Around Town: Saying farewell to a local favorite and hello to the big game

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When you’ve been in business 60 years, you acquire quite a following.

This was evident last weekend when a group of friends and I stopped in to bid farewell to Konefal’s Restaurant on Main Street in Edwardsville.

The popular restaurant and bar — known for its Polish food, coleslaw and catering — recently announced its closing.

I remember ordering takeout, but never dined in. On this night, we stopped in the bar section and saw many local faces. An area plumber, a friend’s dad and some other familiar-looking folks were passing time — and counting down the remaining days of their favorite place.

The aromas of our food — potato pancakes, haluski, kielbasa and more — were abundant and added to the nostalgia of the night for many (don’t worry, though; I hear the bar is open for game day today to finish off some of the last libations).

This was just the kick-off to a plentiful food-filled week.

A wine dinner at Jonathan’s in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday caught my attention too, so friend Kim Woodrosky and I opted to attend.

Sicilian filet with blue cheese and apple soup (it’s good, I promise) paired with wine from Southern Wine & Spirits were served, and I didn’t regret accepting the invitation.

We ran into friends we hadn’t seen in some time. Kim especially enjoyed seeing her longtime friend Ivan Mines from the wine company, as well as other regulars from her days managing the Overbrook restaurant in Dallas.

See, with Kim, food is always top of mind, so it’s no surprise the next night she was hosting a Brookside neighborhood dinner — a gathering of friends from the tiny neighborhood bordering North Wilkes-Barre that consists of portions of North Pennsylvania Avenue, Brookside Street, North Washington Street and Johnson Street.

Home to the The Lion Brewery and Dukey’s Café, Brookside is quaint and inviting.

The menu for the occasion? Jalapeno cheese kielbasa, American pierogi, piggies in a blanket and haluski (inspired from the Konefal’s night, perhaps).

Since I’m no master in the kitchen and only have an oven because it came with my place, I ordered what turned out to be a delicious Polish nut roll (in keeping with the Polish theme) for dessert. The guests were more than impressed with this Bakery Delite selection.

The plentiful meals throughout the week were welcome preparation for my Friday night activities — a Leadership Wilkes-Barre cocktail hour, followed by a Friday-night tailgate party, Woodlands style.

Something different for sure, we transformed Club Evolution into a make-shift Super Bowl tailgate complete with the Weekender tent, L.T. Verrastro giveaways and hot dogs.

It was a new venture for the club I visited frequently about eight years ago for Funhouse Friday — an always-entertaining themed night of popcorn, party streamers and dollar drinks.

It made for a great way to kick off game weekend, but, at the time I was writing this column, I still hadn’t solidified my viewing location. Or locations?

So, let me know where you’re watching. Send me a note, and I might just pop in to your favorite watering hole while I’m around town today.

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Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.