After much anticipation of the new ownership of this long time establishment.....
The location is fantastic for a local tavern. The downstairs has an old time beautiful wood bar with booths that capture your spirits the minute you step inside and are greated by the hostess. The new owners created some additional carpeted and brightly lit space upstairs with a 4 seat formica bar which does not offer the ambience of downstairs but does offer some upbeat music and a casual small dining area if you do not want to wait to be seated downstairs.
The updated menu is great with offerings of typical tavern food and a few upscale entrees and appetizers as well. However, some of the food quality is very disappointing and a bit pricey compared to most taverns. The fish and chips were the biggest let down. Chewy, floury breading and stinky ammonia smelling fish, served with standard french fries for $14.50. After eating fish and chips at well over 100 establishments, this is the only time I actually could not eat the fish (2 sticks). I decided to just eat the fries after a few bad bites of the fish, but had to give the waiter back the ketchup for him to give to another table. This is after having to ask for it in the first place. The malt vinegar was not served either.
This was my second visit. The veggie burger was really a curry rice cake which is described yet more ricey than expected. A grain burger would better describe it. The mussels were decent, a bit chewy but fairly good and the crab cake dish was also tasty. Friends enjoyed the french onion soup, a salad and lamp chops.
Again, the prices are a bit steep for a tavern. A draft beer was $4.50 which is reasonable but a glass of their house wine was $9.00 per glass. So, a basic meal for two people is in the $50.00 range compared to most of the other local taverns that come in around $35.00.
The establishment looks like the type of place you really want to hang out at. However, I do draw the line when the food is bad, as in rotten. For a Saturday night with a busy crowd, there is no excuse for bad fish. This could be due to the new owners inexperience in managing a restaurant and I hope they turn things around. It has great potential.