ALTON — With financing provided by Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB), co-owners Renee Bickford, James Bickford and Executive Chef Eric Weiss were able to purchase and renovate a site for their new restaurant, Woodlands Tavern on Mount Major Highway in Alton.
The co-owners worked with MVSB's Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer, Gracie Cilley, to purchase the former site of the William Tell Inn in Alton last year. The 19th century building has a long history as an inn, resort and restaurant. Despite its need for restoration and renovation, Renee, James and Eric could see the potential in the location and architecture; it was the perfect home for their new venture and a chance for Renee and Jim to help their talented friend and Executive Chef, Eric Weiss, achieve his culinary and restaurant ownership goals.
The building's iconic ceramic woodstove provides a warm and inviting atmosphere and the dedicated staff are eager to serve restaurant and tavern guests. The restaurant offers a casual approach to fine dining with a wide variety of fresh lunch and dinner options and specials. In the tavern, guests enjoy craft beers on tap along with signature cocktails and lighter fare. Upstairs community members are invited to reserve a private banquet room at no charge to provide a more intimate setting for events and parties.
"When it came to navigating the commercial purchase and lending process, we were so appreciative of the the personal time and attention we received from our local community lender," said Renee Bickford, co-owner. "Having Gracie on our team allowed us to focus on the many other challenges we faced as we worked to purchase, renovate and open our restaurant in time for the busy summer season."
Established in 2013, Woodlands Tavern began as a venture to highlight the friendship and skills of three friends, James, Eric, and Renee. A native of Berlin, NJ, Executive Chef Eric Weiss obtained his culinary education from the Academy of Culinary Arts and has worked in the US and internationally in the restaurant industry for 30 years. His menu provides a fresh and exciting approach to casual fine dining. The co-owners and their staff strive to provide a comfortable, inviting environment and build lasting relationships with their guests and in the community for years to come. For more information, visit www.woodlandstavernnh.com or call 603-855-2073.