A well-known Brandywine Hundred watering hole is closing, but don't panic, it's just for some "freshening up."
Stanley's Tavern owner Steve Torpey said the facility at Foulk and Grubb roads, which includes a restaurant, bar, package store, and banquet space, was last renovated in 1995, and they felt it was the right time to make some upgrades.
"We needed it. About 90 percent of the kitchen is being redone--new floor and a lot of new equipment," said Torpey. "New booths, tables, chairs, flooring in the dining room, 14 new large screen TVs - a bunch of 65-inchers we're putting in. We're putting a lot of stuff in here that will last many years to come."
Torpey said he had about 40 people on-site, including his staff and contractors, on Monday, July 8, 2019 for the first day of renovations.
The Food Bank of Delaware is benefiting from the restaurant's temporary closure.
"It's awesome. All those products they're able to use, we sent off to them."
That includes, to Torpey's surprise, stored dinnerware.
"They're a distribution point for china to all the other charities in the area. So we probably had three or four generations of plate changes in our attic," he said. "So there's probably 2,000 pieces of different types of china and everything else that we're sending to them so they can distribute throughout the state."
According to Stanley's web site, there have been five additions to the original structure, which dates back to the 1920s.
The site's history as a bar dates back to 1935 when it was known as "Bill's Place." The name changed to Stanley's Tavern in 1947 when Stanley Minakowski took ownership.
The current investment group, headed up by Torpey, took over in 1982.
He said, in the end, the work is all about the guests.
"For us to get the food out correctly and efficiently, we need the right equipment, so I have to give my staff the equipment to do what we need to do for the guest."
Torpey said the closure is expected to last no more than a month.
"It's still going to have the same feel that we've always had. It's still that neighborhood pub that everybody knows [we're] just replacing a lot of those things that have worn out over the years."
And there's no doubt:
"We'll be open for football."