The Tavern enjoys a rich history with many hearts and souls woven into the story that is continuing to be written for over 160 years.
The First Owners
It all started with Dr. and Mrs. Seth Poppino. They built their wonderful home in 1849 and established themselves in the New Wilmington community.
Dr. Poppino was one of the first local teachers and also a founding member of the town’s Methodist church, which is still active to this day. Dr. Poppino was an abolitionist and the Tavern was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. The family sheltered slaves escaping on their way to freedom in the cellar accessible via a small, concealed door under the stairs.
The Tavern On The Square
In 1931, Ernst and Cora Durrast opened the large home as the Tavern on the Square restaurant. The restaurant and Durrast family become icons in the community. Under Cora’s strong and careful guidance the Tavern’s reputation for fine dining became recognized in travel guides regionally and nationally. Cora oversaw the restaurant for 66 years. Even today, Cora is remembered with extreme fondness by those who dined regularly at the Tavern. She evokes smiles when people see her picture that sits atop the serving stand in the main dining room.
A Favorite Destination in Amish Country
Beautifully restored, The Tavern is once again a must see destination. Susan and Joseph Hougelman continue the tradition of Cora’s famous homemade Sticky Buns, Hamloaf, Chicken and dumplings and many other delicious country dishes. Known for their amazing entrees and desserts, reasonable prices and outstanding service, The Tavern on the Square is a favorite restaurant by many diners far and wide. Beautiful Murals painted on the walls, hand stenciled floors, seven dining rooms, a gift shoppe and coming soon The Little Bakery on the Square which will feature homemade pies, cakes, pasteries, fudge and many other delightful baked goods!
If you’re looking to host a special function, The Tavern on the Square boasts five private dining rooms that can accomodate up to fifty guests. For more information, call 724-946-2020 and ask for the Tavern Event Planner.