Written by Gerry Ulicny
Free booze? It’s something that has been said about Trippin Billie, but of course it’s only true if you know somebody. Actually it’s “Somebody Else.” If you do know them, “Somebody Else” might just let you drink on their tab once in a while at this Pottsville club.
Unique is only one way to describe Pottsville club – Trippin Billie. The attitude, the atmosphere and the clientele are as varied as anyone could want.
The club itself doesn’t look like much, in fact it seems to attempt a literal interpretation of the phrase ‘hole in the wall.’
Two or three buildings are joined inside but only one entrance is left unbarred and the windows are blacked out, giving it an appearance of a tiny bar with abandoned buildings next to it. Open the door and it’s likely that the place will be packed!
Whether it was the friendly attention of owner Steve (co-owns with parents Jan and Joe Smith), the hot bands or the lure of drinking on someone else’s tab that night from 9-11, (perhaps all three?), the place was hopping by 9 p.m. when we showed up one Friday last month.
The first room inside holds a long, shiny bar. Staying to the right, one would come to a back room filled with video games and a pool table while pasing through the wide opening to the left side at the end of the bar leads to a black-painted room with gleaming honey colored floors. Here the stage area is tucked to the rear; tables for eating are toward the front.
There is food some evenings in a limited menu but the drink selection is broad, from the simple to the trendy.
As for decor, eclectic is the only possible word. Original architectural elements like soaring 10-12 foot high pressed tin ceilings are combined with some truly strange yet creative elements such as the light over the foosball table made by using two heat lamps, a piece of chain, and a 2×3. It’s as if they started but got too busy to finish decorating and remodeling.
The stage area has been revamped for lighting and sound. Speaking of sound,-wise, other than the fact that pressed tin doesn’t improve the acoustics; the set-up was loud and balanced enough. In fact, the sound system seems like it may be geared to allow everyone within walking distance to enjoy the bands. Once the bar was full, there was plenty of foot traffic outside to attest to that.
Two excellent bands played there the night we visited. Local favorites ‘A Social State ‘ came from Scranton area to kick off a busy summer set to include a debut album and ‘Green Eyed Stare,’ were also on an album tour way up here from Cleveland , Georgia .
Both bands shook the house that May evening. A Social State showed everyone what the word ‘stamina’ means, taking the stage twice for a total playing time of nearly four hours. Green Eyed Stare took the middle slot and kept the party going with some ingenious original music.
114 North Centre Street , Pottsville .