New owners open at famed Warwick Hotel in Hummelstown with ‘high quality, flavor first’ menu
David Deimler, owner of 1762 Food and Cocktails in Hummelstownrecognizes the interest of the former Warwick Hotel, a must-see in the city for two centuries.
During off hours, he is quick to introduce himself and even shares his cell phone number with potential customers who stop by to ask about the restaurant that opened a few weeks ago at 12 W. Main St.
“My kids go to Lower Dauphin (school district), my wife went to Lower Dauphin, so I’m LD all the way now,” Deimler said, adding that he grew up in Hershey.
Along with his wife Kylie, Deimler is one of a long list of owners who have operated everything from the Grand Central Hotel to The Wick on site. The latest version maintains the historic integrity of the building with some interior renovations and a menu showcasing local ingredients. Its name honors the founding year of Hummelstown
In 2013, the Deimlers opened Babe’s Grill House + Lounge in Palmyra. After the COVID-19 pandemic, Deimler vowed never to open another restaurant. (“It was just a lot of work, the unemployment and the stress of people hating me during COVID was huge.”)
He’s proof that even the best-laid plans can change. The Warwick’s former owner, Jody Dimpsey, approached the Deimlers about buying the restaurant.
“It was such a crazy opportunity the previous owner gave me to come to my kids’ hometown and try to make everyone proud,” Deimler said.
While the majority of new restaurants opening post-pandemic are fast-food outlets, 1762 takes a different approach. The focus is on French, Italian and Mediterranean with freshly made pastas, sauces, seafood and steaks.
They hired chef John Roeder, a former restaurateur, who previously worked at Josephine’s in Lancaster and under chef Georges Perrier in Philadelphia.
Pan-fried duck breast is combined with homemade ricotta-based gnocchi for a lighter “marshmallow potato” texture. Tender pan-seared smoked scallops surround an arborio rice cake with a cream of roasted poblano peppers and tomato caper relish.
Small plates cover a salmon poke bowl, fried Thai calamari and Prince Edward Island mussels with whole grain mustard cream and the menu opens with sandwiches such as Wagyu burgers , fried chicken sandwiches, bison burgers with steak and po boys with fried oysters.
“It’s a mix of everything, but premium quality and flavors first. That’s really what I mean. I need more quality than quantity,” Deimler said.
Obviously, chicken wings are missing from the menu, which the Deimlers said they didn’t think was necessary given the other options in town such as Boro Bar & Grill and Forrest’s Feed Co.
During renovations, a set of original wooden doors were discovered and now hang in the lobby along with several old photographs and newspaper clippings associated with the building. Plans are to hang a coal shoot from the original house found in the basement.
Going forward, the Deimlers plan to convert hotel rooms on the second and third floors to upscale Airbnb rooms and add outdoor restaurants to the east side of the building along Lilac Alley.
For now, the restaurant’s hours are limited to five days a week, as the Deimlers await the arrival of a POS system delayed due to supply chain issues. Right now, waiters take orders the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.
Hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Closed Tuesday to Wednesday. Eventually, they plan to add hours on Wednesdays and some weekend lunches. Reservations recommended.