Jimmie Kramer, the child of Russian immigrants who came to America in the early 1900's,
grandfather of Michael, the present owner/operator of The Peanut Bar, began his business 88 years
ago in the resort community of South Mountain in Wernersville, PA. The year was 1924, the era was
Prohibition, and the establishment, which still stands today, was known as The Green Terrace Hotel.
It is unclear just how long Jimmie operated at this or any other of the many locations which his
business occupied from 1924, til he opened at 32 Penn Street in 1933. It is certain however, that
this colorful and enterprising young man was continuously on the move during these years. The "drys"
would raid, close his place down and quickly he would reopen at another location. It is definitely
known, for instance, that in the mid-Twenties he owned and operated a white tablecloth "speakeasy"
on the north side of Penn between 4th and 5th Streets. With its black onyx dance floor, hat check girls
in brief costumes and dance bands such as "Charlie Keller and His Hot shots," The Central Cafe was
quite the rage.
With the repeal of Prohibition in August of 1933, "Jimmie Kramer's" The Old Central Cafe
was legally born. Records indicate that in march, 1934, the first legal liquor license was issued at the
332 Penn Street address. And as for the peanuts - well, they arrived and became part of our
trademark in 1935. In the same year, another event took place which was to change forever the face
of the business. Annie, "Mom" Kramer arrived and brought her pots and pans. Soon the Old Central
Cafe was serving soups and hot platters along with such delicacies as lobster tails, 35 cents; breaded
haddock, 10 cents; and, of course, those much sought-after crab cake platters, 25 cents. Since those
early days, two generations have followed. The daughters, Edie and Beatie, married, bringing their
husbands, and then their children into the business.
Under Harold Leifer's, Beatie's husband, able leadership, the now renamed Jimmie Kramer's
The Peanut Bar Restaurant, grew and prospered. From 1979 until his passing in 2010,
worked daily with Michael, the third generation. Today, new ideas and
new age cuisine combined with
tried and true create a wonderful melting together of old and new. We, along with our very dedicated
staff, in this our 88th year, wish to thank you, our guests, for making this possible.