Consider the Patriot Tavern in Walpole, Massachusetts the
restaurant version of the comeback player of the year.
VisitingNewEngland/Patriot Tavern Business Partnership - Local Small Business Stories
Patriot Tavern: Fantastic Food, Cozy Home-Like Atmosphere in
Tavern, Walpole , Massachusetts.
Article and photos, unless otherwise noted, by Eric Hurwitz. Updated 12/3/2018.
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The Patriot Tavern recently completed an ambitious renovation project
with a talented local carpenter and crew working with
the skill and craft of what you would see on HGTV, and a new husband
and wife management team (Nora and Steven Hixon) that helped turn this
former dive into a real restaurant with a terrific menu. Before the older and newer versions of the Patriot Tavern, Karol's Cafe took up residence for
many years with its dive look and the famous Krueger Ale sign. Look at
the difference between then and now...
Karol's Cafe, Walpole. Photo credit: Larry Cultrera, DinerHotline.com.
The renovated Patriot Tavern in 2017. Photo source: Patriot Tavern web site.
Amazing transformation, eh? All of a sudden, word-of-mouth brought
crowds to the new Patriot Tavern
with the main parking lot often full and cars parked along Route
1A and Bullard Road. It's almost like the Patriot Tavern became a go-to
place overnight. A crowded restaurant parking lot is often the sign of
a great restaurant, as a wise old uncle once told me! That ultimately
translates to a busy restaurant where locals come together in a place
that feels like someone's cozy living room...
Patriot Tavern bar and dining room area. Photo credit: Patriot Tavern web site.
"What makes it special to me and Nora is the customers and staff,
seeing some of the same people and new ones ,and then really trying to
go out and exceed expectations," said Steve. "Then I get from the guest
that smile. That smile is when you know you hit a home run on a special
drink or meal."
It's easy to see why locals and those from outside the area have been
frequenting the Patriot Tavern: The refreshed bar and new dining room
have a cozy feel, a beautiful new outdoor patio is perfect for
leisurely summer dining, and the lunch and dinner menus deliver local
that also happen to taste delicious. That includes New England clam
chowder, wings, burgers, roast turkey dinner, steak tips, pot roast,
the "Mile High Meatloaf," haddock and fresh local salmon.
Steven is very happy with the menu options while he constantly updates seasonally.
"We change the menu three times a year," said Steven. "The focus is and
always will be on comfort food with heart. During the summer, the menu
is heavier with seafood. The fall menu is filled with seasonal delights
like fried pumpkin ravioli. Coming in March, we will roll out short rib
pot pie with cornbread crust."
True to tavern form, the
offers an impressive drinks list and televisions to enjoy the games.
The Patriot Tavern also goes beyond the normal tavern scene, as they
recently started to serve breakfast on the weekends -- and with crowds
that rival lunch and dinner time.
Burger with cheese, fresh tomato and lettuce with fries on the side from the Patriot Tavern.
The Patriot Tavern almost feels like dining at a friend or family's
home -- maybe that's because the restaurant is located in a historic
house (probably built in the 1890s) that has a quaint New England vibe. Like a modest older
residential New England home, it's small but welcoming and inviting.
The Hixons and a friendly, local wait and bar staff help make it that
way. The staircase (no dining upstairs, though), hardwood floors,
and a respect for keeping the innate architectural charm of the place
intact lend a wonderful feel -- the ultimate neighborhood bar and
restaurant, if you will.
Dining room at the Patriot Tavern, Walpole, Mass. Photo source: Patriot Tavern web site.
For many locals, the Patriot Tavern couldn't have come soon enough.
"Patriot Tavern is warm and welcoming!" said Christine Fanciullo
Sheedy, a Walpole resident."Having lived in the neighborhood for 20
years, I couldn't’ wait for it to open. Not only is the atmosphere warm
and welcoming, (but) the staff, and owners make you feel like family. They
get to know you personally, greet you, and continue to serve the
There's ultimately something so
nice about dining out in a home instead of just a building.
While New England in nature, the Patriot Tavern almost
reminds me of those wonderful rural roadside taverns in the
Adirondack Mountains of New York -- that is, an unpretentious
small town tavern discovery where you can sit down for a drink and food
that goes beyond expectations.
"It is like a second home," said Pam Driscoll, of Walpole. "Steve and
Nora go out of their way to accommodate all our different needs whether
it be advice on a new drink, or an addition to the menu. It is a
reprieve from every day life. Even our kids have been begging to come
to burger night with us to gather and laugh and just be together to
start the work week."
It's nice to see the Patriot Tavern finally deliver upon
its promise. In the past, locals were curious about the Patriot Tavern
-- as so many people love discovering a good roadside restaurant -- but
never stepped into the place because of the dive factor and lack of
menu. In reality, the past version of the Patriot Tavern was
respectable and run well, but most people need more than just a place
"Comfortable, great staff, cozy atmosphere, good food, easy access,"
said Carol Sandahl, of Walpole. "We just love the place. We keep
introducing friends to the tavern, and they take their friends."
Lina Lencioni, also of Walpole, added, "We were there this past
weekend. Nice atmosphere and the food was delicious -- loved my burger
with balsamic drizzle and bleu cheese crumbles!"
Isn't word of mouth in a small town a beautiful thing? The time has
finally arrived for a beautiful, cozy full service restaurant at 100
Main St. that is
also welcoming to families. If in the Walpole area (18 miles southwest
of Boston), I would
certainly recommend the Patriot Tavern to anyone looking for excellent
comfort foods and drinks!
The Patriot Tavern is located at 100 Main Street,
Walpole MA. Tel.
Also, log onto the Patriot Tavern
Facebook Page and Patriot Tavern Twitter Page for more information.
If you enjoyed this story on the Patriot Tavern, please share the graphic below on Pinterest. Thanks!
Editor's note: VisitingNewEngland business partnerships started on Jan.
30, 2017, and differ than feature articles previously posted on
VisitingNewEngland. Businesses pay a small, one-time fee to have pages
like this appear, and first must be accepted by VisitingNewEngland.com
editor and publisher, Eric Hurwitz, as a business he approves as part
of "real New england travel" to keep the integrity of the site.
Businesses that sign up for business partnerships receive priority by
receiving more social media exposure and link placement on
VisitingNewEngland.com. Contact me if interested in forming a business
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