WRENTHAM — The Tavern at Wrentham has abruptly closed its doors, catching employees and patrons by surprise.
The restaurant/bar off Shears Street has been a gathering spot for food, music and activities such as music bingo, trivia nights and karaoke, for about a decade.
A message on the restaurant’s Facebook page, posted Tuesday morning, said, “Thank you to all our customers for your loyalty..we will miss you all!!”
There was a similar sign on the restaurant door.
Owner Doug Smith also owns Pizzeria Grande in Walpole, which remains open. Smith couldn’t be reached.
The Tavern at Wrentham was active in the community and popular with the sports crowd.
The restaurant replaced Tom’s Tavern, run for nearly three decades by Tom Gianfrancesco and also heavily involved with the community, sponsoring popular road races.
That restaurant, with 25 employees also closed abruptly, in March 2009, and its property was auctioned off for financial reasons.
Smith bought the property for $342,000, refurbished the restaurant/bar and opened it in 2010 as the Tavern at Wrentham. He later put on an addition for overflow and functions.
There have been a similar businesses at the location since 1948.
Gianfrancesco’s son, Tom Jr. or TJ, recently opened Parker’s Pub, a restaurant/pub nearby on Shears Street that was taking some of the business away from Tavern at Wrentham.
That establishment had most recently been Connie’s Kitchen, and previously was Mr. Dooley’s Irish pub. Before that, it was the Anvil Pub for years.