John and Peters is a great local place to launch the Hidden Gems series. If you’re a local, you know all about J&P’s – located in the heart of New Hope’s Main Street, it’s the place to go if you want to hear amazing bands at “The Invitational” on Wednesday night and eat surprisingly good food during their 1/2 price Wednesday night special (6-9pm).
If you’re visiting the area, you might walk right by, because it looks like a “dive bar.” Tattooed men and women come and go from the small entrance and “boisterous” folks drink and eat burgers on the patio. It just shouts “this is a locals place, go away!” But looks can be deceiving, and when you stop and scratch below the surface, you’ll find a remarkable establishment with a storied history that embodies the essence of New Hope better than any other place around.
For the full history, click here. The TL;DR version is that it was started in 1972 by John Larsen and Peter Price. Let that sink in. In this day where a restaurant is lucky to last for five years, J&P’s has been around for almost half a century! You don’t do that by sucking. John and Peters has featured live music every day of the week, every week of the year, since their inception. Music by great musicians and bands that we’ve all heard of: Nora Jones, Ween, Richie Sambora, and many, many others. Pop in for the Invitational and you’re likely to see some very well known musicians who come to J&P’s to jam. Look next to you and you might be lucky enough to be sharing the bar with punk rock legend Steve Garvey of the Buzzcocks who lives just down the road.
Even if you aren’t into the night life, there’s something special waiting for you at John and Peter’s. That’s because the owners are foodies, serving only what they themselves would want to eat. John Larsen, who you can find almost every morning with his buddies at the Duck Soup Cafe (one of the local’s favorite breakfast places), maintains quality that you’ll rarely find in a music bar.
Take a look at the menu. Looks like a typical bar you might say. But would you get rare ahi tuna at just any bar?! When I first saw that, I made the yuck face and said “no way am I getting seafood here!” But the friends I was with assured me – “John only serves the best. The tuna’s great.” I still held out, getting another dinner special, but my wife, Evy, who is a true tuna-snob, went for it. “Wow, this is really delicious,” she declared, “and what a bargain. He’s got to be losing money on the tuna!” I tried it and concurred, it really was excellent.
Admittedly, you’re not going to be going here for a romantic dinner. But you’d be missing out if you didn’t stop in for a burger or ahi tuna and a beer the next time you’re in New Hope.
John and Peter’s is truly an enchanting place. So much history. Amazing musicians. And great food. What are you waiting for? Come try one of New Hope’s best Hidden Gems.