A Little History...
Knotty Pines 1948
Faregrounds Restaurant Today
Faregrounds in Nantucket has been serving the community since November 1997.
Faregrounds has been the site of a local’s restaurant since 1948 when the colorful Parker Gray opened The Knotty Pines Bar-B-Q. Parker imported the wood for the building from Maine and Pat Elliot built the original fireplace. Gray’s love of planes filled the ceiling and walls and Nantucketers had their first taste of the true Caesar salad table side – which Parker would do himself. Piano music became the main form of entertainment for many years to come …
At some point the building was renovated and the Pub side (with a full basement) was added to the building…
John Kimmett and JJ Sullivan took over in the early 60’s and the name was shortened to The Knotty Pines. With Rosy on the piano – the regulars would enjoy a great sing along!
1972 Roy Barrett bought the building and shortened the name to The Pines.
In 1974 Roy Barrett sold the restaurant to Bob and Mary Malavase where upon they named it The Roadhouse…because -“It’s an eating and drinking establishment located on the edge of town.” With a 1940s motif the Malavases decorated the walls with Life Magazines dating from the first issue thru World War II. Prime Rib and a Salad Bar were big sellers just as they are today. Eva Wilson and Gus Bentley hit the ivories to the delight of all the patrons.
In 1977 Rob Madden took over the keys of the front door to the Roadhouse.
Gene Mohan took the reins in 1978. It remained the Roadhouse and was devoted to serious Jazz – The Roadhouse had its own house band. Many great groups and musicians came from Boston to play with the group. Great Jazz rocked the Roadhouse walls until 1980.
Glenn Mara opened in 1980 with owners Tom o’ Mara and Bob McGovern. They ran it until 1984.
In 1984 Kenny Holdgate bought the building and opened the restaurant known as Christopher’s. Heat was added to the Dining Room allowing year round service. Christopher’s was a popular local hang out until 1988.
During a short vacancy, Kenny Holdgate used that time to update the building. He removed the kitchen from the Dining Room, built the kitchen off the back of the bar area and added office space on the second floor. The bar was reconstructed and it opened under the new ownership of Glen & Robin Menard in 1990.
Glen, a Nantucket native along with his wife Robin renamed the restaurant The Pines. Once again the building enjoyed the laughter of locals… During their tenure Glen and Robin extended the Pub area, adding more tables and black topped the parking lot. The Pines was a local favorite and served dinner year round.
November of 1997 Bill and Kim Puder continued the restaurant’s tradition of a local favorite and opened for Lunch and Dinner. To name the restaurant they had contest for the locals. Steve Albright won with The Faregrounds (because it is on Fairgrounds Rd) and Pudleys Pub (after the Puder’s Pot Bellied Pig). To this day they keep the tradition of serving locals and their families; hosting their family occasions, charity events and other community functions. In the summer, the restaurant is a favorite amongst island visitors- both young and old.
If you have any information that we can add to the history of the Faregrounds…please contact us
The Pub at Faregrounds
The pub at Faregrounds was named after our pet. Pudley! He was a very handsome, black, pot belly pig.
Pudley hailed from Canandaigua, N.Y. and he came to live with us October 1991. Pudley and his human mom could not make it back to Nantucket right away because Nantucket was in the middle of the “Perfect Storm”. In that week, at his grandparents’ house – he learned his name, he learned to walk on a leash and he learned to sit – all by the age of 10 weeks – by 14 weeks he learned to ring a bell out go outside.Pudley was Island Famous as soon as his hoofs hit the sand. He was welcome in many island restaurants and gladly ate a salad in all of them. (But we can’t tell you which ones…shhhh- this is a well kept secret)
He is mentioned on a bottle cap of Nantucket Nectars and this spring he will have a Juice Bar ice cream flavor named after him!
Pigs are very clean animals. They get a bad rap from the living conditions we put them in. If you give a pig a choice between a pool of clean water or a pool of dirty water…they will choose the clean water. They are also very smart…and our Pudley was no exception. He lived in our house and could open the refrigerator and he would help himself to anything he could reach. Fish, beer – you name it… We finally had to put a lock on the all the cabinets and the fridge…
Pudley loved walking on a leash. But- he preferred to wander on his own… we often got phone calls from the police telling us there was a pig sighting…or people would just put him in their cars and bring him home.
Pudley was very affectionate and loved to cuddle. When you talked to him he would “respond back”… he was a great addition to our family and visitors would often come to the house to feed him carrots and scratch him behind his ears (one of his favorite spots). Many visitors had a family picture taken with Pudley.
Pudley passed away 9/14/01…he is forever missed…but if you get a group talking about our famous pig… OH!… the stories you will hear…cuz everyone who knew him has a least one story that will give you that great belly laugh.