After a two year hiatus, the Stanhope House, a favorite night time spot for guests at the Whistling Swan Inn, will be reopening on August 6 under new ownership. The music venue and restaurant, which has been dubbed "the Last Great American Roadhouse," is famous for its blues music and has hosted many legendary blues artists, including John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But the club has also featured renowned music acts outside the world of blues, from the Allman Brothers to Peter Tork, and attracts many lesser known acts with fervent followings, such as Milo Z, Jeffrey Gaines, and Chris Duarte.
The Stanhope House was built in 1794 and has been the home of several establishments, including a post office, a stagecoach stop, a tavern, and even a speakeasy (which Babe Ruth is said to have visited). It became a music venue in the '60s. In its early days it was one of the only venues in New Jersey that catered to blues fans, and many would travel from miles away to catch a show at the Stanhope House. Despite its distance from the major blues clubs in New York City, musicians always looked forward to playing the Stanhope House, admiring the old-world atmosphere and enjoying the home-like hospitality.
Since the Stanhope House changed owners in 2010, it has gone under extensive renovations -- the bar, kitchen, and sound system have all been redone. The food will now be provided by Hot Rods Real Pit Barbeque, which was voted one of New Jersey's best barbeque restaurants in New Jersey Monthly's 2010 Readers and Critics Poll. August 6 is the soft opening, which will feature blues artists Ana Popovic and Klein's Combine. September 11 is the grand opening, which will be headlined by Subterranean, a band that describes itself as a "funky hybrid of punk, jazz, Latin, reggae and rock."
The Stanhope House is only a five minute walk from the Whistling Swan. To get there from the inn, go on Main Street, make a right, and walk until the road splits. You'll see the Stanhope House on your left.
To get there from Route 80, take Exit 25 and then take the exit for Route 183, Stanhope. After you go through a traffic light, make a right onto Main Street. Then go straight until the road splits. The Stanhope House will be on your left.
For more information, visit the Stanhope House's Facebook page.
Artists performing at the Stanhope House in the coming months:
Jeffrey Gaines (playing the Stanhope House August 13):
Chris Duarte (playing the Stanhope House September 14):
Milo Z (playing the Stanhope House September 17):