The Tavern on the Square

A blog that comes from the heart of a wonderful little restaurant in a beautiful little town of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. 724-946-2020 We are a Casual Fine Dining Establishment with amazing food, reasonable prices, great service in a delightful atmosphere. Come visit us soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to school!

The Tavern on the Square Family would like to offer our prayers to all you moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas and to YOU students and Teachers. We pray that you have a year filled with hope and love, knowledge and wisdom, strength and endurance! May the Lord bless you with HIS love and wisdom and strength! May he lead you with His guidance! Go out and make a difference in our world!
Blessings upon Blessings, Susan

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." Mother Teresa

Monday, August 24, 2009

God is doing AMAZING things at the Tavern!

I am dancing for Joy this morning! My heart is flipping and flopping and having a party inside of me today. It's boogying...singing..rejoicing..laughing..yeah..I Do get that excited ! That is really how I feel at this moment.
Do you want to know why? : ) Well here's the story...

When we first opened the Tavern (about 7 months ago) we hired a new crew! One of the young men we hired to cook for us is named Joe. Joe is from New Castle. I believe his is 20 years old. He was a rough kind of kid...swearing..talking about drinking and partying alot..and women....oh my..he had lots of stories to tell about women. His parents are divorced. Joe lived with his Dad in Las Vegas for a while, and his mom in New Castle some of the time. I could tell right away that Joe was a sweet kid. He has a heart of gold. He'd always ask if I needed help, he'd carry things in for me, when I'd ask him to stop swearing, he did. He was very respectful of me, which I appreciate very much in an employee.
Within the first week of hiring Joe, I knew that God wanted Joe. I knew that JOe was something special and God was going to use Joe to do things for him. I can't expain it, except to say that I knew God wanted Joe.
God is such a huge part of my life, so of course He gets talked about often at work. So I asked Joe, "Do you believe in God?" He said that he was Agnostic, and I don't know if he really knew what that meant, but he said He didn't believe in just one God. I said, "Oh man..that's too bad, because Joe, I really think God wants you."
(I was a bold thing to say, but I knew it was true, and it just felt right for me to say it.)

I can't remember what Joe wasn't anything disrespectful...but something, "Everybody wants me Sue." That's Joe : )

He's really funny too!

So..days go by and I'm starting to really like this kid. He's so sweet. I'm still feeling the pull...I know it in my heart, God wants him.
A few days later..Joe asked me a few questions. I answered them and then I said Joe, I really want to see you in heaven with me. I like you alot, and I care about you. I want you to go to heaven when I go. I want you to be there with me.

That same day, Joe's mom called at the Tavern and asked to talk to me.
Me? I didn't know Joe's mom. I had never met her.
I answered the phone,"hello?" She told me that Joe really, really liked and respected me. She said that she had some bad news to tell Joe and she needed me to support him until her husband (Joe's step dad) could get there to pick him up.
Joe's dad had a heart attack and was on life support and going to die. Someone found him in his apartment in Las Vegas and it was too late to save him.
She told me that her husband would be there in 20 minutes to pick Joe up and tell him the news. heart hurt so badly. It was so heavy, I felt as though I couldn't carry it. Oh no. I loved little Joe. I didn't want to see him hurt. He loved his dad so much. He talked about him all of the time. He missed him. Oh no..
It was a horrible 20 minutes.
Joe's stepdad came. I told Joe that he was here and Joe immediately looked scared.
His stepdad took him out back and I heard one of those screams that you pray you never have to hear. Those wild animal, gutteral, hurting screams. Oh, it hurt so deeply. Joe came in with a face full of tears and pain and I sat him down on the steps and we just cried together. I held him and he cried and cried and shook and I just kept rubbing his head and telling him that it would be okay. I promised him that it would be okay. I told him to go and be with his mom and sisters, and just take one step at a time, because truly, having been through it, that's all you can do. Just take one step, just get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day. You just think about the next only see what's now, what's right in front of you.. that's how you cope. You do what you have to do next. You go through it. Right? Is that your experience too? That was mine.
So Joe flew to Vegas, and he said goodbye to his dad and buried him. Having lost my dad too, I know how painful it is.

Joe came back a week later, and he started working again. We started talking again. Not much though... just little things.

Along came Megan and Mandy. Megan and Mandy are two young Christian girls that we hired for the summer. Megan and Mandy are two ADORABLE young women. I told them how I felt God wanted Joe to accept Christ as His Savior and they felt the same way. So they started telling Joe little Bible stories everday. The kind of stories you'd tell small know...Jonah and the Whale, Noah and the Ark, Daniel and the Lion's Den etc.. and He loved them! It was so cute...the girls would go home at night and find a story to tell Joe and Joe would come to work and say.."hey, what's my story today!?" I loved it!!

Megan bought Joe a Bible and a devotions book That was AMAZING to me! Way to Go Megan! She thought Joe should have them.

Mandy invited Joe to go to church with her. Guess what? He went! We couldn't believe it. He's not from the same kind of background as Mandy..he never had been to a non catholic church before. Ha ha!! He went!!!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! Isn't that awesome.?!!! Way to Go Mandy!!!

But guess what? That's not the end of the story.'s not.

Yesterday (August 23rd) we had a Tavern picnic! It was the end of summer back to school picnic for our team! We love getting together and having fun. Yesterday, we were all sitting around the campfire and Joe came up to me and said, out loud in front of everyone.. "Sue, I got saved today. I'm a Christian."

HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I nearly fell of my chair. I jumped up! I hugged him. HA!!! I wanted to dance with him!! Oh Joe.. Oh...YES!! Oh Joe, I AM going to see you in heaven now!! I knew God wanted you!! I knew it!!! He said, "I know."

He was so happy and filled with Joy. Oh Joe..Oh Lord...Oh my Lord and Savior, who is now Joe's Lord and Savior... Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For all you do, all you give, all of your amazing and never ending love. Oh, How I love you.

Joe.. my sweet baby Joe.. Welcome to the Kingdom of God! The angels through a party yesterday in honor of you!

That is why I am here at this restaurant. Yes..we love to cook and serve good food. We love to bring a good restaurant to the community for others to enjoy. But my heart... where it truly to share the Love of Jesus Christ with everyone I can. It's like knowing a secret and wanting everybody else to get to know the secret to amazing joy too.


That's now the contentment that I feel after sharing this story and just sitting here with my computer on my lap, praising and Thanking God for just being God..nothing more today..for who He is. I love Him so much.
Oh, I really do!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Next Friday The Tavern on the Square will host four culinary writers for lunch. How exciting is that? Joanne McBride (A lovely lady whom I admire greatly!)from the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion agency called today and asked if we would welcome these four men and women to the Tavern! We will welcome them with open arms, warm smiles, and delicious food! These are the four writers who will dine at the Tavern next Friday:
Marlene Fanta Shyer - Mature Life Features, assignment covers Destination, culinary, history and culture, which will appears within 15 months.. Mature Life Features, San Diego, is written for the 40+ year old population. She also writes for Passport, a GBLT pub.

Deborah Grossman - National Culinary Review. Angle of article is culinary and beverage scene in Pittsburgh & Its Countryside, including food and beverage products and the diversity of dining experiences. Story to run Q1 2010.

Mary Medland -, premiere web travel e-zine, which publishes travel and travel-related articles.

Tim Wassberg - is broadcasted to 200 college campuses through Zilo Networks the show is now in its 10th season and reaches over 5 million students.

You know.. How can I give enough thanksgiving for the blessings that have come our way? Thank you..Thank you..Thank you.. ALL OF YOU..and most of all my Lord, thank you for allowing us this opportunity to serve this community with love, grace, fine food, inspiration and encouragement! We are blessed, Susan

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We're collecting Tavern Memoralbilia!

Friends of the Tavern,
We are now gathering together pictures, articles, postcards, stories, and any other Tavern Memoralbilia. We would like photographs of events, parties, dinners anything you have in your collection for a book we are going to put together about the History of the Tavern. If you have any old newspaper articles, or pictures of people who worked at the Tavern, or recipes, make a copy and bring them into us! Every single day someone comes into the Tavern and asks about it's history! I want to put it all together into a book for people to enjoy. The Tavern is a place where many people have made memories! Thank you!! You can bring them to me personally at the Tavern or you can mail them to us. Our address is 108 North Market Street, New WIlmington, Pa 16142 We so appreciate the time and effort it will take to find these items for us! Thank you so very much! WOOHOO! This is going to be fun!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I get to meet many people that eat at my restaurant. I love meeting new people. I love greeting them and smiling at them. I love getting to know them and hugging them and learning about their lives. I love to give love and to receive it too! Don't we all?
One woman that I got to know and love is named Ruth.
Ruth and her husband Tom, came into my restaurant one afternoon and asked for a meal that wasn't microwaved. They have never owned a microwave and believe that is harmful for them to eat any food cooked in a microwave.
Now..just think how much YOU use your microwave. We use it a lot! We warm up the sticky rolls, soup if it's cold, we melt hot fudge, we warm up hamloaf, etc...

But not everything is we came up with a good meal for Tom and Ruth that was microwave free! Tom and Ruth loved it!
They came in again a few days later. They found something else, and Joe cooked their meal for them and made sure there were no microwaves involved.
Again and again...It was fun, because we'd do things differently, and it took a little longer, but we knew how happy we were making Tom and Ruth, and it became a pleasure to do this for the sweet couple. We'd stick desserts under warming lamps, we'd turn the oven on...anything we could do to honor these requests!
Ruth and Tom came in so often, they were known by all my servers. They asked each server's name, and would write something kind about them in their journals. They would tell me how special each server was. The servers began to love when Tom and Ruth came in.
Ruth has trouble walking up stairs, so she'd have to use the bathroom through the kitchen. We'd lead her to the bathroom, but she came in so often, soon she'd just get up and walk through the kitchen herself..without even asking! Ha! I loved that! It was like she was part of our family!
Ruth started asking the kitchen crew their names. She'd thank them for doing such a good job cooking their meal that evening. She'd tell them how good it tasted. They beamed from that! My kitchen doesn't get to hear customers responses to often! THe servers do...but the cooks who make the food, don't get praised nearly enough! *I will have to remember to do that even more often!!*
SO Ruth would say hello to the kitchen crew..even the dishwasher and thank them. Soon, the kitchen crew got to know Ruth! If one of them was off for the night, the next time Ruth came in she'd say, "Where were you Pam? I was here and you weren't!" Pam would laugh and say, "I can't believe she noticed I wasn't here!"
Ruth and Tom are AMAZING people! They are so full of love, it makes my heart swell just to write their names and think about them.
Last night were Ruth and Tom's last visit to our restaurant. They are moving to Tennessee. They are getting older and can no longer live on the farm that they lived on for a long time. They needed a smaller house where Ruth could get around better.
Ruth and Tom brought along the family that bought their house, in last night for dinner. They are hoping the family will continue the tradition of coming to the Tavern for meals, just like they did. They wanted to pass their beautiful tradition on...
I got Ruth's new address and I promised I'd write to her and Tom. I'm going to get a card and have all of the Tavern Family sign it and write something special on it!
I love you Ruth and Tom. In the short time we got to know you, you impacted our lives. You made it a point to make each person at the Tavern feel loved and made everyone feel appreciated! You are AMAZING Ruth! I hope I can be like you. You touched my life! You showed Jesus to other people! That's Christ's love you have inside of and I both know that!
I will always remember you! God will follow you to Tennessee *or perhaps you're following GOd to Tennessee..but you know He is all you need and He is with you wherever you go!* I love you, Susan

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Our first Food Critic Review!!!

It's a good one!! WOOHOOOO Check it out!

Sunday, July 19, 2009
The Tavern is back. It’s open. It’s better than ever. I am glad. One of my favorite drives in the world is Pa Route 208 into New Wilmington. This is western Pennsylvania Amish country with beautiful and manicured landscapes dotted with buggies and horses. Keep going past New Wilmington and Volant, you end up at Route 19, which will take you to the Iron Bridge restaurant and its sister establishments: Rachel’s and The Springfield Grill.

But if you don’t want to drive that far, stop in at The Tavern in New Wilmington. This is a longtime Western PA standby, and a favorite destination in the fall. It has served the community of New Wilmington since 1931, and is the celebration place of choice for students and family at Westminster College.

Over the years, however, something was askew. It’s solid down home cooking got a bit stale. The servers reciting the menu bit instead of giving you one to look at got a bit irritating. It had no background music and tended to be noisy. What worked in the 1960’s didn’t translate into the digital age. The long time owners sold it to a couple from Poland, I believe, who did a credible job of running the place, but quickly found out that profits are spelled b-o-o-z-e, and New Wilmington was dry. When the referendum to allow beer and wine sales failed, they closed the place down and the for sale sign went up.

But some new folks, who already run a business in Volant, bought the place this past January, and seem hell bent on running the place “sans” spirits. I think, by gum, they are going to pull it off. They tweaked the décor; added some background music; spiced up the servers; and did an outstanding job on revising the menu. It is bright. It is cheery. The service is friendly. The food is good. And we are thrilled.

I don’t know who their consultants were, if any, but the menu revision is terrific. Included are the old standbys of ham loaf, turkey and the like. But the major revision to the menu was the addition of lighter type meals including a wide selection of salads and imaginative sandwiches and interesting appetizers, all of which fit how folks eat today. It doesn’t suffocate you with that “gosh, isn’t this atmosphere wonderful, have some beets” kind of thing. The menu is familiar to modern sensibilities and tastes. It also has a more casual feel. More like stop on by for lunch or some snacks. They have done a good job.

Notwithstanding, I ordered my usual ham loaf, which was served with choice of soup or salad, a veggie, and choice of potatoes. I chose a perfectly prepared sweet potato complete with sweet brown sugar butter on the side. The ham loaf was terrific. It was served with an apple based sauce which you could eat separately or put on the ham loaf. My wife ordered a vegetable lasagna, which was served with a marinara sauce that was not bad…not bad at all. For dessert, we shared a basic bread pudding. Nothing memorable, but you could taste autumn n every bite. Meals were priced in the $11.00-$12.00 range. And most important, the sticky buns are still there!! Make sure to buy some to take home.

On the down side, my potato soup was a bit bland, but fixable by adding some pepper at the table. My wife’s salad was the standard stuff. The “standard” dinner salad is one of my pet peeves. I know these folks could do better if they put their mind to it!! Booze is still not available, and most likely won’t be in the foreseeable future. But you can bring in your own wine. There is $5.00 corking fee…worth the effort.

There is one small thing. These folks are devout Christians, and there are some very minor religious references within the restaurant. But to be honest…you are in New Wilmington surrounded by Presbyterians and Amish. It’s all part of the charm.

I wish these folks all the luck in the world in bringing back this local tradition to the restaurant scene with a modern twist. We will be back.

My rating: a hearty 3 ½ meatballs. 1/2

The Tavern on the Square
108 N Market St
New Wilmington, PA 16142-1178
(724) 946-2020
Posted by Guru at 5:10 PM 1 comments
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The Welshfield Inn