Josiah Smith Tavern Reuse

August 15, 2023 update

The Josiah Smith Tavern in the center of Weston has been beautifully restored, brought to code and is ready for use by a restaurant and non-profit tenants. The Friends of the JST are engaged to identify a suitable restaurant operator and multiple operators have already expressed interest in the building. To ensure that we have a great pool of potential candidates, the Friends encourage residents to offer any suggestions or introductions to potential restaurant operators. Our goal is to select an operator by year end. Please contact Friends board members, George Hanson and Jay Valenta, with any suggestions.

Summer 2023 Updates on the Josiah Smith Tavern from the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern

Changes to the Board of the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern

The 2023 Annual Board Meeting of the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern was held in June. The Friends have been reorganized with the election of Henry Stone as President, Pam Swain as Treasurer and Con Chapman as Clerk.  

In addition, four new members (directors) were elected to round out the board.  This influx of talent will bring a scope of expertise and experience to address the current needs of the Josiah Smith Tavern project.  New board members include:

  • Con Chapman JD, a partner of the law firm of Burns & Levinson in Boston, who has served as pro bono lawyer for the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern for many years.   Con has represented a number of non-profit institutions and foundations in education, healthcare, the arts, social services and historic preservation.
  • George Hanson, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Panera Bread. George is a digital & direct-to-consumer retail executive with extensive domestic and international leadership experience in both retail and restaurant industries.
  • John McDonald, CPA  was on the initial Josiah Smith Tavern corporation board in 2009 and stepped down to serve on the Weston Financial Committee for 12 years, including four as chair.  His deep commitment to Weston also includes past service as Trustee and Vice President for Weston Forest and Trails. He formally worked at KPMG, Lotus Development and Textron.
  • Jay Valenta is Managing Director of Madison Marquette, a real estate investment and operating company. Jay has over thirty years of experience in real estate acquisitions, asset management and development project management. Jay served as co-chair of the Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Working Group, which led to the successful development of the Weston Arts and Innovation Center and the restoration of the Josiah Smith Tavern.

With these changes and additions, the board is now poised to partner with the town to arrange long-term leases for the various Weston non-profits and find the optimal restauranteur to lease the newly renovated shell space.

Volunteers Start the JST Garden CleanupJosiah Smith Tavern Garden Cleanup

After touring the JST with the new board members and walking the grounds, board members Pam Swain and Leslie Vensel were inspired to jump start the spring cleanup of the beautiful gardens.   This resulted in the First Annual Juneteenth Garden Cleanup that came a few days in advance of the hired landscape company.  The professional team was impressed with the work and shaved some charges off their bill which resulted in savings for the town.

Click through the pictures below to see the transformation

Before 1

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