Your Local News | Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Easton News

New player enters Easton-area bar scene at old Fat Jacks’ in Palmer Twp.

the interior and exterior of The Coop
Jim Deegan
The Coop Sports Bar & Kitchen opened Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, at 2722 Freemansburg Ave. in Palmer Township. The place had been Fat Jacks' since 1991.

  • Fat Jacks' had been at the Freemansburg Avenue location for 32 years
  • Co-owner Chaz Patrick has run Molly's in South Bethlehem since 2010
  • Owners of The Coop Sports Bar & Kitchen plan to market toward a lunch crowd, too

PALMER TWP., Pa. — Chaz Patrick doesn’t seem to be overthinking it as he opens the newest sports bar in the Easton area.

“You need to be here. You need to be attentive,” said Patrick, co-owner of The Coop Sports Bar & Kitchen at 2722 Freemansburg Ave.

“You need to take care of your staff and in turn the staff will take care of the customers. You need to have a nice place, a clean place. And give the people what they want.”

The Coop opened at 11 a.m. Thursday in the space that for more than 30 years became one of the best-known bars around Easton and Phillipsburg.

Fat Jacks’ was among the area’s first sports bars. Owner Susan Kerbaugh, whose late father Jack was one of the original partners, sold the property last month that her family had a hand in running since 1991.

Patrick, owner of Molly’s Irish Grille and Sports Pub in South Bethlehem for the past 13 years, is one of six investors in the new place. He said the plan is to keep it true to its roots.

“We want to be a neighborhood sports bar, kind of continuing the tradition of Fat Jacks’ under a different name,” he said.

Patrick said he sees potential in capitalizing on a market that his predecessors did not — a lunch crowd. The Coop will open at 11 a.m. every day.

The location along busy Freemansburg Avenue — coupled with a short drive from places like the Northampton County Government Center to the east and St. Luke’s - Anderson campus to the west — provides opportunity, according to Patrick.

“You have the courthouse, the hospital and lots of businesses in this area,” he said. “You also have a lot of residents. We’re going to market toward those, and we feel at nighttime the dinner and the sports and games will be great.”

Patrick describes the new menu as pub grub, with an emphasis on smoked meats.

“We want to be a neighborhood sports bar, kind of continuing the tradition of Fat Jacks’ under a different name.”
Chaz Patrick, co-owner of The Coop Sports Bar & Kitchen

Appetizers include sauteed or fried pierogies ($7.99); tacos and quesadillas ($9.99 to $11.99); dinosaur eggs ($14.99) — cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos wrapped in sausage and bacon and lathered in barbecue sauce; and belly bites ($13.99) — smoked pork bellies deep fried and served with dipping sauce.

Chicken wings ($13.99) come in 17 different flavors and there are soups, chili and salads.

Other menu items include burgers ($11.99 to $14.99), chicken sandwiches ($13.99) and crab cake sandwiches ($19.99). There’s also slow-roasted pulled pork ($12.99), cheesesteaks ($13.99) and brisket ($15.99).

Patrick said crews completed extensive renovations inside. There are 11 new big-screen televisions from 65 to 90 inches in the bar and dining room areas.

“We put in new ceilings, painted the whole building inside and out, put in a new security system, cameras, new coolers and equipment in the kitchen like a smoker,” Patrick said.

While the football helmets and other decor that covered the walls of Fat Jacks’ are gone, the tables covered in baseball cards are not. Patrick said they remained as part of the deal.

“There’s a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card in there and a bunch of Hall of Famers,” he said as the first few customers entered Thursday morning.

A staff of 15 to 20 is on board. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; and 11 a.m. to midnight (or later if there’s a crowd) Thursday through Saturday.

“We’re new and we’re learning, too,” Patrick said.