Route 53 Tavern
Disch’s Tavern opened on October 25, 2015, but its actual story began in the spring of 1974. This story is not told to recognize the accomplishments behind Disch’s Tavern, but to serve as an inspiration that hard work and determination can pay off.
Paul Disch’s father wanted Paul to become an attorney. After graduating from Boston College, Paul applied to fifteen law schools and was rejected by all of them. Hoping to improve his potential for acceptance, he took courses to improve his LSAT scores and did graduate work at Babson College. The following year, Paul applied to twelve law schools . . . and was accepted to the Wethersfield School of Law in Hartford, Connecticut. After successfully completing his first year of law school, Wethersfield was closed down by the State of Connecticut. It seemed as if life kept trying to redirect Paul.
Out of school and a job, Paul picked up a copy of the Boston Sunday Globe and searched out job opportunities.
There it was: “Saloon Keeper.”
Follow The Journey Of How We Came To Be Route 53Tavern….
Chapter 1 – Saloon Keeper
Paul immediately applied and an interview was set up with Mr. Jack Sullivan in Boston. Paul had no idea the position he had applied for. He had worked in college bars and local haunts around Brookline while at Boston College. It turned out that Mr. Sullivan hired Paul, not because of his experience, but because he had graduated from Boston College, was 6’2” tall and weighed 220 lbs. It didn’t take long; in fact two hours into his first training shift, before everyone knew Paul did not have the credentials or the experience to be a Charley’s Saloon bartender on Newbury Street in the Back Bay of Boston. Read The Rest…..
Chapter 2 – The Great Escape
In 1976, Paul left the Charley’s Saloon Group and took a general manager’s position at the Great Escape in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The owners had one location but were looking to expand. The operation did not have the disciplines and structure of the Charley Saloons, and it served as a restaurant, bar, and night club. This was a great opportunity for Paul. It provided him the chance to implement the controls and disciplines he had learned at the Charley Saloons. With the renewed success of the business, the owners decided to expand the building, itself, rather than take on new locations. They also decided to expand the night club instead of the restaurant. This was not the direction Paul wanted his career to take, but his roots came calling just in time. Paul was contacted by Mr. Sullivan’s partner in the Charley Saloons, Charley Sarkis. Charley had two restaurants of his own under the name J.C. Hillary’s. Paul took over the position of general manager of J.C. Hillary’s in Dedham, Massachusetts. Read The Rest…
Chapter 3 – The Florida Expansion
With the creation of the Westwood Restaurant Group, Paul was named Vice President of Operations. In July of 1981, Paul left for Florida. Paul was in charge of restaurant operations and Gary Mitchell was in charge of food operations. Not only did the Westwood Group buy the restaurants, but—because the company was still relatively small and based in Boston—the Westwood Group hired all of the existing managers and much of the existing staff. Read The Rest…
Chapter 4 – Going Public
Charley’s passion and ability to develop restaurant concepts continued. He created the Papa-Razzi concept. This was the concept that Charley used to launch his public offering. It was at this point that Paul’s role in the company began to change. As a publicly-traded company, the focus moved from concepts to replicable expansion and growth.
Paul was made the Vice-president of Human Resources for the Back Bay Restaurant Group, the name of the newly public company. His responsibilities were not so much benefits and personnel issues, but rather the hiring, training, and development of regional managers, general managers, restaurant managers, chefs, and sous chefs. When you become a public company, it is about opening new restaurants and generating sales and profits. To open restaurants, you need new people and you have to retain the existing people to ensure stability and profitability. The challenge became even greater as Back Bay Restaurant Group (BBRG) moved down the east coast. BBRG would eventually have restaurants in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. The Papa-Razzi, although a great concept, was not a concept that could successfully be expanded at the pace demanded by Wall Street. Sales began falling and the demands put on by the expansion started taking their toll. Management turnover was becoming a major problem. Paul had put together a fourteen-week training program, but because of demand, the training time was often cut short and people were prematurely placed in positions and given responsibilities they were not ready to handle. Read The Rest…
Chapter 5 – Brant Rock
One chapter closed and another one began.
Paul entered into an agreement to lease a restaurant and inn called the Fairview Inn in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield, Massachusetts. The original Fairview was built in the 1800s and was totally destroyed by a fire in 1998. The Fairview was re-built and opened in November of 2001. Paul, his wife Betty, and his daughters Lindsey and Lauren operated the restaurant and inn. The opening of the Fairview was a much bigger deal than Paul had anticipated. He thought the opening in November would not be very busy and it would give him a chance to get things in place for the anticipated busy summer season. Paul was wrong. The first unannounced opening Thursday night drew 200 people, Friday drew 300, and Saturday had 350. Things were off to a great start. Read The Rest…
Chapter 6 – Disch’s Tavern
The next day, Peter called Paul and said there was a restaurant in Pembroke that was still open. Paul was directed to visit the restaurant. The location had been four different restaurants over its most recent history. For thirty-one years, it was called Bobby Hackett’s and it had been very successful. Paul was very familiar with the restaurant because Bobby Hackett’s son Michael had worked for Paul for the last eight years. Peter set up a meeting with the owner. The owner was a successful night club operator in Boston but had minimum food experience. Paul ended up sitting at a table in the restaurant, watching a night club owner and a car dealer negotiate the purchase of the business and the building. After about an hour of going back and forth, the two stood up, shook hands, and the deal was done. Peter went back to Connecticut and called Paul the next day. Paul had been talking to banks about financing. Read The Rest…