Wedding Venue Stone Tavern Farm Opens Roxbury Restaurant

The kitchen at Roxbury’s Shephard Hills Golf Course clubhouse is cooking again.

The popular but short-lived Greek restaurant Petra Taverna shuttered last winter after one season. Last week, long-time wedding venue operator John Burrows relaunched the restaurant as Shephard Hills Bar & Grill to serve burgers, beer and barbecue to hungry golfers and “anyone else who wanders in.”

“We’re starting out small, with a very simple menu, and we’ll slowly expand and see how it goes,” Burrows said.

The stone clubhouse will double as a restaurant and catering venue. Photo via Stone Tavern Farms Facebook page
The stone clubhouse will double as a restaurant and catering venue. Photo via Stone Tavern Farm’s Facebook page

Burrows has owned and operated Stone Tavern Farm just across town for more than a decade, hosting weddings and other large group events. The farm, which has been in his family off and on for 120 years, has been booked solid for the last eight or nine seasons, so he was looking for a place to expand his catering and event business. Shephard Hills was a natural fit: His grandmother and Helen Shephard were best friends when he was growing up and he spent a lot of time there as a child, learning to swim in the lake and golf on the nine-hole course.

“I really love that place,” Burrows said this morning. “I tried to buy it 17 years ago, and that didn’t work out, but now I’m worming my way in there.”

He struck a deal with the golf course owners to host weddings there, beginning this summer, and reopening the restaurant to serve golfers and the public was part of the agreement.

The July 3 launch marked the second restaurant opening in Roxbury in less than six weeks: Maplehurst Family Restaurant and Pizzeria debuted at the end of May.

For now, the restaurant has a temporary license to sell beer only, but a full liquor permit is pending. When that’s approved, which is expected in about two weeks, the restaurant will kick into full gear with a bigger menu.

“We’re going to try different things with different restaurants and chefs,” Burrows said.

One of the first experiments will be sushi nights on Saturdays. Last Saturday, the sushi chef from Asian Temptation in Oneonta was the first guest chef.

For now, the menu includes burgers, Nathan’s hot dogs, french fries, pulled-pork barbecue and other simple dishes. The restaurant, located at 562 Shepard Hill Road, Roxbury, is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.