Tavern Meet Cute

Tavern Meet Cute

Tavern Meet Cute

February is almost gone. With so little snow this month, it has hardly felt like winter. We didn’t have any exterior work scheduled, as most folks don’t since it is typically a tundra this time of year in Western, Pennsylvania. However, we have big plans for March. We’re finalizing a kitchen bump out; a great new facade and an accessible back entrance among many projects.

Our goal to get this place open is always ASAP but we are trying to do it right on the front end. There are things that this 170-year-old building has needed for years and this break in action is the right time to do them. Thank you for sticking with us on this journey. Please stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter or following the story on social media for updates and opening information.

And now, my favorite part of the Tavern story, the people…

Kiersten and Talbot Reiber, remember their first meeting at The Tavern on the Square.

Kiersten and Talbot Reiber remember their first meeting at The Tavern on the Square.

Talbot Reiber is partly responsible for us buying and restoring The Tavern on the Square. We used to drive our kids to ballet in Mercer once a week and dinner out made more sense those nights. We’d try to get a table at nearby Talbot’s Taproom and Terrace on a Wednesday night in twelve degree weather and we couldn’t get in. This happened week after week. It lead to the question, if Talbot is so busy, why isn’t The Tavern on the Square open?

Ever since we took the plunge and started this restoration project, Talbot has been a restaurant mentor. Any questions we have, he answers. Talbot grew up in the business and his knowledge is deep. But that isn’t even the best part of the story.

We recently learned that Talbot met his lovely wife, Kiersten while both of them worked at The Tavern nearly two decades ago. Kiersten tells it better than me so I’ll let her take it from here…

The Tavern. 

It's a building full of history. It has stories hidden in the walls from another century, another time, from all of the generations who have come before. For us, it's a building that started our own history together. 

Talbot and I were on two separate paths that collided in the kitchen of the Tavern nearly 20 years ago. He had over a decade of experience in the restaurant business and I was just starting my career as a new teacher. I have the book smarts but common sense sometimes gets the best of me. Talbot has the wit and the humor that has always made him fun to be around. 

I was a hostess and a server at the restaurant at the time, around 2005. On the day we first met, I came into work after a day at school. Someone told me there was a new guy in the back and that he went to Wilmington. They said his name was "Tal", I heard "Kyle". Mistake #1. The next mistake quickly followed when I asked this 26 year old man what grade he was at Wilmington High. He graciously entertained my ridiculous question and responded quickly  with, "the 23rd grade. I graduated in 1996." For whatever reason, my propensity to miss the obvious was endearing to him, because he asked me out on a date and the rest is history.

Coincidentally, the chef at the Tavern back then ended up being not only a lifelong friend and in our wedding, but also a major part of our story years later at our own restaurant.  Our history began at the Tavern and our story is just one of the many secrets the walls hold. We can't wait to return to the Tavern as Matt and Maggie breathe new life back into these walls, ready for a new generation of memories. 

- Kiersten & Talbot

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