Tavern on State - Emily Mingrone
1. What is you background in your chosen business and when did you know that you wanted to open up shop for yourself?
My dad is a chef so I grew up eating well and watching him cook delicious stuff. I worked for our family business in high school, decided that I wanted to be a “real” grown up and went for a couple corporate gigs (not food related) before I realized my soul belongs in the kitchen. So I enrolled in a local culinary program and worked my ass off at some of the best restaurants around here to learn as much as I could with the ultimate goal of having my own place. I bounced around for a few years but I’ve always known I wanted my own place, but it's all about timing. When things just fall into place that’s how you know it’s right.
2. Why was New Haven your choice? How has the clientele and city treated you thus far?
New Haven is my home! I grew up in Hamden and would hang out in NHV as a teen, and then in my early adult life I had a few different apartments over a span of 10 years or so. I moved down to Fairfield County for work but I always missed New Haven. I came up frequently to eat and visit friends etc, but I never anticipated opening up shop here. I figured I would stay in southern CT where I had built my reputation as a chef for 5 years. I had looked at a bunch of spaces but nothing felt right. But when I saw 969 State Street was available, my gut told me this was the right place. As soon as I walked in I knew. The wood paneling, exposed brick, dim lighting. It was Tavern! Pretty cool that it was the old C.O Jones too. I used to hang out there all the time!
The community has been so welcoming and supportive. East Rock is such a gem and we are grateful and honored to be a part of it.
3. Why do you think it’s important to remain open during this tough time and support the community?
It’s important because as a neighborhood restaurant in such a close knit community, we have to be here for each other - us for them and them for us. Our main mission at Tavern was to be a community meeting place. Where people can feel comfortable, eat good food and have good drinks in good company. It’s healing. It’s our duty to still be that place, even in changing times. Food makes people happy, and who couldn’t use a little cheer right now? And making people happy makes us happy. It’s a full circle.
4. What is a recommendation from your menu you’d give to people who aren’t familiar with your establishment and want to try it out? What menu item would you pair it with? (Coffee, cocktail, wine, beer etc)
Well, given our abridged menu at the moment I’d have to say try one of our burgers! They travel well and are delicious with one of our growlers to go. Shane has been curating weekly cocktail kits too, our most popular being our Concrete Tiger.
follow @tavernonstate for more or visit www.tavernonstate.com
Photography by: Lisa Tedesco
Our chef and co-owner, Robin Bodak had been trying to find a way to stay connected to the community. One night, while feeling completely helpless, she came across a photo series Behind Closed Doors in Portland Maine and she was flooded with inspiration.
She wrote in a community group so see if anyone would be interested in creating a series for New Haven small business owners exploring our experiences through this time. Robin got a late-night text from Lisa Tedesco, a local filmmaker friend, and the wheels started running! We call it Unstill Life, and this is our first feature... we hope you enjoy it!
Ryan Taylor of The Coffee Pedaler
1. What is your background and when did you know you wanted to open up shop for yourself?
I used to play drums in bands. I played a show in Brooklyn and wanted a coffee for the ride back to New Haven. I ended up at a highly regarded specialty cafe without knowing that this level of coffee existed! We are probably going back 15 years ago or so. I had my first pour over coffee, and it was game over from there. I knew I wanted to bring this to New Haven someday.
2. Why was New Haven your choice? How has the climate and city treated you thus far?
New Haven is where I call home, it’s my roots. It was easy to choose New Haven because I wanted to make a mark and do this for the community.
3. Why do you think it’s important to remain open during this time and support the community?
I feel it’s important for us to stay open during this difficult time for a few reasons. Coming here helps break up the monotony of being confined from people currently. It’s also a friendly face to talk to briefly and have a great cup of coffee. There’s a strong sense of community here. People are thankful each day that there is still a place for them to escape to for a few moments.
4. What is a recommendation you’d give from your menu for people who haven’t tried your establishment yet?
Try a pour over. Hands down. It’s coffee in its purest form......and hey, it’s what changed my perception on what coffee could be!
Follow @thecoffeepedaler for more!
Photography by: Lisa Tedesco