, Salem, MA

December 3, 2012

Black Cow gets 'modern industrial' makeover

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff Writer

---- — HAMILTON — The Black Cow Tap & Grill is back, complete with a new look.

The Bay Road eatery reopened a week ago, with a more casual atmosphere, after closing in April for renovations.

Owner Joseph Leone describes the redesigned space as “modern industrial,” featuring an open-kitchen concept and a steel and mahogany look. The fireplace and chimney in the center of the restaurant have been removed and replaced with a more modern, four-sided metal fire pit.

The old decor, which featured old farm equipment, antiques and children’s toys, has been replaced with modern artwork and new light fixtures attached to the brick walls. The restaurant is housed in the town’s first brick building and served as the post office until the 1980s, according to the restaurant’s website.

“It is a bigger and brighter, more inviting space,” Leone said.

The previous bar counter is now being used as benches for two tables, one of which replaces booths that used to line the back wall.

General manager Nicole Ananian said the changes have been received well by customers.

“They enter the door and just stop and stare to take it all in,” she said.

The menu has also been updated. There are now 33 beers on tap and a larger wine list.

Chef Al Quiroz described the new menu as “simple, fine and good.”

“We have a little bit of everything for everybody,” he said.

While people got used to the cozy feel of the restaurant, a change was needed, Leone said.

“We were successful for 18 years,” he said. “Our customers loved it here. I just thought it needed to be updated.”

Leone said he wanted to take his time with the renovations to make sure it was done right. Was it worth the seven-month-long wait?

“Every second,” Leone said.