SOUTH BURLINGTON — The popular Church Street Tavern recently launched a sister restaurant, Tavern II, on Shelburne Road. The new business opened on Feb. 6 in space most recently occupied by Junior’s Rustico.
“We opened a sister restaurant to serve some of our customers who wanted a bit of a different venue,” said Scott Michaud, who along with partners Stephen Parent and Mark Anair operates both restaurants. “We’re offering the exact same menu here as Church Street Tavern, but we are able to accommodate larger parties here.”
Michaud described that menu as American pub fare, with an emphasis on quality with affordable pricing. Tavern II offers homemade soups and chili, several signature salads, and deli and hot sandwiches, as well as a variety of appetizers. The menu also includes daily specials. There is a full bar, and 16 beers on tap, including a rotating selection of Vermont craft beers.
“We are a restaurant and tavern that we want people to feel comfortable coming to,” Michaud said. “We want people that want to stop in for a beer and a sandwich, who want to bring their family in and eat good food. We do a great job on wings and nachos, and we’re well known for our Tavern Burger and Fiery Chicken Wrap. It’s a good place to watch sports, to gather with friends, or just hang out.”
Tavern II has seven large-screen televisions and Michaud said there are sports on seven days a week. The entire menu is available for take-out, and customers can call ahead to schedule pickup.
“This was a spur-of-the-moment idea that we talked about one morning,” Michaud said. “We looked at the site three hours later, and once we saw the location we knew it was a good fit for us.” From there, Michaud and his partners worked with Larkin Realty. “Marilyn Larkin and her staff were instrumental,” Michaud said. “We worked closely with them and appreciate all they’ve done for us.”
The local community has embraced the restaurant, according to Michaud. “We’re seeing regular customers from Church Street Tavern, but we’re also making new friends from the neighborhood.” He said that includes area business employees picking up lunch and coming in after work, and snowy day walk-ins from the community. That fits well with Tavern II’s business pan.
“We strive to be part of the community, to be here for the community, and get feedback from our customers,” Michaud said. “We were all born and raised here and are big on being locally operated.” He noted all three partners in the business are great friends and native Vermonters.
Church Street Tavern has been a mainstay on Church Street since opening in 1995, but with 3,000 square feet and plenty of free, at-door parking, Tavern II offers some additional options for larger parties. But beyond the menu, Tavern II’s owners want to bring some of the feel of Church Street Tavern to Shelburne Road.
“We have a patio here that we’ll open in the spring,” Michaud said. “We’ll have bistro tables, and are looking forward to replicating what we have downtown.”
Staff has also been instrumental in maintaining continuity between the businesses. Tavern II employs about 25 people, with a mix of part-time and full-time staff. Michaud said a few employees moved from Church Street Tavern to join the team at the new location, while several others have helped with training new staff.
“Our employees become like members of our family,” Michaud said, “and we’re happy with our new family here. And we invite everyone to come in and meet us.”
Tavern II opens daily at 11:30 a.m. The kitchen is open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The bar remains open later.
The restaurant is at 408 Shelburne Road and can be reached at 497-1000. tavern2.tavernvt.com for information.