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Live and Local: History meets delicious food at Middletown’s Brownstone Cafe

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- In the center of town, you're never too far from home.

The Brownstone Cafe is where Middletown's historic past meets delicious cooking and a hometown atmosphere.

"Three quarters of the customers we know by name when we greet them at the door," says Brownstone manager Sherrie Engle.

Some of the Brownstone's most loyal customers likely remember when it was a bank. In fact, before it opened as a restaurant in 1997, it spent 105 years operating as a bank, and one of Middletown's most historic sites.

Bob Hauser, a curator at the Middletown Area Historical Society museum, says it was important to town residents to maintain some of the building's original history when it was transformed 21 years ago.

"When you walk in, you still have the marble floors, and all the bank features including the vault," Hauser said.

Except today, inside the vault, instead of money, it's the kitchen.

That's where, at any given time, four to five cooks are pounding out meals for up to 140 guests at a time. The Brownstone opens for breakfast and operates all the way through dinner.

Among the favorite dishes are the Brownstone Penne, the breakfast burrito, everything omelette, quesadilla, and chicken chemise, served on Wednesdays.

The Brownstone Cafe is located at 1 North Union Street in Middletown, operates from 6am-9pm from Monday-Saturday, and 8am-8pm on Sunday.