It may be far different from the food and drink tavern patrons enjoyed in the 1700s, but the reborn Towson Tavern is aiming for a new take on a classy concept.
The tavern will host a soft opening on New Year's Eve, with free samples of the menu, and will open officially with its new menu on Tuesday, owner Brian Recher said.
"We're not finished yet, but come on in," said Recher, who co-owns the and Rec Room with brothers Steve and Scott. "It's looking great."
The stone, wood and brick interior, along with not-yet-installed pictures from Towson's and Baltimore's past, give off a classic vibe similar to the or
The Towson Tavern is that stood roughly where is now, back when Towson was still in its infancy.
That tavern closed in the early 1800s and later became an inn. The building was demolished in 1929. The new tavern is located in what once housed the Rec Room's pool tables.
The bar is nearly fully-stocked and includes some local brews, including Heavy Seas Gold Ale on draft, Resurrection Ale in cans and Heavy Seas Loose Cannon in bottles.
Recher is also bringing the Rec Room's house brew, Little Tavern Ale (produced by Anheuser-Busch), to the tavern as the Towson Tavern Ale.
Daniel Henry, the tavern's executive chef, will launch a light fare menu when the restaurant opens for full service next week. The menu includes house-smoked pork dumplings, black truffle sea salt popcorn, a black truffle and cheddar panini and pork lollipops with a Porcini reduction. Prices range from $4 to $12.
Henry said he plans to use some local and regional ingredients—"whatever we can get our hands on."
But the menu—to be changed seasonally—will really kick into gear when the tavern gets a kitchen of its own (until then, it will share the Rec Room kitchen). Recher said he plans to build the kitchen next door, in the former rug store on Shealy Avenue.
Henry, a Homeland resident who most recently served as executive chef at The Capital Grille in Baltimore, is excited to bring local flavor and new tastes to Towson.
"You go over to the mall and everything's a chain," he said. "We think we're really going to offer stuff that Towson doesn't have."