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Allentown bar, an 'icon' of Lehigh Valley music scene, to close by year's end

Jason Addy
Jabber Jaws Bar & Grille, at 1327 W. Chew St., announced Saturday that it "will be closing our door for the last time" on Dec. 30.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — An Old Allentown bar revered for giving local musicians a stage to perform soon will go quiet.

Jabber Jaws Bar & Grille “will be closing our door for the last time” on Dec. 30, its owners announced Saturday morning on its Facebook page.

But not before one final party.

A “farewell event” for the bar at 1327 W. Chew St. will start at 8 p.m. Dec. 29 and continue “till the roof blows off!” according to an event flyer.

The party will celebrate the bar's "20 years of fun and music” and give Jabber Jaws fans a chance to show “some love” to owners MaryAnn and Ed Ressler and Scott Banks, “as they move on to a new chapter in their lives.”

“A big thanks for all they have done for local patrons and artists of all types,” the flyer says.

“I'm so grateful for this place. It has allowed me to find a place to play music and make some great friends. Thanks for everything.”
John Ciocio

A slew of other events are scheduled during the bar’s last weeks, including painting classes, bingo, trivia, a Christmas potluck party Dec. 17 and “The Final Metal Night” on Dec. 23.

The bar also is inviting regulars to take down their pictures from its walls from 12-2 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Dec. 20.

‘Incredible’ impact on Valley music scene

Hundreds of people reacted to Jabber Jaws’ post announcing its imminent closure, while dozens shared their gratitude and congratulations for the bar’s owners, particularly MaryAnn Ressler.

“I'm so grateful for this place,” John Ciocio wrote. “It has allowed me to find a place to play music and make some great friends. Thanks for everything.”

Owner MaryAnn Ressler, “made Jabbers an icon in rock, metal and punk history in the Lehigh Valley.”
Facebook user Raven Snoe

“I am so sad to hear this news,” Gail Anderson Gilchrist wrote. “Jabbers was a fun place to go to meet up with friends, paint projects, listen to bands, dance and meet new people! Best wishes to you and Eddie as you move on to your next adventure in life."

One fan wrote that MaryAnn Ressler, “made Jabbers an icon in rock, metal & punk history in the Lehigh Valley.”

A musician from Australia even paid tribute to the bar, after a booking mix-up put it on his radar.

“Have never been through the doors and only know of your existence because someone there tried to book my band for a gig many years ago,” David Nicholson wrote.

“We were very keen but the person booking didn't realise we are in Australia. I've always planned to drop in there if I ever make the trip so (it) looks like I'll be busking outside if that happens. All the best!”

Burn “Rocks” — an Allentown-based AC/DC and ZZ Top cover band — wrote that Jabber Jaws, “gave us a chance and so many other bands,” and said the bar’s “impact (on) the Lehigh Valley music scene is incredible.”

“We have met so many wonderful people there and formed so many wonderful friendships that we take with us on this journey,” the band wrote under the bar’s closing announcement.

“From the bottom of our BURN’IN sad hearts, we wish you well. It’s not a goodbye. It’s a jam with you later and thank you.”

Burn “Rocks” is set to play at Jabber Jaws on Dec. 15 for the last annual benefit concert in honor of MaryAnn Ressler’s mother.