“Everything at Tellus360 has a story. Reclaiming and reusing items is central to the establishment.”
Tellus360 is a live music and Irish pub in artsy and creative downtown Lancaster, PA. I entered the building from the West King Street entrance and was greeted by Ken Mueller, marketing director at Tellus360 and my tour guide for the afternoon. Ken was eager to show me the building, talk to me about future plans, and share stories about the many elements of architectural interest that are found throughout the property.
“The large wooden doors behind the bar are from a Catholic church in Ireland and the bar itself is from County Waterford. The bar has three sections that are divided by glass panels. Originally, the section on the left was for the women, the one in the center for the men, and the lower section on the right? That was for the kids to hang out and get some candy at the counter while Mom and Dad were grabbing a pint.”
That sounds brilliant to me.
(click on the photos in the gallery to see them larger for more detail)
Tellus360 occupies a large building near the square in Lancaster, PA. The first and only time I was in Tellus360 before this visit was to start out a downtown walking and tasting tour called Taste the World. Tellus360 was our check-in location where were given a bottle of water and had our first tasting of the event from Upohar. At that point in time, Tellus360 sold many repurposed goods.
In case you’re wondering, tellus means earth in Latin.
There was jewelry made from Southeast Asian landmines, bottle openers made from old bike chains, and organic and ethical clothing. Today, the space looks quite different and although the style of business has changed from retail to bar, the same blood still courses through Tellus360’s veins. Guests will still find a uniquely repurposed environment here and the evolution is magnificent.
The spaces are eclectic, a mishmash of styles and texture. The front room, named Tigh Mhary, has a dais facing King Street where musicians perform. The tables are decorated with painted checkerboards and wax-dripped Jose Cuervo tequila bottles and some of the seating is old church pews. It is open and bright, pleasant and welcoming. There is a larger stage in The Temple which is located directly behind the Tigh Mhary room.
Writing “The Temple Bar” puts me immediately in mind of Dublin and makes my heart feel a pang over missing a city I adore.
The bar in The Temple is topped with a gorgeous piece of solid wood from Africa that bears a blackened scar from a lightning strike. As with so much of what you’ll find at Tellus360, it is one-of-a-kind. A book could be written about this place with each chapter telling its own story, a true “if the walls could talk” tale.
The stages and speakers are professional remnants from shows put on by names like Lady Gaga, U2, AC/DC, and Maroon 5. Have you heard of Clair Global and Tait Towers? They’re the groups who are putting Lititz, PA, on the map when it comes to the music scene. They’re known for quality stage design and sound setup and have further expanded their influence recently with Rock Lititz. The speakers and stages at Tellus360 came from them so it’s not a stretch to say that the music experience you’ll have at Tellus360 venue will be outstanding.
And speaking of sound, you’ll hear plenty of it here. There is music going on most days of the week in a range of styles like traditional Irish, singer/songwriter, Americana, rock (that is the most generic term you’ll probably hear today), and DJs like The Thing With Two Heads spinning goodness for your freaky selves.
The bathrooms are located downstairs (also reminding me of many places in Dublin) and you should check them out even if you don’t need to actually use the facilities. The walls are covered in wood of varying colors, shapes, and sizes. One section of wall has varying bottom sashes from institutional-looking windows installed vertically, the indented handholds set at varying places and looking haphazardly perfect.
The sinks are long troughs, fluid in their cement design and flowing the entire length downwards to the drain. The bathroom put me in mind of a forest glade, a place of harmonious marriage between industrial accents and organic canopies.
As if two main level bars wasn’t enough, there is a balcony upstairs where the kitchen is located and food is served and further up are two more bars. (!!)
I told you Tellus360 was huge.
The lounge-like room previously known as Gallery360 will soon have a rebirth with sofas, easy chairs, turntables and vinyl, bookshelves, and games like darts, ping pong, and cornhole. Wood-burning fireplaces will create a warm and cozy space to relax in and chill with friends or spend some quiet time alone. The lighting in this space comes from old air raid sirens that have been outfitted for bulbs. Keep an eye on this lounge as it comes together in the coming weeks and months.
The rooftop has a bar and seating area with some killer views of the city. Directly beside Tellus360 is the Downtown Marriott and behind is the Penn Square Parking Garage, which makes this a convenient location for those who don’t live in the city and want to visit.
I loved this rooftop area and even on a stuffy, hot afternoon there was a whisper of breeze going on up there. The rumor is that mosquitoes don’t wander so far from the ground so you’ll be enjoying the urban outdoors in bite-free peace.
A green roof like what Tellus360 has implemented absorbs 70-90% of rainwater that falls during the summer.¹
More than half the rooftop is green, meaning it is covered with living plants that absorb rainwater and drastically reduce runoff.
This is an important eco-friendly feature because the city of Lancaster is currently facing hefty fines from the EPA due to massive quantities of polluted rainwater runoff entering the Conestoga River, which eventually makes its way to the Chesapeake. Just think what a positive impact the city could have on the environment if more buildings followed Tellus360’s lead by creating their own green roof areas!
Tellus360 isn’t a sports bar but it does host gatherings for sporting events. There is definite Irish influence from the Tigh Mhary bar to menu items like a full Irish breakfast with black and white pudding. That kind of meal speaks to me. “Eat me. Eat me, Amber. I’m delicious.”
See what I mean? I am not crazy because my food talks to me.
In short, Tellus360 offers something for just about everyone. They also have free wi-fi, making it a perfect space for someone to work, too. I could hang out here for hours and write.
If you are planning an event, see what Tellus360 has to offer. If you dig live music, see what’s happening this week. Looking for a place to meet friends for a few drinks? You have plenty of options, including Irish whiskey and craft beer! My only disappointment was that I didn’t see the venue in its full glory during business hours. I need to remedy that soon and swing by for dinner and a show.
Have you been to Tellus360 yet?
You can find Tellus360 on Facebook! Follow them there for all the latest and stay hip to the know.
¹ Green Roof Benefits: http://www.greenroofs.org/index.php/about/greenroofbenefits