The Tavern at the Exchange Opens in Former Murphy's & Scarletti's Space

Buffalo chicken dip at The Tavern at the Exchange in Farmington. Credit: Jessie Sawyer
Buffalo chicken dip at The Tavern at the Exchange in Farmington. Credit: Jessie Sawyer
Murphy's & Scarletti's used to be one of the prime destination points for Farmington nightlife.

Now a new tavern has opened in the space that hopes to bring nightlife back to the Exchange in Farmington while also offering dining that welcomes everyone from families and UConn Health Center doctors across the street to the late night crowd.

The Tavern at the Exchange opened a week after Thanksgiving.

"We want to be the Grand Central Station of nightlife," Dan Delpret, The Tavern's director of operations, said, meaning a main transit point that draws a variety of people.

The restaurant offers American fare ranging from tavern options like burgers, nachos and bacon cheeseburger macaroni and cheese to dishes with a flair of upscale dining like a duck club.

People knew Murphy's as a bar with pizza and The Tavern staff hopes to establish the restaurant as the place to go for burgers, fries, wings, pizza and beer.

"We want to create a safe, great place for everyone to enjoy, whether it's slices of pizza or a whole pizza after a Saturday afternoon soccer game for your kids and talking about the happy hour experience you had with parents in the league the night before and then looking to the band we have on Friday night, our entertainment schedule and what we're doing with DJs and dancing and fun entertainment," Delpret said. "Our menu has definitely transitioned above what Murphy's & Scarletti's was. We have a great variety."

There are 40 beers on draft from Connecticut brews like Two Roads in Stratford,Thomas Hooker in Bloomfield, Stony Creek in Stony Creek and Half Full in Stamford to craft brews from other states like a Leinenkugel vanilla porter from Wisconsin.

"It's definitely catching up to the craft beer craze that's out there," Delpret said, adding that there are many wine and cocktail options.

Jerry Fornarelli, the Tavern's owner, also owns The Tavern Downtown and The Rocking Horse Saloon in Hartford, as well as The Russian Lady in Hartford and New Haven. He has built connections with radio stations and in the entertainment industry that have allowed him to book both local bands and nationally recognized musicians like Smash Mouth at the outdoor summer festivals his restaurants have organized in Hartford.

The Tavern will offer a mixture of DJs and bands between Wednesday and Saturday, as well as trivia on Tuesday nights. The restaurant group owns mechanical bulls and one will make an appearance every so often. The management is also toying with the idea of karaoke and country line dancing.

There are also many flats screens in the tavern for watching sports.

The Tavern has renovated the space and opened it up and moved the stage toward the front. The dining, both booths and tables, are in the bar area so that diners can also experience the nightlife atmosphere.

The restaurant is hiring for multiple openings.

The Tavern at the Exchange is open Sundays to Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to midnight and Thursdays to Saturdays from 11. a.m. to 2 a.m.


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