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Old Highway Tavern opening in October

Sept 29, 2022

By: Katherine Trowbridge

After much anticipation and excitement, The Old Highway Tavern has announced plans to open at the beginning of October. From the moment work began on the former Calfee Pharmacy building, nearly a year ago, the community couldn’t stop talking about the future bar.

The Old Highway Tavern is the work of Rami and Rebeca Al Iessa. Rebeca shared, “As a young couple and young parents, we didn’t want to drive to town to go out on a dinner date. We needed a place in the downtown area where adults and young adults would have a place to go. A place for fun, a place worthy of a good dinner date and hopefully, we can provide that.”

The couple had been looking at the location for a bit and finally was able to buy it and accomplish what they called “a good idea” as they had received feedback from friends and family. The couple share that the space had to be remodeled to be more aesthetically pleasing and up to code. Rami took the reins on this part of the project. Rebeca stated, “He has the credit. He worked so hard; made so many sacrifices to put this together over a whole year. He worked so hard to bring this to the town.” While Rami told the Franklin County Graphic, “It’s not me, it’s all her (speaking of his wife, Rebeca). She’s the businessperson.” Rebeca also owns the Small Mall in Connell and will continue to operate it while overseeing this new business venture.

They added, “It’s been a fun project for sure. It’s been refreshing, very motivational to see the excitement build as we worked on the building”

The name was chosen after they learned more about the location around here and how the town was. Rebeca shared that they wanted to stick with a little history. Speaking of history, Molly (Calfee) Kunkel, who grew up in the building, donated a piano to the new establishment.

The bar with dine-in area will have great meals and fun entertainment, according to the couple. Food offerings will be the typical bar food along with the addition of a variety of good high end dinner options at “reasonable” prices. You will be able to pick from American, Hispanic, Mediterranean, and Asian themed dishes. Hours will be 4 pm to 12 midnight, Wednesday through Saturday.

Rebeca continued, “Above all we wanted to provide a good venue, a good place for fun and entertainment within the community. We are excited to get it opened, a little nervous but mostly excited. We hope everyone else will be also. We can’t wait for these tables to be filled.”

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