If all goes to plan, Doug Smith will finally open his remodeled and revised version of Tom’s Tavern a year after it closed. Smith hopes to open the new Tavern at Wrentham in March. The opening date depends on the weather and the completion of the new septic system.
Tom’s Tavern closed in March 2009 and was soon auctioned off. Smith was the high bidder purchasing both the land and the building for $342,000. Nearly a year later, the doors are preparing to reopen and the new place will be familiar to many of its old patrons, but there will be plenty of changes as well. According to Smith, the inside has been gutted allowing him to triple the size of the bar area. He also made the dining room a little smaller but doubled the size of the kitchen. “The pool room is going to be a temporary dining area,” Smith explained. “We’re hoping the patio can be rebuilt” and made into a dining area so the pool area can return.
The menu will offer many of the old entrees thanks, in part, to the return of Ryan “Bundy” Marshall, a long time Tom’s Tavern chef. There will be an emphasis on seafood. “There is a need in this area for seafood,” Smith says. “We’re all New Englanders and we love seafood. So we thought we would stay with the theme that was originally done by Tom. “ In addition, there will be more pub food and pizza. Smith owns Pizzeria Grande on Washington Street in Walpole.
The new Tavern will offer a delivery service for most of its menu items. “I think that Wrentham will enjoy that one,” he says. “There’s not a lot of delivery service around.”
In addition to Marshall’s return, Smith has retained Joanne “JoJo” Parker to work back at the bar and newcomer Anne Darling will be the floor manager.
The opening of the Tavern has taken longer than planned thanks in large part to a new septic system, which Smith says is basically a mini-sewage treatment facility that is required by state regulations for commercial restaurant properties. The new system was required since the property failed Title 5. As long as there are not too many weather delays, the new Tavern will open in mid-March.