While not in Lansdale, Mariano’s Tavern is just across the border in Hatfield. Tonight, the last day of 2014, will be their last in business after 48 years. Kathleen and Faust Mariano will be calling it a day since taking it over in 1991 from their cousin, Skeets Mariano, who started it with Faust’s aunt and uncle in 1967. Visiting there today, I heard Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” at about 4:15PM. It seemed especially fitting with the longing of the saxophones during the intro, then the optimism of the middle and then the sadness of the saxophones again at the end– almost a paean to the years of Mariano’s in the North Penn area. Mariano’s was the opposite of pretention: a solid place to get a hoagie or veal parmesan, an Eagles or a Flyers game or karaoke.
The walls were wood paneling and the bar was Formica. Mariano’s was one of a dying breed of neighborhood bars and restaurants owned by families. And of course, there was the family of Kathleen and Faust Mariano to greet you. I am 44 years old now, but when I was 17 and driving, I took my dates there. Tom Slater and I double dated with Catherine Delvishio and Jen Rutter at Mariano’s once in this very spot in the back in 1988.
My father was a regular at Mariano’s, and he and I had many a meal there. I would have a cheesesteak and my father, a tuna fish salad with extra hot peppers and an Absolut vodka Martini up with a twist, rocks on the side.
Again, while I am not writing about a business located in the Borough of Lansdale, their owners, Kathleen and Faust Mariano, live in the Borough and more than a few of their patrons have been Lansdale residents. I thought it fitting to pay homage to them and their Tavern in this blog as they close their doors this last day of 2014: to a “just across the border from Lansdale” institution that was a solid gathering place for so many years– one that this author remembers well and will miss as a reminder of his youth and family since passed.
Thank you for a good run! Best wishes for your future!