Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar is housed in the historic Summit Opera House
Located on the corner of Springfield Avenue and Kent Place Boulevard, the building was designed in 1893 for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union by architect Theodore Mead Jr. In return for the title to the property, Civil War veteran Joel G. Vancise completed the construction and provided the W.C.T.U. with a local headquarters. He also used the site as a rostrum when he ran for President on the Prohibition Party ticket.
The building originally housed shops on the ground level. Upstairs, an 800-seat stage hall featured vaudeville and became Summit’s very first movie house. The rear section contained a coffee shop, reading rooms, the W.C.T.U. meeting hall, and resort-quality sleeping rooms…the basement boasted sixty-foot bowling alleys.
The building’s many names have included:
- Temperance Hall & Union Hall (1893)
- Willard Hall & Howard Hall (1894)
- Vancise building, followed by the more lyrical “Summit Opera House.
- In 1920, the Overlook Masonic Lodge inserted a full third level and dubbed it “Masonic Hall”
The building has housed several restaurants, including:
- The Blue Lantern Tea Room (1920-1948)
- The New Hampshire House (1948-1984)
- Winberie’s (Established 1985)
Some fun facts to impress your friends:
- Dave Brown, former quarterback of the NY Giants, grew up here, and his parents are regular guests of Winberie’s
- Award-winning actress Meryl Streep was born here.
- Rapper/actor Ice-T grew up here.
- Summit is the home of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum and Garden, which used to be a passage for Native Americans
Visit today! Click here for directions.