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Town Tavern: From Greece to East Haddam

The newly re-opened restaurant on the corner of 151 and 82 fulfills a lifelong dream of owner Bridgette Topi.


It's official, the Town Tavern, located at 381 Town Street in East Haddam, is open and ready to serve. Offering American-Italian food with a strong Greek influence, the new business is laid back and kid friendly, with reasonably priced dinner entrees, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and a complete bar.

This restaurant was a long time coming for owner Bridgette Topi, who moved her family from Greece to the United States eight years ago to escape the economic downfall there. She landed in Connecticut and has worked as the head chef at the Cozy Corner in Durham for the past seven years.

According to her daughter Nicki Topi, when her mom saw this restaurant in East Haddam was available, she immediately fell in love with it.

“This has been a lifelong dream for my mom and we are very excited to see it come true,” explains Nicki. “This is a family business, my mom, dad, uncle and me all work here and we try to make sure we have a little something for everybody on the menu.”

From Gyros to Prime Beef and everything in-between (including a kids menu), the new business, which can seat up to 114 patrons in the main dining room and an additional 30 plus in the banquet room, is excited about its future in this small town. It has an extensive dessert menu that changes weekly and all fresh food prepared on premises.

“We hope to become a local favorite and we encourage everyone to stop in and try us out. You will never have better food anywhere,” says Nicki proudly, praising her mother’s culinary expertise.

The family friendly atmosphere and ambiance is perfectly matched with the reasonably priced menu with sandwiches and burgers starting at $4.95 and dinner entrees from $12.95 to the most expensive item, the prime rib, served with homemade mashed potatoes sautéed green beans at $19.95. 

Other favorites include the Chicken Alfredo and weekly Greek specials.

The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. It is also open for special occasions and parties.

“Come on in, we have good food, friendly service and reasonable prices. We can’t wait to meet everyone in town,” encourages Nicki.

For more information about the Town Tavern call, 860-891-8431.

Pinky Murphy December 22, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Yeah ...finally a new place to eat in town...now if only they served breakfast! We are in dire need of a breakfast place!
Joe S. December 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
We ordered a pizza from them last week and it was good, not great. A little skimpy on the sausage compared to other places. Our telephone order was a little difficult, as the person did not know their menu. As we waited for the pizza at the front entrance, I was watching a couple in the bar sitting at a table that looked like they were trying to get the attention of a waitress. The woman finally had to come to the front and tell one of the waitresses that the mozzarella sticks were cold inside. All I heard them do was offer a credit on the bill. Now I realize that this is a new start-up, but the new owner is suppose to be experienced and would hopefully take time to train the staff before opening. This location has has a few owners in the past and the reputations were not always stellar, to say the least. The new owner really needs to make people feel impressed on their first revisit to this building to gain respect. Locals are sometimes tough customers and first impressions are important. As they say, customer perception IS reality. I wish the new owners the best of success and really hope that they work out the start-up problems. I would love to see an affordable restaurant in town that we could visit once or twice a week.
James I. Murdoch December 22, 2012 at 06:17 PM
First visit yesterday evening. No Happy Hour! Ordered a burger at the bar it arrived an hour later - cold, slice of cheese not melted, cold fries. Sent it back - 10 minutes later I got it back no difference! Not a good first impression, I'll put it down to teething problems and a particularly busy night, I'll try the place again after the holidays, I really would like it to succeed. I concur with Pinky Murphy - we really do need a decent breakfast venue in East Haddam!
Susan James December 31, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Tried the place for the first time last week with my family. It was a little busy but not quite slammed yet. We got seated and served pretty quickly. The food was delicious. We all ordered dinners from prime rib, to fish & chips, to pasta with meatballs. The prime rib was cooked perfectly, the fish was definately fresh & the pasta sauce was amazing. We had five people and our bill was less than $100 dollars, inclusing our wine. The owner's daughter ,Nicky, came to meet us once we were finished to thank us for coming. Definately reccomend it.
Regina January 07, 2013 at 01:10 PM
I was also happy to see a new restaurant open in this location. My husband and I invited a couple friends to join us last Friday evening to check it out. Got there around 6:40p and the place was packed. We had a party of 5 which threw them off a bit....most are tables for four. The menu seemed to have a good variety. The waitress (and staff) were visibly overloaded but everyone maintained a friendly and determined attitude to serve their customers. We were served our salads in a timely manner but the entrees took quite a long time. Frankly we didn't care b/c we were enjoying ourselves but that may not sit well with others. The entrees were all good... except that they were not hot. They were warm but clearly had not gotten out to us when they should have. I agree with the others.... first impressions are major. Basics like hot food and timeliness cannot be issues. We all understood that they probably did not expect such a turnout, all at once, and perhaps were not staffed properly. And they were truly trying their hardest to take care of everyone. We are locals and we did have a nice meal all in all so we will definitely return. I so hope they can make a go of it.
The Town Tavern January 09, 2013 at 06:01 PM
I would like to deeply apologize for anything that ruined your experience at the town tavern. We had a very rough couple of weeks but we are greatly improving. Being new to the area there is a lot of things we have to fix. I am in no way making excuses for any poor service, however we are taking your comments very seriously and trying very hard to improve our time, service and food. Please give us a second chance and we promise to not dissapoint. =)
Bill January 31, 2013 at 02:31 PM
We had dinner here twice and both times were excellent....service was great, food was cooked perfectly and served on time....everything we have tried on the menu has been delicious and cooked to perfection. We look forward to trying more items on the menu! ! Great place and a welcome addition to town....

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