Olde Towne Tavern and Grille in Suwanee is one of a long line of restaurants that the owner of Olde Towne's family had a hand in. Bill Leanos followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, who was a confectioner, and his father who owned several small cafes. The first Olde Towne opened in Kennesaw in 1996, followed by a Lawrenceville location in 2003, and the Suwanee location in 2007.
The Suwanee location recently changed owners, but many things remain the same. The signature dishes on the menu will remain, and new additions to the menu will start to be ready for ordering in the next several weeks.
When first walking into Olde Towne, it feels more like an upscale restaurant that a grille and pub. We went on a Thursday night around 5:30, before the dinner rush. The waitress took our orders and was able to recommend the Wild Pie to start, and Bourbon Stir Fry and Roasted Tilapia entrees.
The Wild Pie is an Olde Towne original and can best be described as a marrying of nachos and spinach dip. A fried tortilla circle is covered with cheese, garlic, tomatoes, and spinach and artichoke dip. The tortilla is then cut like a pizza, into even wedge shaped slices. Adding on a meat, chicken and shrimp are among the choices, makes the Wild Pie a full fledged meal in itself.
The roasted tilapia is two pieces of flaky tilapia pan seared and topped with a creamy cajun flavored sauce and shrimp. The sauce is a heavy cream sauce and has a small hint of heat, or spice to it. The bourbon shrimp stir fry is a handful of shrimp thrown into a wok with celery, carrot, cabbage, and other vegetables. A sweet bourbon flavored sauce is mixed into the vegetable and shrimp. A little more runny than a typical stir fry would be, but flavorful none the less.
The plate is also topped with a bowl of rice turned upside down to create a little dome. The menu also includes choices that are more bar type food than fine dining, such as nachos, chicken tenders, pizza and french fries.
"Olde Towne tries its best to create a comfortable atmosphere," says Nichole Prescott, manager at Olde Towne. While the furnishings are more lavish with leather seating, plush booth seats, and stained glass, the shout of people watching sports keeps the restaurant from being over the top. Bar seats are limited and fill up quickly on weekends or when a sporting event occurs.
The change in ownership has not affected the wish that Olde Towne be comfortable. The changes that will be noticeable in the next couple of weeks will stick to the overall feel of Olde Towne, but will also have some additions in hopes to bring in a more upscale feeling and clientele.
The new Legendary Steak and Seafood menu is due to debut in the next few weeks and will feature better, high end cuts of meat. The banquet room is undergoing a change in décor as well.
Justin Ashcraft, another manager of Olde Towne, is gearing up for a release of nine new menu items. While Olde Towne is planning on adding more high-end food, the overall price point will remain the same, with just a few items higher than the original Olde Towne menu.
If you want to have a meal that is more lavish than the typical bar, yet you can't bear to miss the next UGA game, visit Olde Towne to find a blending of fine food with the atmosphere of a sports bar.