2020 was a significant year of change, and this was certainly apparent in downtown Etna PA. While many of us were hunkering down at home, Butler Street was getting a makeover - from a new streetscape and stormwater infrastructure to tree plantings and the development of new businesses. One of biggest changes occurred at the corner of Butler and High Street, where TJR Enterprises was hard at work converting an old mechanic’s garage into a beautiful restaurant and bar: The Rear End Gastropub and Garage.
We sat down with co-owners Maria Paterra and Mike Rios to ask about what they’d like to highlight about their new establishment. Maria shared,
“I personally love the outside area, that’s the place to be. We have a huge front porch, which is unique in the area. We have a gaming area out front that is family-oriented.”
The large front porch and yard area adds a ton of additional seating to the restaurant and offers a dog-friendly area, lawn games, and even a fire pit. The Read End sits at a highly visible intersection in town and allows patrons to take advantage of the ambiance and street life.
Mike Rios shared his enthusiasm for the scratch kitchen and rotating menu, but emphasizes that they are “not transferring the extra time and effort into the prices.” He explained the menu’s concept, which was born out of the fact that the Rear End was developed from a 1940’s garage.
“We’re going to apply that concept to almost everything that we do. The menu, beers, music, will all be on a changing schedule and will be based on a road trip across the US. Everything will be familiar to our customers, but we’re putting a little bit of a twist on it. Of our 20 beers on tap, most will be local, but some will be from around the country from places that you might stop when going on a road trip out west, following Lincoln Highway or Route 66. We want to be a place where people can come to try things from different areas.”
We also asked Maria and Mike why they decided to invest in Etna. Mike explained,
“Our family has been in the area for +50 years. Maria grew up in Sharpsburg, we have our business right down the street, and my grandfather was a pastor in Millvale. Our ties to the area go way back. When the opportunity arose, we jumped at it.”
Maria explained that the idea started small and grew over time to become the full-fledged restaurant and bar that it is today. She expressed aspirations for what this can mean for our business district:
“If this new business can be an anchor in the community and a catalyst for change, I believe we’ll start seeing even more investment in Etna.”
The Rear End Gastropub and Garage will have its grand opening on Sept. 24 (just in time for the Etna Art Tour on Sept. 25) but has already proven to be very popular among Etna residents and visitors from around the region. This cheerful and fun space, with its patio lights, fire pit, and yard games, has brought a new vitality to our downtown and is an exciting addition to our community.