Route 23: Leola, Bareville, New Holland, Blue Ball, Churchtown

Funck’s Restaurant & Bar 

One of nearly a dozen regional restaurants owned by brothers Alan and Matt Funck, who grew up in the industry, the Leola location encapsulates Funck’s tagline: Eat. Drink. Enjoy. 

From Funck’s Restaurant & Bar: Lobster Tacos, Funck’s style, are made with Canadian lobster, Gulf shrimp, Mexican street corn slaw and queso fresco and are served with shishito ranch dressing. The dish is accompanied by an espresso martini that is made with vanilla vodka, Kahlua and fresh espresso.

Once the home of a family restaurant, the location has undergone a metamorphosis and is now a quasi-industrial yet modern gastropub that offers guests the choice of several cozy dining rooms, an indoor/outdoor bar area and an expansive outdoor patio that utilizes “igloos” for cold-weather months. 

The lunch/dinner menu offers a selection of appetizers, salads made with fresh, local ingredients, a wide choice of sandwiches, imaginative burgers and tacos, entrées and desserts. 

The bar is outfitted with a wall that holds 115 taps that deliver a wide selection of craft beer. Handcrafted cocktails, wine and zero-proof drinks are on the menu, as well. Happy Hour, complete with a special small plates menu, is held daily. Live music can be heard Friday and Saturday nights. 

For more information, visit Funcks.com/leola

A Little History 

The Route 23 corridor is rich in history. Settled by European immigrants in 1723, Leola was originally part of Bareville, which was founded by Andrew Bare and became the site of one of the colonies’ first distilleries. Ingredients for spirits and beer were in such high demand that area farmers devoted a majority of their crops to distilling. In 1896, Leola became its own entity. The name was derived from two names, Leacock (the township in which it is located) and the suggested name of Glenola. 

Traveling east, New Holland is your next stop. John Diffenderfer is credited as being its first settler. He arrived in Philadelphia from the German Palatinate in 1728 and headed west. Others followed, notably the Amish, Mennonites and members of other Plain sects. The heavily forested area was balanced by fertile fields, thus establishing the area’s agricultural roots.

When Lancaster County was established in 1729, the area was designated as Earl Township, hence the town became known as East Earl. When a post office was established in 1802, a new name was suggested. New Holland honors the people of Holland, who aided those who were leaving Europe for the New World. New Holland is celebrating its 125th anniversary as a borough this year. 

Every October, the New Holland Fair takes over the streets of the town. Photo by Jordan Bush.

Agriculture led to the creation of one of the world’s best-known manufacturers of farm equipment. The New Holland Machine Shop was founded by Abe Zimmerman in 1899. The entrepreneur not only repaired equipment but produced innovative products. Today, it is known as Case New Holland and is regarded as the second-largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the world. 

Continuing east, your next stop is Blue Ball. One of the county’s more “colorfully” named hamlets, it derives its name from The Sign of the Blue Ball, a hotel established at the crossroads of two Indian trails. It was owned by Irish immigrant John Wallace, who positioned a blue ball at the hotel’s entrance. The crossroads village embraced the identity and in 1833, Blue Ball became its official name. The building endured until 1997, at which time it was razed. 

Travelling along Route 23, you’ll be treated to vistas of farmland and the Welsh Mountains. Goodville, which was established in 1815, is named in honor of Peter Good, an early settler. 

The final stop is Churchtown, which is so-named for the number of churches that were established. Originally settled by Welsh immigrants, the town is home to Bangor Episcopal Church, which is one the first Church of England congregations to be formed in the colonies. The Churchtown/Narvon area prospered during the late 1700s due to the rise of the iron industry. 

Out and About 

Factory tours at Case New Holland are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. (Visit newholland.com or call 717-355-1588 for reservations.) The New Holland Historical Society operates a museum at the Kauffman Hardware complex that is open Thursdays and Saturdays (nhhistorical.com). Entertainment in the Park begins July 3 and continues on select dates through August 18, offering a wide range of musical entertainment (newhollandsummerarts.com). Money Rocks County Park offers 300 acres of woodland to explore (lancaster.pa.us). Historic Poole Forge pays homage to the iron industry that once flourished in the area. It includes a covered bridge, a restored ironmasters mansion and lovely gardens (historicpooleforge.org). The New Holland Farmers Fair, which was established in 1927, takes over the streets each fall. This year’s dates are October 2-5 (newhollandfarmersfair.com). In Leola, Misty Creek Goat Farm, which is Amish-owned,  offers European-style cheese and other goat-based products (mistycreekgoatfarm.net). Travel the backroads and you’ll discover small greenhouses, roadside produce stands, quilt shops, furniture makers and more. Don’t miss the architecture in Churchtown. 

Other Dining Suggestions 


Bacon is the focus of the menus at Gracie’s on West Main in Leola.

Gracie’s on West Main 

This family-owned restaurant has become a Lancaster favorite. Made-from-scratch is the mantra here … meats are smoked, jams, dressings and sauces are made in-house, as are desserts. Bacon is the star attraction, as it’s used in breakfast dishes, salads, burgers, sandwiches and even drinks. Gracieslancaster.com. 

Osteria Avanti

Located at the Inn at Leola Village, the Italian countryside is the focus of the menu. The menu’s rustic flavors are courtesy of produce grown in an onsite greenhouse and herbs that are grown in a garden on the property. Extensive wine list, craft beer and seasonal spirits infusions complement the menu. Innatleolavillage.com. 

Fox Meadows now has a location in Leola.

Fox Meadows Creamery

Lancaster’s favorite ice cream spot also has an impressive lunch menu that offers salads, soups, wraps and burgers, plus a wide selection of beverages. A kid’s menu is available. Be sure to save room for ice cream! Foxmeadows.com.

Eli’s Place at Achenbach’s 

You haven’t lived until you’re tasted one of Achenbach’s famous Long Johns pastries. First, however, visit the bakery’s restaurant and enjoy a hearty breakfast or nourishing lunch. Some say “it’s like visiting Grandma’s house!” Achenbachs.com. 

New Holland 

Yoder’s Restaurant & Buffet 

Order off the menu or be adventuresome and sample what the buffet has to offer. Each night offers a different focus. There are also breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch buffets, as well as salad and dessert bars. Complex also features a market and a bake shop. Yoderscountrymarket.com.

Lickity Split 

Located in the historic Kauffman’s Hardware building, this restaurant is pure fun! Reminiscent of an old country store and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, the décor is comprised of antiques, collectibles and memorabilia. The menu is filled with taste-tempting soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, grilled items and more. Save room for ice cream! Lickitysplit.info. 

East Earl 

Selections from Shady Maple’s legendary smorgasbord.

Shady Maple Smorgasbord 

This is the granddaddy of all smorgasbords, as it encompasses 200 feet of Pennsylvania Dutch favorites! Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Special focused nights are held Monday-Thursday. It’s an experience! Shady-maple.com. 

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