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“DISGRACE TO BAR & RESTAURANT INDUSTRY! Someone, please call John Taffer!”
Review of Black Horse Tavern

Black Horse Tavern
Ranked #62 of 85 Restaurants in Newtown
Price range: $18 - $31
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: The Black Horse operates in a 1747 old world thick walled stone building. Situated on the corner of State and Centre St. in the heart of beautiful Newtown PA. We offer amazing entrees to tasty appetizers. Gorgeous Piano Bar open Wednesday thru Saturday. Classic rock on the Main floor every Friday. Come dance with us on Thursdays and Saturdays with DJ Born. Something for everyone Happy hour Monday - Friday 4;30-6:30pm
Pennington, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“DISGRACE TO BAR & RESTAURANT INDUSTRY! Someone, please call John Taffer!”
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We arrived to Black Horse Tavern Friday evening to a duo of overwhelmed "bartenders." (To even classify them as such is a crime.) You would expect the "bartenders" to be overwhelmed if the bar was flourishing like you would expect one to do on a Friday night. After the soon to be told experience we had, I now see why that is NOT the case.

We started off with 2 draft beers which took a while to pick because of their 13 beer choices, 6 taps were conveniently covered with very classy blue solo cups.

Upon the arrival of our beers and to my surprise, they did not taste like salted popcorn, much like the taste you get from dirty beer lines.

We proceeded to order an appetizer knowing that we would be unable to reign in the attention of the "Lead mixologist." Who am I kidding, there were no mixologist here.

Food came out relatively quickly even though we were told by one of the bartenders that she could not put in our dinner order for 5 minutes because the kitchen was slammed. Rule #1: why not keep that fun fact to yourself and have a little poise? We probably just would've written off the slow ticket time to the lack of efficiency and urgency the two "workers" had.

We decided to hold off on ordering anything further, don't worry, we would have respectfully set our watches and counted down 5 minutes before even attempting pp

Fortunately, someone was looking out for us!

We decided to have one more drink and call it a night.

I specifically ordered 2 very dirty Ketel One Martinis on the rocks.

I watched the male bartender fill the rocks glasses to the VERY top. You could not squeeze one more piece of ice in if you life depended on it. He then proceeded to fill a shaker with a obscene amount of ice, olive juice, and the remaining amount of Ketel One that was in the bottle (the bottle was full just to the bottom of the Ketel One packaging.)

He used a strainer to pour the martini into the glasses. At that point I wouldn't have been surprised if he attempted top off the glasses with MORE ice.

But! The lead mixologist was short! Could it be? Someone who has crafted this
profession could dare I say, mess up? Well, no need to worry because if your drink is short, this fine gentleman will bypass the option of checking for more Ketel One and go right ahead and top your miss-poured martini with another selection of vodka. In this case, Grey Goose.
He was even so nice not to add our olive garnish as there was no where to put the olives in the iceberg and god knowing, we would be licking the drink off the questionable bar, because there was surely no way it would not have overflowed.

Now let's leave the obvious steps that should've been taken out of the equation...for now.

As we continues to discuss the issue at hand with sheer shock, we drank our "shots of dirty Ketel One Martinis and requested the check.

Meanwhile, we observe the female bartender remove and replace her clip in hair extensions, then proceed to apply lipgloss, at some point in the evening, we transitioned into a sub-par salon.

And yes, you guessed it right, there was no washing of the hands before touching every last rim of every class, and all the fruit in the trays. Hey- maybe we should have asked her for some olives, we may have even got them layered with hair product, or better yet, fake hair.

Glassware was filthy. We at one point watched the male bartender pour a glass of Cabernet, go to pour the second glass of cab into stemware that makes me question my eyesight, because I could swear it was a fake eyelash, but I guess that's the risk you run when you order a drink at a salon.

No no, don't give him credit, when he noticed the questionable object he didn't pour a new glass of cab, he just kindly transferred the wine from the dirty glass pouring its contents right over.

You may still be wondering why they had so many beers unavailable seeing as though they were not thriving like many establishments in the area. Leave it to the CHEF. He stumbled through to utilize the blue solo cup with a dual purpose, quenching his thirst. You wonder why the kitchen was so slow- direct it to his motor skills.

Ketel One (2@11.00)........22.00

That is one expensive glass of ice, I wonder how much they would charged for a water.
Not to mention, KETEL ONE, kindly listed just as a constant reminder, that that is not what we received.

We paid, tipped and walked out. I hung back to ask the hostess for the manager. She replied with a puzzled look that she hadn't seen him for hours and didn't know where he was. Hey! Maybe he was in the kitchen having a few beers with the "chef."

Moments later, could it be, my knight in shining armor? Why yes, it was the "lead mixologist!"

After questioning him as the manager he then informed me he was the OWNER.

I kindly spoke to him to inform his misguided self that when two patrons order a specific type of vodka, that is what they want. Bartending 101. He then proceeded to tell me he "hooked us up" with a more premium vodka. IN HIS OPINION. I explained we don't care for Goose but would have been happy to go with something else if the option presented itself. We enjoy Belvedere, Ultimat, etc.

But then, with the guidance of the "lead mixologist" he helped me right my wrongs and realize that yes, it was my fault, that I didn't suggest he DO HIS JOB CORRECTLY and stop him. He was doing us a favor by mixing two vodkas, thanks for the hook up and the $11 glass of ice.

Piece of advice: stop calling me "Hun." It will get you nowhere.

He asked if I wanted my money back, I kindly told him he must need it more than we do and walked out.

If you want to go to a reputable establishment, go to Isaac Newtons, where the individuals who stand behind that beautiful bar, are true lead mixologist and honest workers who wouldn't expect you to do their job for them. They don't run a dual business of a salon and bar and I can't say I have ever seen blue solo cups lingering or covering their taps.


While we're on the topic of keeping our distance, John Taffer, stay away too. This place isn't worth saving!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank R M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Yardley, PA
Level Contributor
37 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“very good, will go back”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Very cold and snowy Sat. night, decided we felt housebound, yet wanted to try somewhere near we had not been to. This was a good choice. Surprisingly busy as we had seen very few cars driving, but no parking on State. Went around the block and got a side street spot right by the restaurant. Decided to sit in the moderately busy dining room and bar area on main floor, front bar very busy although had a couple tables for two. Has nice looking bar in each area, and my husband said one upstairs, as he went up to use the clean restroom, down was unavailable. He said upstairs was a bit cooler, but not uncomfortable, and he likes it warmer than I do. Our room was comfortably warm, beautiful stone walls, pub feel. He had delicious dirty martini. My first choice of wine they were out of, but no problem for any other, generous glass. It was the week of 11+ in of snow, though, and we had another maybe 3 in on top that day. Decided as we weren't too hungry, due to afternoon snacks watching a hockey game, that we would just get a couple appetizers. Started with absolutely delicious crabcakes, barely held together and tender. Will ask for a bit more of the two sauces nest time, a hot and a spicy mustard based. Also got their popular fries, very thin and crisp like I prefer with truffle aioli, yum. Decided we were hungry after all and added a dinner of scallops and a special of a decadent mac and cheese with four or five cheeses (can't remember), truffle and foi gras bits added, with a perfect crumb crust on top. Delicious, but came late. Waitress also helped at bar, but was very good about checking on us and food, and very cheerful and nice. Gave us free dessert for the wait, and we chose a lemon cake, which was lovely. Husband is a generous tipper, and he saw no problems worth not doing so. We were so full we took most of mac and cheese home, and all of dessert, but couldn't resist trying it as soon as we got home. I want to mention as we had read another poor review, I saw no evidence of any staff acting other than they should, and in fact all the patrons were behaving well and politely. I have a hard time imaging this place being like that reviewer suggested. The staff was busy and polite, and the host helpful as we chose which area to sit in. We were warned to be careful by customers by the door going in and out to be careful not to slip, but we had no problem. It was snowy day, and we were dressed appropriatly. We decided before we left that we would be back. It was a very pleasant experience, and this may become one of our favorite nice pubs to go to. It is not cheap, however, for example the martini was $13, but large, and the scallops were very fresh on the risotto bed, with lumps of crab. So yum, making me hungry just thinking of it.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jenjimlef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hope
1 review
“Not a family environment, drunk staff, trashy bartenders”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This used to be a place I'd bring my family but as the ownership changed, it's now appalling! The food is horrible, the women bartenders look like hookers, they're always drunk on the job, my husband caught a girl bartender doing something illegal in the bathroom, the blonde bartender sleeps with the married men .... Should I say more?!?!? Hope they close because it's a scary environment and you must be careful.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jenpluskids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
183 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Excellent Happy Hour food, service meh.”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

My sister and I went on a Wednesday for Happy Hour. Many reviewers said this started at 4PM. They do not open until 4:30 according to the just ok hostess. So we shopped at Gap Body across the street until closer to five. We were then told that Happy Hour starts at 5PM. With five minutes to spare we placed our order. The food was WAY better than your average bar grub. The fries were amazing and so was the hummus. They have a very interesting martini list, however we stuck to beer on tap. When we got our bill the just ok server/bartender had charged us full price for our beer, though she told us she'd hold our order until Happy Hour. Trying to get my husband to go here so I can try their martinis however, he is ALL ABOUT service so he won't budge.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jayne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, Delaware
Level Contributor
99 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Best place in town!”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Hands down, my favorite place in Newtown, PA to eat and drink. No, it's not cheap, and yes the parking is terrible (typical for Newtown) but, the place is beautiful inside, the food and drinks are awesome, and the service is great.

Visited March 2013
Thank katshot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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