By Jesse Wood
Nov. 6, 2014. The Town Tavern is celebrated its fifth anniversary last month.
A locally-owned sports bar on Faculty Street in Boone, The Town Tavern has 14 flat-screen TVs that feature every NFL matchup with NFL Sunday Ticket, all of the Appalachian State Mountaineer football games and whatever other live sport on television that you would like to watch.
“We do every sport,” Suzannah Higby, owner of the Boone location, said, adding that customers can usually choose what to watch.
Born just down the road in what is now Appalachian Regional Healthcare in Boone, Higby bought the restaurant from Chris Spillman in August of 2013. She said she wants The Town Tavern to eventually become a place where generations of students take their parents on Family Weekend, and the parents say, “Oh yeah. You go to the same place I went.”
“Most college towns have one of those,” Higby said.
She mentioned in particular The Esso Club that her uncle, Bob Higby, happened to own years ago. The famous Esso Club near Clemson University, which has been featured in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine, is recognized as one of the top sports bars in the country. It’s become famous as former students pack up their things, move across the country and share those memories from their old college hometown sports bar.
Now Serving Lunch
Since purchasing the restaurant, Higby has kept the same theme and menu with the addition of adding lunch recently.
Higby said the impetus for serving lunch was to offer faculty and staff at ASU a place to get away, so to speak. Her father, John Higby, was a professor of English at Appalachian State University and passed away months before she bought The Town Tavern.
Higby said that her father either packed a lunch and ate it in his office or sauntered down to the school cafeteria for a bite to eat. Higby noted that students would knock on his office door or interrupt his lunch at the cafeteria to ask for an extension on that paper or assignment.
“Where’s their break?” she asked. “The Tavern is a place faculty and staff can go and have a real break.”
So she added lunch fulltime from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will turn on the news channels for professors who want to watch a particular program – or perhaps ESPN if that’s their preference.
The lunch special price points are comparable – if not cheaper – to what is found in the school cafeteria and nearby establishments. For example, the Monday through Friday lunch special – an all beef hotdog basket with French fries – is only $3.95.
A Family-Friendly, Comfortable Atmosphere
The Town Tavern is a family-friendly establishment that caters to a diverse crowd from ASU students and professors to the working class and professionals.
“We have a great local crowd,” Higby said.
As for kids, The Town Tavern offers balloons and crayon placemats for kids to color, and if you are a kid of one of the regulars, Higby will throw in little squares of ice cream and a cherry on top.
“We are very family friendly,” Higby said.
Higby said one of the reasons she bought The Town Tavern is because she was a former customer and enjoyed the atmosphere and the way it felt when she was inside The Town Tavern. She still does.
“It just feels good in here to me. I want it to be comfortable, and I want you to feel like you are in your living room,” Higby said, adding that The Town Tavern features a nice view of Howard’s Knob from inside the restaurant and outside on the patio.
The Town Tavern also exists in Blowing Rock, where Justin Davis is the owner. Davis, who formerly co-owned The Town Tavern in Boone before he opened his restaurant in Blowing Rock, and Higby are brand partners.
While each operate and own their own store, they will help each other out whenever one is need of something. The menus are essentially the same, and the atmosphere and themes are similar. While the patron demographic is a tad bit different, the two stores share some of the same regulars.
A Peek at Specials
Along with the hotdog basket lunch specials, nightly food specials include wings for 45 cents on Monday; Philly Cheese Steak sliders with French fries for $4.50 on Tuesday; $1.50 hotdogs; $4 barbecue sandwiches with French fries on Thursday; $1.75 chips and salsa and $2 off quesadillas on Fiesta Fridays; and $4 BLT with French fries on Sunday Funday.
The Town Tavern offers dozens of drink specials. Here are just a few: $4 fireball shots on Monday; $3 Budweiser tall boys on Monday and Wednesday; $3 kamikaze shots and $4 Red Bull and Vodka drinks on Tuesday; $1 Jello shots on Thursday; $4 margaritas and $2.50 Coronas on Fiesta Friday; Miller Lite pints for $2 on Saturday; $3.50 Bloody Mary’s on Sunday; and much, much more.
One thing that The Town Tavern is known for is having the coldest Budweiser in town, and a “very healthy” liquor pour on mixed drinks. It has four taps – three domestics and one rotating craft, seasonal or specialty brew.
See a full menu here.
TEAM TRIVIA HOSTED BY JERRY | TUESDAYS 8 to 11 p.m.
Get a team together and flaunt your knowledge of current events, movies, music, sports and more. Prizes and gift cards for the winner of each round and a grand prize for the overall winner. No cell phones allowed during game play!
ED MAIN | THURSDAYS 6 to 9 p.m.
Jam out with us on Thursdays to the original tunes and Classic Rock covers of Ed Main. No cover charge. All ages welcome.
KARAOKE NIGHT HOSTED BY THE MAESTRO | FRIDAYS 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Karaoke starting at 10pm hosted by Jerry “The Maestro” Parker and Local Vocals. Hear the very best and very worst local talent. 21+ admitted with valid ID.
BUZZTIME TRIVIA | AVAILABLE DAILY BY REQUEST
Buzztime brings the best in interactive trivia, card, arcade and sports games to bars and restaurants across the US and Canada. Whether you’re out to show off your trivia prowess or just want to play a few hands of poker, ask your server for a gaming device and see what the buzz is all about.
The Town Tavern is open 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday. For more information about The Town Tavern in Boone, click here or call 828-264-2226.