Bedford Coffee Pot, Bedford Pennsylvania
The Coffee Pot was constructed in 1927 on the north side of Route 30, the Lincoln Highway, just west of Bedford, Pennsylvania. Its original owner was Albert (Bert) Koontz, who owned the automobile service station next door. The Coffee Pot originally had a one-story wood-frame wing through which entry into the Pot was made. According to Paul Koontz, "Uncle Bert was always a promoter ... People were building bottles and other things to get attention. Bert designed it but some man from Mann's Choice (a nearby town) built it." Paul Koontz operated the Coffee Pot first as a restaurant (with the kitchen in the attached wing and the interior of the Pot used as the dining room) and later as a bar. In an early postcard photograph, a seemingly seamless but wrinkled material (asphalt roll roofing), aparently colored silver-gray, covered the exterior of the Coffee Pot, including the spout.
In 1937, Koontz sold the property to Neil (or Nelson) Pepple. Pepple continued to operate the Coffee Pot as a bar, and constructed a three-story hotel attached at the rear of the Pot. Pepple also rebuilt the kitchen wing at the same time, giving it a brick facade, and covered the exterior of the Coffee Pot with a layer of stucco formed to resemble brick. In spite of the shift of cross-state and cross-country automobile traffic to the Pennsylvama Tunpike, beginning in 1940, the Coffee Pot remained a popular local destination in the 1940s through the 1960s, taking advantage of its proximity to the Bedford County Fairgrounds across the Lincohi Highway (Route 30).
In 1977, Wihner Lashley purchased the property, and used the Coffee Pot as a bar. It closed in January 1989. During the 1990s, a project was begun to enlarge and remodel the entry / kitchen building adjacent to the Pot, and to convert a portion of the then-vacant hotel into an apartment for a prospective owner, but it was never completed. In October 2000, Lashley sold the Coffee Pot to his cousin Samuel Lashley and his sons, who owned and operated the neighboring garage and truck-rental business. The Lashleys demolished the hotel building behind the Coffee Pot in early 2003. In December 2003, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, which had purchased the Pot from the Lashleys, demolished the attached wing and moved the building along Route 30 to the entrance of the Bedford County Fairgrounds. In its new location, the Coffee Pot was restored during the summer of 2004.