of beer.
This is a wonderful place and I can consider it one of my favorite craft beer bars I have visited across the country. Defintely put this on your beer destination plan.
10-26-2013 17:00:03 |
More by Gavage
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A great beer bar with terrific selection, really good food and wonderful people.
I'll start with the beer. There are 24 taps, 10 of which are pretty steady enders (Leffe Blond and Brown, Victory Hop devil, Lindemans, Hoegaarden), leaving 14 taps to rotate some great beer through. This was the first place I saw Bear Republic on tap when it came to PA a couple of months back. Lots of Avery, Southern Tier and other great microbrews. Best of all, the website list of what's on tap is accurate almost literally up to the minute. And you can see what's coming next (at this moment I am eagerly anticipating the Hop Rod Rye and Weyerbacher Heresy). Add 4 coolers with great to go selections and you could not ask for more.
The service is just as good, maybe better. The bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly. They remembered our names the second time in, and what styles each of us prefers by the third time. Jeff, one of the owners, is a very nice outgoing guy as well. They make you feel right at home.
Food is very good also. We typically go for the burgers, sandwiches and paninis, all highly recommended. Beer is an ingredient in almost all dishes.
02-08-2008 18:05:20 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
A post-work visit on a Tuesday evening during Bingo night.
Atmosphere: The bar is cozy, accomodating 5 plus tables, some couches and Golden Tee. Lots of coolers for carryout back up the couches. A dining area sat to the right of the entrance.
Quality: Great beer list. Our waiter was understanding in dealing with my non-BA colleagues.
Service: We had three rounds and the waiter was generally attentive. I did notice that he disappeared just as we were looking for the check.
Selection: Great tap list and wide array of bottles that are listed in a three ringed binger. The Rose de Gambrinus on tap was a real winner and the Peche Mortel from a bottle was far more coffee bitter than I recall. With their taplist continually updated online, they've got a lot in the pipeline.
Food: On a return trip I have the hop devil chicken sandwich. The fries that accompanied the sandwich were quite good but could have used mayonnaise to complete the Belgian effect. Sandwich was good though.
06-20-2008 01:37:02 |
More by akorsak
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
TJ's is currently in the "Big 4" of my most visited bars, along with Teresa's, Capone's, and Pinocchio's. It's a simple 7 miles from my house, and it has just about everything I need in a bar, without the hassle of going to the city.
Located right near the train station, in a semi-hidden strip mall also containing two, yes, two separate stores to buy hot wings. Nice, simple decor in TJ's, with lots and lots of appropriate beer tin tackers on the wall, a few TVs, a good-sized bar, and plenty of tables and leg room, including separate dining areas. It's not exactly dim-lit and intimate like some of my other favorite bars, but it's okay, I still knew it would be a good time from the first time I walked in. Also...DIGITAL TAP LISTS. So far I'd only seen this twice, at the Mayor of Old Town in Ft. Collins, where they have 100 beers on tap and such a marvel of the modern age as digital tap screens makes most sense, and at Al's / Pizza Boy. I like this technology.
They do have a very good amount on tap, around 25 or so, with a hand pump, and a moderately impressive bottle list, just in case the stuff on tap isn't good enough for you. Draught selection is always very good and rotates quickly. You won't always find extreme rarities here, but they do pump in the local favs, as well as general craft/micro favs and uncommons from all over the world. The staff is almost always friendly and on the ball, and pretty in tune with the beer scene. If there's anything I can complain about here, it's that more than once I've had a bartender (it's a girl who will remain nameless) that has absentmindedly served me the wrong beer. Otherwise, I don't have a problem, and Scott is one of my favorite bartenders anywhere.
Food is very good as well. Multiple mac&cheese options? Obviously I'm getting that. Other offerings include some really yummy salads, comfort foods, but best of all, I'd say at least 50% of the items on the menu are made with beer as an ingredient, from the Sly Fox fish and chips, to the rauchbier burger. You know these guys are serious. Weekly specials are typical excellent as well, with the occasional creative burger (caramel apple burger?) or mac&cheese (pepperoni?) special.
I go here anywhere between 2-10 times a month, and it's always a pleasure. Better start using that treadmill more.
08-29-2011 14:52:39 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I rarely put in a review after my first visit but this is an exception.
I visited TJ's after many visits to the area and not hitting this place up. Hoping that they would have Green Flash Hop Head Red on tap I took the chance and swung by.
Well, nice looking place...let me get a seat at the bar. Tender asks me, what can I get you? I say, reading...hold on. He lets me go a few minutes and gets back to me. "Hop Head Red" I say, after breathing a sigh of relief when I see it is on! Well, that is all the icebreaker that Scott needs....he becomes my instant beer friend. He is very chatty with me during the rest of my visit and even gives me a generous thank you for visiting gift! Nice touch!
How can one complain with something like 200+ bottles, 25 taps and 2 hand pumps? Certainly a quality beer destination. I will make sure I am hungry next time I visit as the menu looks nice. Not too far out of the way when visiting TDR or Victory....I will make sure to stop in again, soon!
05-25-2008 09:49:39 |
More by Deuane
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
A little pedestrian in the atmosphere department - the dining room looked fairly sterile and the bar is darkly lit and seems kind of seedy (though it is in fact quite clean - it just looks like it should be a seedy bar). The service was friendly but inattentive and lackadaisical, though it was my only visit so maybe I hit a bad day. The food was pretty good - simple and clean - but the real attraction is the beer. Amazing selection on tap (has a Sprecher Oktoberfest and a Weyerbacher Autumn with lunch the other day) and what appears to be an amazing bottle list. Not a place to go a long way out of your way for, but if you're nearby, this is a definite stop to make.
10-06-2008 14:46:27 |
More by Seanibus
« first ‹ prev
TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli, PA
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address