Halloween crawl draws support for downtown York City
Days before Halloween, downtown York City was already populated with witches, ninjas, superheroes, cartoon characters and scary figures alike at a holiday-themed bar crawl.
More than 40 people gathered at noon Saturday at The Handsome Cab, the check-in point for the Costume and Cocktail Crawl, which covered seven locations in the city.
"A little bit of voodoo here," said Tanya Cohen, of West York, while describing her costume — a red and black flowered eye mask, red Mardi Gras beads, a top hat with tea light candles and a skull staff wrapped in a red scarf and lights amidst black attire.
Cohen was inspired by "voodoo queen" Marie Laveau, from New Orleans, where Cohen spent many years.
Throughout the day, crawlers ordered themed cocktails, such as Frog in a Blender from The Handsome Cab and Witches Brew Red Sangria from The Left Bank Restaurant and Bar. Groups were sent to each stop in varying orders, so no bar was overrun, and some stops had food specials.
It's one of several crawls The Handsome Cab kicked off this year in an effort to bring more attention to food and drink options downtown.
"Restaurant row is pretty new in York," said Heather Ellis, general manager for The Handsome Cab.
The area encompasses a group of bars and restaurants on North George Street, including The Handsome Cab, Tutoni's Restaurant, Iron Horse York, Rockfish Public House, The Left Bank, Gift Horse Brewing Co. and Revival Social Club.
All of those were included on the crawl route except for Tutoni's. The Fig and Barrel Pub, on West Market Street, alsowas a stop on Saturday.
The idea on Saturday was to highlight different restaurants in the area that residents in York City, throughout the county and beyond might not know about, Ellis said, noting they all bring something different in terms of food, dining style and events.
"We just had a drag show on Saturday," for example, Ellis added.
"It's exciting to see the community come out and support," said York City resident Kevin Forry, dressed as Pikachu, noting the the growth he's seen downtown.
He and his friend Sue-Lee Miller, donning a hot dog suit, both live downtown and often come out to support local businesses, they said. Miller added that events such as the pub crawl often draw visitors who bring a larger crowd.
Mandy Arnold, who co-owns The Left Bank with husband and chef Sean Arnold, said she's done half a dozen collaborative events with The Handsome Cab.
"We as restaurant row are really working to create a destination," Arnold said, adding that they hope to bring visitors from inside and outside of the county.
Bar crawlers on Saturday came for different reasons — some to spend time with friends, try new things, support local businesses or just get away from the everyday.
"It's my birthday, and we wanted to have some time without our small children," said Bethany Mummert, of Springettsbury Township.
Clad in Harry Potter garb, she came with her best friend and their husbands and said she liked having an option that was safe and walkable.
"We love York," said Cohen, who has attended other York-based crawls with her friends — one of them wearing a masquerade mask and another dressed as a "party animal" in big blue sunglasses and a Hawaiian lei.
Robert Godfrey, who co-owns The Handsome Cab with Andrew D'Agenais, said they began the year with a Champagne stroll in January and have done other collaborative events through the year.
The next event will be a Repeal Party of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 5 — to celebrate the anniversary of the end of Prohibition.