Dining Guide

The Old Grist Mill and Wharf Tavern

Embracing traditional New England fare

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The Old Grist Mill | 390 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk | 508-336-8460
The Wharf Tavern | 215 Water Street, Warren | 401-289-2524 

The Old Grist Mill
“It was like a movie. It just went up in flames,” says Greg Esney, recalling the infamous incident. Greg and his wife Sue have been the owners of The Old Grist Mill since 2009. “I was the general manager for years,” he says. “When the owner decided to sell, Sue and I jumped at the opportunity.” But then an unbelievable accident happened in the summer of 2012. A large truck filled with bananas rolled over, tripped a gas line and hit a telephone pole – causing an explosion and major fire damage. “We knew right away we were going to rebuild,” Greg says. Two and a half years later, the tavern reopened to triumphant response from its devoted customers and community. 

Built in 1745 and a restaurant since 1930’s, The Old Grist Mill was a piece of history long before the fire. The rustic tavern overlooks a picturesque pond complete with a bubbling waterfall. The classic New England view perfectly complements the menu, which boasts traditional favorites like hand-cut steaks and chops, hearty pastas and seafood. The portions are very generous and include a trip to the salad bar. A large surf and turf menu allows you to indulge in the best of both worlds. Speaking of indulging, their desserts and legendary cinnamon bread are made in their in-house bakery. A pub menu available at the lounge offers crowd-pleasers like burgers and sharing boards. The bar hosts monthly tasting events where guests can taste the newest tastes in spirits.

Lobsterfest, a month-long celebration that includes a special menu and prices, returns on August for its 26th year. “We’re thrilled to bring back this tradition for our customers,” says Greg. 

The Wharf Tavern
When the owner of The Wharf Tavern, a RI mainstay since 1955, announced his retirement five years ago, the Esneys once again leaped at the chance to own it. “We always loved this restaurant,” Greg says, adding that the restaurants compliment each other. “They both serve traditional New England fare in casual and welcoming environments,” he says. 

With an updated look and a mission to serving fresh and local seafood, The Wharf Tavern continues to be a family-friendly favorite. Built directly on the Warren River, the sprawling restaurant offers gorgeous waterfront views from nearly every table. Simply prepared seafood such as oysters, clams, swordfish, salmon, steamers and lobster is the house specialty here, always priced reasonably and served with a choice of soup or salad and fresh-made bread. The large family friendly menu also includes flatbread pizzas, slow roasted prime rib, chops, ribs, homemade chowder and much more. 

Like its sister restaurant The Old Grist Mill, there’s great private spaces for special occasions, including the wonderful second story banquet room. A rebuilt floating dock welcomes boaters to dock and dine. “We really support the boating community,” Greg says, pointing out that the restaurant offers a 10% discount to diners that arrive by boat. Be it a family dinner, a romantic outing or a custom special event, you’re bound to have a great dining experience at these time-honored restaurants.