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Newark Life

The Stone Balloon Ale House: The playful re-imagination of Newark history

May 04, 2015 03:04PM ● By Steven Hoffman

So began Jeff Crossan's Weekly Post review of Bruce Springsteen's two-hour, electrifying performance at the Stone Balloon in August of 1974. The young rocker was only 24 years old at the time, and despite the fact the he had only two albums in his repertoire, he and the E Street Band were already proving themselves to be worthy of the vast critical praise that was written and said about them.

When he first opened the Stone Balloon in 1971, original owner Bill Stevenson had no idea what would eventually come out of the relatively small music venue, but over the course of the next few decades, the Stone Balloon became a proving ground and a landing spot for some of the greatest names in musical history. Ray Charles. Jimmy Cliff. Hall and Oates. Annie Lennox. Dave Matthews. Metallica. Bonnie Raitt. Warren Zevon.

After it was razed in 2006, the site of the original venue was eventually transformed into the Stone Balloon Winehouse, and then the 16 Mile Taproom. After purchasing the business last August, High Five Hospitality went about the hard work of resurrecting the memory of what thousands who attended shows at the Stone Balloon recall: being in the glorious center of live music so close to the soul that it was almost touchable. Over the course of the following pages, Newark Life brings you inside the beautiful Stone Balloon Ale House, which was opened this year. We unveil the way it honors its iconic past and celebrates its presence, as one of the most talked-about new restaurants in Delaware.

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