Union Beer House has completed its move to the former Country Cupboard building on West Cumberland Street/Route 422, just a mile away from its previous location, bringing an end to a two-year project and opening a new chapter in the business’ history.

The entrance to Union Beer House, now located at 2631 W. Cumberland St. The indoor beer garden had a soft opening last week. (LebTown)

Owner-operator Makara “Mak” Mam first checked out the building over Labor Day Weekend in 2021 and said that things happened quickly from there – at first. The deal was closed by Thanksgiving of that year with the property purchased for $580,000.

Originally Mam had planned for Union Beer House to move last summer, but complications with the contractor caused the timeline to get pushed back.

Read More:

Mam, a 1995 A-C graduate, said that Country Cupboard was a spot he knew growing up and that when he saw it go on the market, he felt it was a golden opportunity.

Union Beer House owner-operator Makara “Mak” Mam shows off beer storage in the back/employees-only area of the new space. The beer house relocated from its former location in the Country Garden shopping complex in North Cornwall Township to the former Country Cupboard building in North Lebanon Township.

When LebTown stopped by on Thursday, it happened to be the first soft opening day for the new location. Mam said he invited close customers of ours to come out and test the waters, so that he and his team could see how the flow works and get used to the new location.

Kegs used for Union Beer House’s tap system in a refrigerated space. According to owner-operator Makara “Mak” Mam, the 70-foot tap lines are the longest vendor J&T Wagner has installed at a business.

Mam said that the biggest change is the additional space – he’s kept the same point of sale system, the same beers, and of course, the same cheesesteaks. Mam said that he plans to expand the menu and add daily specials, and will also be making Union Beer House fare available through online delivery apps.

Draft beers on tap at Union Beer House.

Because Mam is now the owner of the building, compared to being a leaser at the previous location, he’s been able to do everything he wanted to do with the kitchen, describing it as an open canvas. Mam estimated that the new location has up to five times as much kitchen and freezer space.

Although the kitchen wasn’t yet open on Thursday, it is expected to be open this week following a “new business” food safety inspection that was scheduled for Friday. Mam said he expects the new location will open Union Beer House up to a new clientele with its expanded parking and seating, whether that’s to grab dinner on the way home for work, watch a sports game, or just hang out.

Seating space inside Union Beer House’s new location in North Lebanon Township.

Mam said that he hopes residents of North Lebanon Township welcome Union Beer House and use it as a place to come hang out and congregate. Mam noted that a Facebook post on Sunday, April 2, teasing the opening got a big reaction, and that he wanted to be ready for an influx of patrons once the grand opening announcement was made.

Mam said that he expanded his headcount from five to seven employees to help handle the additional space and kitchen capacity. In the future, they might bring in employees to handle table service, but they’ll be figuring that out as they go. Mam said that he’s in it for the long-haul and will make adjustments as they go.

Union Beer House owner-operator Makara “Mak” Mam speaks with a couple of patrons during a soft opening on Thursday, April 6. The indoor beer garden is expected to officially open to the public this week.

Mam said that the new location has pretty much the same everything – same beer suppliers, same food suppliers, same employees. Union Beer House’s new location does have a very distinct look compared to its former one. Mam said he wanted the outside to have a gun metal finish.

“We crossed our fingers that it was gonna work out,” said Mam. “At the end of the day, after they finished everything, we feel like our vision came through.”

Outside view of Union Beer House, showing the “gun metal” finish for the former Country Cupboard building. If you’re expecting to see a deli case or any other remnant of Country Cupboard when you stop by – prepare to be disappointed.

Union Beer House’s last day in its former location at the Country Garden was March 26. Mam and his team then proceeded to move everything – all their 24 fridges of beer as well as kitchen equipment – the mile down Route 422 to the new digs.

Mam said his employees put in 8- to 10-hour days to make the move a success.

Refrigerated beer cases inside Union Beer House.
Wine and specialty beers available for sale inside Union Beer House. A TouchTunes jukebox can be seen towards right.
Alcoholic slushies available at Union Beer House.

Along the way, Mam had to adapt earlier plans to subdivide the building and offer a separate retail space. Mam said that township parking requirements prevented that possibility and, for now, the space is being used for storage. Mam hopes that in the future, it might be reutilized as a game room with pinball and arcade games, perhaps including crowd favorites like NBA Jam, Mortal Combat, and Big Buck Hunter.

Mam said the planning holdup might be a blessing in disguise, because he’s excited about the new game room plan.

Originally, this space in the new Union Beer House was going to be subdivided, but planning hurdles with the number of parking spots at the property prevented that possibility. Instead, Union Beer House hopes to convert it at some point into a game room for beer garden patrons.
An exterior view of the new Union Beer House. Originally, the space towards left was going to be used as a separate retail space, but planning hurdles prevented that and instead it’s now being used for storage. With township permission in the future, the space might be reutilized as a game room.

For at least the first month or two, Union Beer House will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Mam said that he might adjust in the future to be closed on Tuesdays.

“I have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old at home, so they barely saw me with these past two weeks moving in here, so I want to make sure I find time to be with them,” he said.

For more information about Union Beer House, find the beer garden on Facebook.

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Support local journalism.

Cancel anytime.


🌟 Annual

Already a member? Login here

Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Leave a comment

Your email address will be kept private.