Bank on having an unusual dining experience in Spring Mills.
At the Water Street Grill, patrons eat inside the open vault of the former First National Bank. The 10-by-10-foot room seats eight — most of the time. “But people have forced 10 inside because they like to sit in here,” owner Dan Schleiden says.
Few can resist marveling at the massive steel door’s inner tumblers and locks, encased in thick glass. Schleiden also kept the bank’s name over the front entrance, above the old after-hours deposit box. If not in the vault, diners sit under 15-foot ceilings, arched Palladian windows and replica art deco chandeliers.
In 2008, Centre County Historical Society gave a historic preservation award to Schleiden for his work on the 1925 building at 118 Water St. Schleiden’s menu features burgers, sandwiches, steaks, seafood and pizza, and specials such as lamb with honey mustard sauce. Customers may bring their own libations, but a glass costs $1.
Weekend breakfasts are served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; evening hours are usually 4 to 9 p.m. “But the thing is,” Schleiden says, “if there are people coming into the door, I don’t close.”