When Wolfie’s Tavern, a storied Springs watering hole that opened back in the 1940s, closed in 2016, a huge void was left. Restauranteurs Dan and Charlene DeSmet are attempting to fill that void with their new The Springs Tavern, which recently opened in the famed locale.
“Charlene and I are so happy to see families returning to this historic venue after so many years,” noted Dan DeSmet. “This location has served the community in multiple roles over the past 80 plus years.”
Honoring the traditional role of a community tavern, The Springs Tavern will aim to serve good food and provide live entertainment in the comfortable tavern setting. And, of course, a tavern is not complete without a full schedule of sporting events.
With its flexible and welcoming environment, the new tavern is able to host everything from a full course meal to a quick drink and snack at the bar. Chef Michael Ruggiero, who has a notable history of experience across the East End – including stints at Nick & Toni’s, Harvest on Fort Pond, Fresno and Montauk Lake Club, has designed an affordable American pub-style menu with fresh, local ingredients in mind. The menu includes a number of seasonal soups, salads and fresh fish, as well as the obligatory burgers and specialty sandwiches. Baja fish tacos with charred corn tortillas, pickled cabbage and cilantro-chili crema; Tavern wings with choice of sauce, honey-bourbon, sweet chili and buffalo, tossed and served with celery and blue cheese dip; Veggie Rueben with roasted beets, kraut, Swiss and Russian dressing on rye; Tavern steak hoagie with grilled thin sliced boneless ribeye with giardiniera, au jus and horseradish cream; Grilled Atlantic Salmon and Tavern Steak Frites; and the Jackson Pollock plate with berries, pistachios, nougat, caramelized phyllo, caramel, anglaise and fudge sauces are among menu highlights.
Being a regular watering hole for famed East Hampton residents such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, the design lends itself both to the area and its history. The restaurant features beautiful restored original hardwood floors and bead-board wainscoting. Mixed among the various Pollock and de Kooning prints will be a fair number of televisions and stereo systems ensuring diners are not to miss a single game.
“It has been the local neighborhood’s restaurant, bar, social hub and gathering place,” noted DeSmet. “We are trying to re-establish those roles so that we can provide the Springs and East Hampton with a true neighborhood public house experience.”
The Springs Tavern is located at 15 Fort Pond in East Hampton. For more information, call 631-527-7800, or visit www.thespringstavern.com.