Colonial House Restaurant in Norwood, Massachusetts: the Ultimate Hidden
Neighborhood Townie Pub
The Colonial House Restaurant,
by Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on May 3, 2013. All photos by Eric unless
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Driving on a residential side street in Norwood,
Massachusetts feels like the last place you'd find a restaurant, but
that's what makes The Colonial House Restaurant a true hidden gem.
The Colonial House Restaurant -- once the Olde Colonial Cafe (now
located on Nahantan St.) and before that in the 1950s, an odd
combination of a biker
bar and barber shop -- fits seamlessly into the densely populated Savin
St. neighborhood as it looks like another house. The difference can be
seen, however, when walking to the door where the Olde Colonial Cafe,
"V.I.P. ENTRANCE" signs, a packed-to-capacity back parking lot, and the
amazing aromas of steak cooking
clearly revealing a thriving, beloved local restaurant "In the
That "In the Neighborhood" Slogan refers to a restaurant a great local
gathering place, well-known to locals and virtually unknown to those
outside the region. Rick "Miggy" McGowan owns this terrific pub, first
having startedout at age 14 as a dish washer in 1970
and working his way to prep cook, cook and bartender through 1986. He
left for many years to work in construction, but feeling a work calling
to "come back home," bought the restaurant and reopened it as The
Colonial House Restaurant in 2004. It's a dream-come-true for "Miggy,"
lifelong Norwood resident, who grew up in the neighborhood and still
lives within walking distance of his business.
With co-owners Jeannie McGowan (his wife) and family friend Joanne
Roof, McGowan has a restaurant that many locals call home when looking
to dine out. The comfort foods, extensive drink selection and cozy
atmosphere lend itself to the ultimate townie restaurant. Let's
take a look...
The V.I.P. sign at the front door helps make you feel welcome in the
The main dining room and bar with its wooden floor, post-and-beam
ceilings and old-fashioned wallpaper has an incredibly welcoming look...
What makes the main dining room and bar even better is the roaring
fireplace next to the "best seats in the house."
The back room
is especially popular with families and larger groups. Miggy's wife,
Jeannie, said "No televisions back here," as she wanted families
to talk with each other!
The middle room bridges the look and feel of the front and back dining
rooms with its cozy look and ample seating away from the bar...
But what would a cozy neighborhood restaurant be without great food and
drink? Well, it would just be a cozy restaurant, and hungry people
deserve more. The Colonial House offers excellent comfort foods. Let's
start off with a fried shrimp appetizer...
Comfort foods like steak tips and chicken/broccoli and ziti Alfredo,
along with a few drinks, fit in perfectly with the unpretentious
The bar pizza is delicious (cheese and sausage pictured below)...
Check out the extensive drinks selection in the background. Here Miggy
pours a drink...
Many locals don't have room for dessert, given the ample dinner
portions. For those who do, a hot fudge brownie sundae will satisfy the
On the way out, don't forget to see all the pictures lined up on the
wall including local charity and sports honors and events, as well as
this one of the Hanson Brothers -- the pugnacious hockey players in the
1977 Paul Newman classic movie Slapshot
-- who ate here many years ago after playing in a charity hockey game. Here, they express their
gratitude to Miggy...
Driving away after a great meal, I
take a last look at the Colonial House Restaurant and the neighborhood,
and can hardly wait to return soon!
Colonial House Restaurant is located at 33 Savin St. Norwood, Massachusetts. Tel. 781-762-3000.
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