Hip Hops: “Welcome to Nail City,” or beers and pews in Wheeling WV (2001)

Hip Hops: “Welcome to Nail City,” or beers and pews in Wheeling WV (2001)
Brew Keepers in Wheeling, West Virginia (2024).

A few weeks ago I was asked about the wooden church pews that may or may not still offer seating on the pub side at NABC’s Pizzeria & Public House in New Albany, formerly Rich O’s Public House and Sportstime Pizza, where I was a founder and co-owner for 25 years.

Q: Where did those beautiful wooden church pews come from, anyway?
A: Nail City, but it’s complicated.

Yes, there is a back story, as originally written in 2001. Eventually it will be slotted into my ongoing “40 Years in Beer” narrative, but today at “Hip Hops” it is yours to read in advance.

First, a few thoughts in retrospect.

As surreal as the experience seemed at the time, it was never my intention to denigrate the city of Wheeling. As a resident of New Albany, then as now, empathy ordains that one remains keenly aware of the challenges inherent to the process of revitalization as it pertains to a struggling, faded city with a presumably glorious past that didn’t always adapt well to post-WWII economic realities.

In fact I always cheer for reinvention, and it would be interesting to return...Read more

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