Positioned along the banks of the Delaware River, Phillipsburg is the largest town in Warren County, New Jersey.  Like many towns in the Lehigh Valley, Phillipsburg was settled by Native Americans in the mid-1600s, but growth came slowly – there were 30 homes in 1820 and only 50 in 1847 – and the town wasn’t officially incorporated until March of 1861.  By 1870 the population had grown to nearly 6,000, largely a result of the New Jersey Central Railroad extending its rails to Phillipsburg.  Today Phillipsburg is home to 15,000 residents and is working hard to rebound in the post-industrial revolution world.  There are 2 bridges over the Delaware River connecting Phillipsburg with the town of Easton which covers roughly the same square footage and has a population of 40,000 people.  “We are really one community separated by a river and a bridge; we go over there, they come over here,” says J. Michael Dowd, Vice President of Phillipsburg Initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.  According to Dowd “together Phillipsburg and Easton are a better economic engine than we would be separately; we’re partners.”

Much like Bethlehem Steel shaped Bethlehem’s economy, Ingersoll Rand shaped Phillipsburg’s.  Employing nearly 4,000 people at its peak, the global manufacturer provided well-paying jobs with great benefits to many Phillipsburg residents.  In addition, Ingersoll Rand was an outstanding community partner and was a large contributor to Phillipsburg’s tax base.  When the company shut-down its Phillipsburg operations in the 1980s, the jobs – as well as the tax dollars – were lost.  Most of the residents remained, but now work elsewhere.  Phillipsburg faces the same challenge as many older cities:  with little availability for new development, the need to repurpose and renovate existing sites has become a priority.  For Phillipsburg Mayor Harry L. Wyant purchasing the former Ingersoll Rand site is a priority.  “We are trying to purchase the land and hope to market it to developers and individuals. Once the town owns the property, we can
control who and what goes into the space and the price they’ll pay for it,” says Wyant. The town will look for a redevelopment partner once a deal is complete.

Other smaller employers in the area remain strong including manufacturer and supplier of ductile iron pipe Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe, and Avantor Performance Materials, which is the present day incarnation of Mallinckrodt Company and J.T. Baker Company.  The Mayor and members of the Chamber of Commerce are enthusiastic about the recent acquisition of Warren Hospital by St. Luke’s University Health Network. St. Luke’s has a reputation for being a wonderful community partner in each of the markets it serves and the hospital plans to construct a new intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Warren Hospital.  According to Mike Dowd, “the hospital is looking to spend millions of dollars in expansion which will employ architects, engineers and construction workers, as well as additional healthcare providers.”  The economic benefit of additional jobs, coupled with the availability of high quality health care, will contribute to Phillipsburg’s appeal as a desirable place to live and work.  This same premise holds true with the highly anticipated construction of a new high school.  Mayor Wyant is hesitant to comment on a start date for the project but is now more optimistic about the project coming to fruition than he has been in prior years.

The Phillipsburg Downtown Association, in conjunction with the Phillipsburg Council of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, has developed a large and varied calendar of events to attract residents and visitors downtown.  On tap this summer is the Ole Towne Festival July 20 – July 22, Movies in the Park every Thursday night from July 19 to Augusts 23 in Shappell Park and a farmers’ market is also in the works.  Another downtown favorite is “Cruise Night at Joe’s Steak Shop” – Every Tuesday from now through October classic cars, bikes and more are on display from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the popular South Main Street eatery.

One of the largest attractions in Phillipsburg continues to be the rail excursion trips run by Delaware River Railroad Excursions. In addition to the ever-popular ”Day Out With Thomas” excursion, a 25-minute ride with a full size Thomas the Tank Engine™, there is also a Winery Train excursion which combines a steam train ride along the Delaware with a tour of nearby Villa Milagro Vineyards.  But the largest attraction remains “The Polar Express.” Between 60,000 and 80,000 riders come from all over the Northeast  to participate in this holiday tradition. Once on the train, guests will re-live the experience of the boy in The Polar Express©, written by Chris Van Allsburg.  Hot chocolate and cookies are served and children are encouraged to come wearing pajamas. Each child receives a bell from Santa because, according to the story, only those who believe can hear the sound of Santa’s sleigh bell.

With redevelopment on the horizon, a downtown with diverse shops, restaurants and events and the beautiful backdrop of the Delaware River, Phillipsburg awaits you, just across the bridge.


Situated on S. Main Street along the Delaware River, Café Verde is a family owned and operated BYOB riverside café with a Mexican flare.  The breakfast menu includes spicy Huevos Rancheros among its egg offerings as well as a variety of omelets, French toast and pancakes. The lunch menu is comprised of a large selection of burritos, tacos, wraps, salads and sandwiches along with burgers, soup and chili. The variety of options continues with dinner selections of fish, chicken and steak as well as authentic fajitas.  Wednesday through Saturday, breakfast and lunch are served 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and dinner is served beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Café Verde is also open for breakfast Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Special tasting dinners, which require reservations, are offered twice a month to showcase unique flavors for the adventurous diner.  In addition to hosting small private parties at the restaurant, Café Verde provides offsite catering.  60 S. Main Street, Phillipsburg, 908-454-7477,


Orange Cognac Truffles. Chipotle Chocolates. Espresso Delights.  Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Nonpareils.  This is just a small sample of the handmade delicate treats available at Antoinette Chocolatier.  Each piece of chocolate is lovingly designed and created by owner Antoinette Little and is covered in rich chocolate.  Housed in a renovated building along S. Main Street, Antoinette’s is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. but you can place orders – for yourself or for gifts – online as well.  For the earnest chocolate enthusiast, Antoinette’s offers technique classes which include demonstrations and hands on experience in tempering chocolate, truffle making and creating filled chocolates and almond butter crunch.  Private lessons are also available.  87 S. Main Street, Phillipsburg, 908-859-4545,

A little more than 10 years ago Deborah Moser began selling women’s accessories online from her home.  Today her business, Luxury Diva, sells men’s and women’s clothing and footwear, jewelry, handbags, scarves and more on major online sites including Amazon, eBay, Google and  In addition to the warehouse and distribution center housed in a former car dealership, Luxury Diva also has a boutique at its Morris Street location. Complete with floor-to-ceiling windows the dealership showroom was the perfect venue to add a retail outlet.  Now fitted out with crystal chandeliers and beautiful flowers at the entrance, Luxury Diva offers high fashion clothing, formal attire and accessories at reasonable prices.  New inventory is available weekly – online and at the boutique.  333 Morris Street, Phillipsburg, 908-387-0707,


Harry L. Wyant
Mayor of Phillipsburg

J. Michael Dowd
Vice President, Phillipsburg Initiatives
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

Meg Dowd
Coordinator, Phillipsburg & Easton Initiatives
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

Frank Complitano
Luxury Divas Corp.

Images of America, Phillipsburg, Dr. Leonard Buscemi, Sr., Arcadia Publishing, 2001

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