The quaint little town of Friendsville has long been known by outdoor enthusiasts for its thrilling whitewater adventures, hiking and biking trails. Thanks to its newest business, however, it’s now becoming a place to grab a delicious meal, enjoy a cold drink and hang out with friends. The Friendsville Public House Restaurant and Bar, opened just a few short months ago and has already become a favorite for hearty and delicious fast casual food.
Having a restaurant and pub in the Friendsville community was a long-held dream of local Ken Leadbeter and his wife Michele. After considering multiple locations, the couple purchased an old building along Maple Street in the center of town and spent over a year renovating it top to bottom. Built in 1904, the building housed many businesses in its time, but had been empty for over a decade.
Ken, along with business partners Jeremy Layman and Terry Boggs, saw the building as a blank slate, and worked to create a mix of old and new. The renovation included updates to all the electrical systems, making the entire building ADA compliant, and adding plenty of parking. A brand-new kitchen and beautiful Oak bar were built and then, finally, they employed the services of well-known local chef Jason Fickes. Jason is the owner of On Pointe Cuisine and Catering and was able to help the team create an exciting and family friendly menu. The Friendsville Public House officially opened its doors in May of 2021.
The reasonably priced menu, friendly staff and delicious food and drink made the restaurant an immediate success. Since then, some life changes have resulted in Ken, Michele and Terry stepping back from the venture, while Jeremy and old friends Elliott Perfetti and Blake Walker have stepped in. Although Jeremy, Blake and Elliot had pursued other careers after school, they often worked together in different service aspects through the years and knew what they wanted to see in a local restaurant and bar.
In keeping with the original vision for the pub, Jeremy, Elliott and Blake have not made many changes, but with Jason’s help, have added some new food items to the menu, which features a delicious combination of hearty pub fare, freshly made salads and yummy desserts.
Some of the most popular features on the menu include their delicious subs isuch as the Steak & Cheese which is a Public House favorite. New items include a delicious Reuben, Pulled Pork and Double Decker Sausage Sandwiches. Popular favorites like the Bacon Ranch Wrap and Big Fish Sub remain.
Another popular dining option are the handcrafted burgers. These include the Buffalo Run Burger which is made from local beefalo (mix of Bison and Beef) and topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, fried pickles and garlic mayo.
The pub also features their Classic Burger, with variations that include The Tipsy Melt (beef burger on rye), Mushroom Swiss and Western Burger. No burger is complete without a delicious side and choices include Chips, French Fries, Tater Tots, Onion Rings, Broccoli or Side Salad.
From old favorites like Cheese Sticks and Buffalo Chicken Dip to new appetizers selections like the new Fried Veggie Basket and Cowboy Nachos, there are plenty of shareables to begin your meal or enjoy with your favorite cocktail or cold beer.
If you have a lighter appetite, be sure to try their homemade Maryland Crab Soup or Signature Spinach or Dinner Salad. New on the menu is a Pittsburgh-Style Steak Salad featuring mixed greens and topped with grilled beef tips, French fries, egg, cheddar cheese and croutons.
Other popular dinner options include the Fish & Chips Basket, Shrimp Basket with Fries or new menu item Blackened Chicken Alfredo. Because the Public House is a family friendly restaurant, children can enjoy Grilled Cheese, Chicken Tenders and Mac N Cheese.
For dessert, try their Apple Bavarian Cheesecake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie or Salted Caramel Brownie.
Every day of the week is special at Friendsville Public House. Monday is Burger and Beer Day when guests can enjoy any beef burger plus a side and two domestic bottles for only $15. On Quesadilla Tuesday, you can have your choice of chicken or steak, with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and cheese blend with salsa and sour cream for $12. On Wednesday, patrons can listen to their favorite tunes for free on Jukebox Night.
New to the lineup is Thursday Night Wing Night. From 4 – 9 PM, guests can enjoy dollar wings ($1.25 each for carry-out) in a variety of flavors including Hot, Mild, Honey BBQ, Old Bay, Spicy Ranch, Garlic Parmesan or Sweet Chili. You can order any amount you choose and add a side of celery and carrot sticks with Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing for $2.50.
On the weekends, you can enjoy one of the many delicious specials offered up by the kitchen staff which have included foods like Lasagna, Stuffed Peppers, Meatloaf, Turkey, Salmon, Steak and more. In fact, many of the new menu items were once popular specials. During the winter months, the Pub will also feature a variety of homemade and hearty soups to help take the chill off.
The Bar features several beers on tap including local favorites from nearby Screech Owl Brewing. In addition to the most popular libations, you’ll also find a selection of beer, wine, and seltzers.
Jeremy says that he, Elliott and Blake are grateful for Ken, Michele and Terry for getting them to this level of success. “One of the hardest parts of opening a restaurant is getting the systems in place,” says Jeremy. “They did the hard work, and we are proud to continue with their vision,” he adds.
The Friendsville Public House is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 AM to 10 PM and Friday & Saturday from 11 AM to Midnight, although the kitchen closes at 9 PM each evening. They are currently closed on Sunday and Monday but will be open daily in the summer season. Jeremy is hoping to add some live entertainment to the mix and is working on details now. Be sure to like their Facebook page for updated hours and weekend specials.
Written by Linda Carr