Merchant of the Week— Judy’s Quinn’s family-run Quaker Hill Tavern
Kelly Sullivan and Manager Erin Teter; photograph by Kevan Full, at kevanslens.com
January 27, 2012
by Rob Greenstein
This week I stopped in at the Quaker Hill Tavern to sample some chicken wings and beer and talk to Judy Quinn, co-owner of QHT.
How long has the Quaker Hill Tavern been a member of our community?
We’ve been here since March 2005. I own the restaurant with my daughter Kelly and her husband Tim Sullivan, a/k/a “Sully.” Community and family are important foundations for our restaurant.
Does running the restaurant with your daughter and son-in-law affect your management style?
Yes. We have always believed in using a more family oriented-management style versus a corporate philosophy to run our business. We believe if you treat your employees like family they will take care of your business like they are part of your family and—most importantly— take care of our customers like they are part of our family. In a sense our customer base is a large part of our extended family.
It sounds as though Quaker Tavern is like Cheers, where everybody knows your name.
Many of our staff have been working here for a number of years, most notably our manager Erin Teter. Erin knows everyone by name and usually knows what someone will order before they say it. We make it a point to get to know our customers and we believe this is what sets us apart from other places. You can step in to Quaker Hill and be reassured that you will know someone working and most likely they will know your name or what you drink and we believe that helps people feel at home.
What’s your most popular food, and how do most customers like their chicken wings?
Our Buffalo wings are a big hit all year long so we always have enough on hand. Rest assured football/super bowl fans, we will be loaded up for the big game. The most popular way we sell wings is by the bucket with medium buffalo sauce, extra homemade blue cheese dressing, celery and carrot sticks. Our house salmon burger, home-made, has some very loyal fans. We find that any way we prepare salmon it is always a big hit.
What’s your personal favorite food and beverage?
As far as wine, one of my personal favorites is Kali Hart Chardonnay, which is available by glass or bottle. My favorite local beer is Captain Lawrence on tap, as well as Captain’s Imperial Reserve in a bottle. The recent addition of short ribs has many mouths watering.
Do you do a lot of community events?
Yes. We do our best to support the community through donations. We have donated gift certificates, trays of food and advertise in school programs for plays and sports. We feel the community doubles our support through their patronage at QHT.
I know you have expressed interest in working with the turf committee to help raise money, why is that so important to you?
A state-of-the- art illuminated field at Horace Greeley High School would be a tremendous asset for our sports programs, as well as our community in general. We are looking forward to working with the turf committee to help raise money. In fact, we hope to have a fund-raising event here sometime in February.
Any food and beer specials for big sporting events?
Usually, we do have some. For example, we have a Super Bowl Sunday Special, $25 all you can eat buffet, starting at 6:00 p.m., cash bar (no regular dining service after 6:00 p.m.—only Super Bowl Special). We have eight large TVs and surround-sound. Check our website www.quakerhilltavern.com for upcoming specials and holiday events. Although we don’t deliver, we have take out available all day and night. And we’ll be opening for lunch on Mondays, starting Feb 20th.
What do you think the town could do to make conditions better for business?
It would be helpful if a little more emphasis was placed on including businesses at the top of the hill when scheduling events such as sidewalk sale days and Community Day.
Any special discounts for NewCastleNOW readers who mention this article?
Sure, a ten percent discount for the next week.
Visit NCNOW.org’s Business Section to see other “Merchant of the Week” pieces by Rob Greenstein.