by April 22, 2015 J.P. Stephen’s Restaurant and Tavern has brought in an executive chef, created new seasonal menus, and added more hours. But the same friendly service, welcoming ambiance, and good live music remain part of the JP Stephen’s experience. Located in a mill built in 1790, J.P. Stephen’s sits along a pond on Route 202. The building housed a wood mill, blacksmith shop, grist mill and forge for the next century and a half. Among its contributions to the local economy during this time were wooden items such as match blocks, clothespins, baskets, lobster traps and the benches up at Cathedral of the Pines. In 1952, the mill was turned into a restaurant and has been serving food ever since. Current owner Lisa Record purchased the building in 2009, and named the restaurant after her two sons – James Prescott (J.P.) and Stephen. She began with a menu featuring pub fare and comfort food. This fall the menu was expanded to include some classic – and creatively interpreted – dishes from around the world, prepared by executive chef Sean Smith. Recently Sean updated the menu with new items for spring and summer, including bourbon glazed ribs, baked haddock, ribeye steak tips and more.
Music can be found at J.P. Stephen’s and reflects Lisa’s varied musical tastes and support for local musicians. She has hosted blues legends Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson and Skip Philbrick. Other weekends she mixes it up with cover dance bands like Northern Stone and Sheepdip. Often house band West of Ireland performs, as well as local acoustic acts. The building is laid out so that the pub area is in the middle with two dining areas on either side. An old sliding barn door is still used to close off one of the rooms. Tables are moved to allow for dancing, and patrons can opt for the dining area on the other side of the building if a quiet night is desired. Lisa also hosts popular mystery dinners and other special events. This week, independent recording artist Ken Macy returns on April 24th. Ken is a singer-songwriter from central Massachusetts who has five CD’s of original songs to his credit.. He plays a mix of rock, blues, and soul. “Every night and setlist is different show to show,” said Ken recently. “I am looking forward to playing at J.P. Stephens again.”
On May 2, Jeff Watson plays and then on May 23, Otis and the Elevators returns. A popular five piece band, Otis and the Elevators performs original and classic Blues, Roots, and Americana music.
J.P. Stephens is open every day for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. For more information, visit the website.