During my many years of traveling Pennsylvania, I’ve come across many roadside oddities in PA. However, few have been as strange as the giant Bedford Coffee Pot.
Officially known as the Koontz Coffee Pot, this roadside giant looks like something you’d expect to see along Route 66. Instead, it’s located in Bedford County in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania
This coffee pot really is giant. In fact, it’s 18 feet tall and 22 feet in diameter, making it big enough to hold over 800,000 cups of coffee!
It was originally built in 1927 by David Koontz, a local gas station owner. He constructed the coffee pot of brick and metal sheeting to attract travelers along Route 30 (also known as the Lincoln Highway) to stop at his gas station.
When it was originally built, the Koontz Coffee Pot was used as a small restaurant. In 1937, it became a bar and was attached to a hotel. It also served as a bus stop, but, rather interestingly, it was never a coffee shop.
In the 1980s, the Bedford Coffee Pot was officially closed and, by the 1990s, it was in bad shape and was nearly torn down.
Fortunately, the local community came together, along with the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (who runs the fantastic Lincoln Highway Experience in western PA) to save this incredible roadside oddity.
In 2004, the Bedford Coffee Pot was moved across Route 30 to the entrance of the Bedford County Fairgrounds. And, over the years, it has been beautifully restored.
How to Get to the Bedford Coffee Pot
The Bedford Coffee Pot is located west of downtown Bedford along Route 30 Business. If you are traveling along this busy roadway through southern PA, make sure to get off of the main route as you can’t see the coffee pot from the highway.
The Bedford Coffee Pot is located directly adjacent to the entrance of the fairgrounds at the following address: 108 Telegraph Rd, Bedford, PA 15522. (If you prefer coordinates, you can find it here: 40.022906, -78.517370.)
Since it is located at the entrance to the Bedford County Fairgrounds, visiting the Koontz Coffee Pot is very easy. Simply pull into the entrance and park off to the side of the road. Just make sure you don’t block the gate.
It should be noted, however, that visiting might be more difficult when events are happening at the fairgrounds, and you might not be able to park near the coffee pot.
The interior of the Bedford Coffee Pot is typically closed to the public. However, it is open during some of the fairground events.
That being said, from peering through the windows, there isn’t much to see inside the coffee pot. In fact, its primary purpose right now is as a gift shop.
Even though you usually can’t go inside, the Bedford Coffee Pot is still a great stop while traveling through Bedford County. In addition to being able to get a close look at this unusual site, there is also a sign outside that offers a bit more about the history of the coffee pot and the Bedford area.
So, the next time you find yourself driving through the Alleghenies Region on the Lincoln Highway, make sure to make a short detour to see the incredible Bedford Coffee Pot!