By Lettie Stratton
The word “tavern” often brings to mind a boisterous pub or bar scene, but Pat Hicks, owner of the new Town Tavern in Shelburne, says that traditionally, a tavern signifies a meeting place—and that’s what he’s created on Shelburne Road in the space that used to house the Flatbread Factory and Taproom.
Hicks opened the Tavern at the end of August. “We really just turned on the lights,” he says. Hicks and his crew spent long hours fixing up the building and getting everything up to code. “We wanted to do things right,” he noted.
Originally from Detroit, Mich., Hicks is a Shelburne resident who has lived in the area for 15 years. He was the general manager at Sweetwaters in Burlington for eight years and comes from a background of restaurant/bar work, management, and ownership. So why open a restaurant on Shelburne Road? “I wanted to get back to my roots,” Hicks says. “I figured it was worth a shot!”
Hicks says his idea for the Town Tavern sprang from a desire to reach out to the neighborhood and really be a part of it. He describes the food as “eclectic tavern fare,” mentioning the “turkey bogger” (a turkey burger with brie and cranberry compote on a ciabatta roll), the mussels appetizer, paninis, salads, steak, and pub penne as some of the post popular dishes. “People love the food and the service,” Hicks says, “and I couldn’t be happier with my staff.”
Diners should keep their eyes open for “Menu 2.0,” as Hicks puts it, which will be rolling out soon and feature barbeque mango nachos, a pork entrée with mango salsa, and much more. The Town Tavern also does a ten-dollar burger and beer night on Thursdays.
The Tavern, a 50-seat establishment, features bar seating with three TVs – so patrons can watch the game. The screens have a presence but aren’t overwhelming like in a sports bar. “I wanted to provide a place where people can have casual conversation with good food and good drink,” Hicks says. He is starting to see “regulars” come in and enjoys spending time at the restaurant with his daughter, who is in sixth grade. “It’s fun,” Hicks says, “and we’ll stay open as long as there’s business!”
Be sure to visit the Town Tavern at 2989 Shelburne Road from 5-9 pm Sunday-Wednesday and 5-10 pm Thursday-Saturday.