Antique atmosphere carries Spread Eagle’s legacy
$20 voucher for $10
Spread Eagle Tavern
10150 Plymouth Street, Hanoverton
Lunch and dinner hours vary
Steaks, burgers, specialty dishes
Watch our interview with Spread Eagle Tavern owner David Johnson on vindy.com/valleyfood
Valley Deals 365 - Spread Eagle Tavern
An interview with David Johnson, Owner of Spread Eagle Tavern. This video feature is from Valley Deals 365, a partnership between The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV. Visit Valleydeals365.com to view this and other deals.
By Corey Crisan
In Partnership with 21 WFMJ-TV
HANOVERTON – A hidden destination blooms boldly in the village of Hanoverton and has done so for nearly two centuries. Not decades – centuries. Built in 1837, the Spread Eagle Tavern still stands through the trials, tests, and temptations of time that usher in an experience that is difficult to replicate and modernize.
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“This little town was in between the mouth and the tail of the Sandy & Beaver Canal,” Spread Eagle owner David Johnson details the restaurant’s history. “The tavern was built during the heyday of that period of time.”
Johnson’s parents bought the tavern in 1988 and his family has run the place ever since. After a complete renovation fortified the infrastructure, the tavern re-opened in 1990. The tavern now features seven different dining rooms that give visitors an opportunity to choose their own experience, which is the main attraction of dining at the Spread Eagle Tavern.
“The dining rooms range in size, from the large barn room in the back of the building to a small number of intimate dining rooms,” Johnson said. “We also have guest rooms here. Five guest rooms in the tavern, and adjoining the tavern is the Hanover House, which is a separate guest house.”
The guest rooms are all named after former United States presidents. The Washington Room is the most expensive option. Sitting on the third floor, it offers a king-size canopy bed, two fireplaces, and its own sitting area. Other options include the Lincoln Room, the Van Buren Room, the Madison Room, and the Jefferson Room. According to legend, the Jefferson Room is where a resident ghost lives.
Among the several dining rooms is the tavern’s rathskeller – the basement area of the tavern. It gives a cavernous feel with low-hanging brick ceilings, brick floors, and dimmed lighting to the level of a candle.
“Down there, you’ll see the brick ceilings patterned after wine cellars in the 18th and 17th century,” he said. “All of that was redone like it originally was.”
Spread Eagle’s menu is diverse and varies by the time of day. A number of soups, salads, appetizers and sandwiches occupy the lunch section. The dinner menu is loaded with beef, chicken, and seafood options, including a newly featured tomahawk steak – a 36 oz. prime ribeye with a long bone that hangs off the plate.
“We’re serving that as a special on the menu,” Johnson said. “It’s $90 a plate, but it’s for two… unless you’re hungry.”
Johnson says the tomahawk was inspired by his recent trip to President Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C., where the tomahawk is widely regarded as his favorite item on the menu.
“And we try to have things that are not-so expensive, too,” Johnson explained. “We have one item called tavern chicken, which is a breaded chicken with three cheeses melted inside. That item is the second or third most-popular item on our menu, and it’s much more moderately priced. My hamburgers wouldn’t be any more expensive than any other family dining place.”
Spread Eagle Tavern is open with varying hours. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Dinner hour begins at 5 p.m. each day except Sunday. Dinner hour on Sunday starts at 2:30 p.m. For more information on the Spread Eagle Tavern’s guest rooms, and for the full menu, visit spreadeagletavern.com.