If I had to choose to only eat one of the three basic meals forever and ever, there’s no question in my mind: I would choose breakfast. Perhaps that’s part of the reason that I’m always searching for the perfect brunch.
Well, back in the 90s, I had found it: this place in Bridgewater that we called Noah’s Ark, an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch spot (with all-you-can-drink orange juice, a very key selling point to ten-year-old me). Apparently, because we were kids (and maybe because we were always heading there after church on a Sunday), we missed the fact that the real name was Pappan’s Ark. I’ve spent the better part of my adult years searching for this mythical place that I remembered so fondly, and not finding anything because it truly was a mythical place, as there never was a “Noah’s Ark” restaurant to begin with.
But believe it or not, I have solved the mystery at last!! Pappan’s Ark closed in the late early-90s. It reopened in 1994 under new ownership as a place called Boots Open Flame Grill, which was a Texas roadhouse. In 2003, Boots closed and the property reopened as Frankie & Stella’s Italian Bistro, back under ownership of a member of the Pappan family. This restaurant was in place until 2005, when there was a fire and a flood (yes, a flood, in the building we used to call Noah’s Ark).
From there, the trail is a little fuzzy. I can’t find any hard facts on whether or not Frankie & Stella’s ever reopened under that name after the flood or not. What I can find out is that a place called Little Meleo’s, located in downtown Beaver, PA, relocated and renamed itself as the Water’s Edge Pub (that’s the business still in place in the current Google Street View photo). That lasted a few years and now, it’s changed hands again and is presently open (as of August 2017, and yes, I will update this trail should it change sometime in the future) as Mario’s Dockside Grille.
WHEW. Who knew Beaver County history could be so FASCINATING?
Why am I regaling you with this delightful history of 1420 Riverside Drive in Beaver, PA? Because in my years of hunting for a mythical brunch spot that no longer existed, we stumbled upon one that is still hopping every weekend throughout the summer.
And that place, dear readers, is Kelly’s Riverside Pub, just two doors down at 1458 Riverside Drive.
Inside, Kelly’s is an Irish pub with friendly staff, daily specials, BOTTOMLESS TATER TOTS ON MONDAYS, and drink specials during Pittsburgh sports games. But outside all summer long, Kelly’s is a Caribbean Island, a little tropical getaway along the Beaver River, complete with sand, palm trees, and Margaritaville Radio playing over the speakers.
For the past 3 years, we’ve made it a point to visit at least once a summer (more than that and none of our pants would fit, seriously). It’s the perfect place for a morning of indulgence. Maybe you got in an early run. Maybe you’re trying to feed a hangover. Maybe you just want 400 plates of eggs as you relax under the palms. Kelly’s is there for you.
And then it was time to hit the buffet. This side has all your standard, delightful brunch goodies: eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, French toast, potatoes (multiple kinds on some days), and biscuits & gravy.
After your waffle is made, you can put additional toppings on to make it picture-perfect. Our dining partner (a much better waffle artist than us) crafted this picture-worthy masterpiece. The waffles can be made with blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, bananas, or any combination of the above.
It’s just not summer without a stop at Kelly’s. It’s well worth the drive out to Beaver County, especially on a sunny summer morning. I’m so fortunate that in my quest to find my mythical favorite brunch location, I found one that’s even finer.
Kelly’s brunch buffet under the palms is open 9am until noon on Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. They’re also occasionally open some Saturdays, so follow their Facebook page for updates!