- October 10, 2018
The Paddock holds a special place in many locals’ hearts. The restaurant, which has been family-run since it opened in the 1950s, is known for its welcoming atmosphere, cold drinks and, of course, Paddock Pizza. When this local staple was in danger of serving its last slice back in 2011, the Hoppy family, who also own Hops Fogelsville, knew they had to step in. Now, with the Hoppys at the helm, Hops at The Paddock, and its pizza, are poised to be around for a very long time.
Heady Times (HT): Your family also owns another local landmark, Hops Fogelsville. How did your family get started in the restaurant industry?
Scott Hoppy (SH): My grandfather owned a bar in Coal Township back in 50s, so I kind of grew up with a background in the bar and restaurant business. Owning my own bar was something I always aspired to do. When the opportunity came along, I asked my parents to join me on the venture.
HT: What enticed you to purchase The Paddock?
SH: Tradition and history. I grew up going there on Friday nights and it was one of my parents’ favorite places. One of the motivating factors behind the whole thing was the thought of their signature Paddock Pizza going away; we wanted to keep that alive for other generations to enjoy.
HT: Tell us about the pizza.
SH: Paddock Pizza was the first pizza ever sold and served in the Lehigh Valley, back in the mid-1950s. It became an instant Lehigh Valley staple. Many generations of families grew up going there and it’s the same recipe 60 years later. It’s a thin crust pizza with cheese and sauce to the edges.
HT: What unique items have you added to the menu?
SH: We bought Hops Fogelsville first, so when we acquired The Paddock we pretty much just kept the pizza and used the rest of the menu from Fogelsville. We’re known for our prime rib, wings, cheesesteaks and quesadillas.
HT: What does the beer selection look like? What sells well?
SH: We have 24 beers on tap and over 100 different beers in cans and bottles; the majority are from local or small craft breweries.
Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen how beer has completely changed. Before, you had your light lagers and lagers, and that satisfied the beer drinker. Today, the term beer drinker takes on a whole new meaning than it did years ago. We do our best to offer a wide variety of beers to satisfy every personality and palate. Even with all the ciders and other flavored malt beverages, there’s something for everyone. That’s a new challenge for us restaurant owners these days – keeping the balance to satisfy everybody and continuing to bring in new and exciting products.
HT: What’s the crowd like here?
SH: Very diverse. We cater to all. I didn’t want to be a “type” of bar. That’s one of the driving forces behind our success – catering to the masses, not an individual group.
HT: What do you want potential customers to know about Hops at The Paddock?
SH: We are extremely customer service driven. We understand that people have more and more choices when it comes to going out and dining. But we try to stick to the traditional values, which separates us from the competition. We don’t try to be trendy. We focus on quality, consistency and reasonable prices.
www.hopslehighvalley.com • 1945 W Columbia St., Allentown • 610-437-3911