Destination: Union Street Tavern in Historic Windsor, Connecticut’s First English Settlement
Posted on February 27, 2014
Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb
Union Street Tavern is an ever increasingly popular American-style eatery located in one of Windsor’s original firehouses in the heart of Connecticut’s oldest town – settled in 1633. Patrons can expect a line at peak hours but it tends to move quickly – this is a good time to take in the Windsor firefighter memorabilia that fill the walls, and the vintage decor including a beautiful, fine wood early 20th Century bar. There are two floors with the upper level overlooking the downstairs and there is an outdoor patio. Take notice too of the multiple “Best of Advocate” awards in the front lobby.
The restaurant has become known also for hosting the Tavern Trot each September to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, having raised thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research.
After the beloved Windsor House was demolished in the late 1990’s to make way for a chain pharmacy, Windsor Center had little to offer in the way of casual yet upscale dining.
“With the Windsor House gone, there was nothing,” Kevin Farley, part-owner and general manager of Union Street Tavern said during a recent interview.
That changed in 2006 when he and a group of friends/partners opened the tavern. The menu features steak, pasta, fresh seafood, sandwiches, wraps with a choice of One Alarm, Two Alarm or Three Alarm sauces, salads, appetizers such as potato encrusted crab cakes, an array of desserts from apple pie to the cheesecake of the moment and a raspberry white chocolate French delicacy plus specialty martinis, wines and beers.
What is the secret to Farley’s success – apparently a dash of irreverent humor.
“Keep it simple and stupid”
Pardon? Yes – “simple and stupid.”
To find out exactly what he means read his book – he plans to write one about his more than twenty years of experience as a restaurateur and the well, shall we say, interesting people he has encountered.
Basically, Farley says the success of Union Street Tavern comes down to a simple formula – good food and giving customers what they want, hiring the right staff and an atmosphere that people like.
“That’s the hardest job in the place,” he said, pointing to the hostess stand at the main entrance.
Mondays from 7-9 p.m. are open mic nights, on Sundays between 4-8 p.m. Kids Eat Free, one child under 12 per adult.
On March 15th Union Street Tavern will offer an early St. Paddy’s Day celebration kick-off for the 2014 Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The tavern will open for “breakfast and booze” at 9 a.m. that day so parade-goers can plan to board a train at the nearby Windsor station then head into the city.
Union Street Tavern is located on 20 Union Street, phone 860-683-2899, fax 860-683-1628 or go to unionstreettavern.com.
i have dined at “The Tavern” many times both for lunch and for dinner. I have never been disappointed.
Noreen, I absolutely agree and hats off to the owners for the good work they have done for Alex’s Lemonade Stand -Jackie