Stephen Anthony's celebrates 25 years with a bang
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Stephen Anthony's, the classic American restaurant on the Marlborough-Sudbury border, is celebrating 25 years in business with two major expansions – a spacious function hall and the Olde Colonial Market, featuring fresh and prepared foods.
Anthony Scerra and his wife, Sara, opened the restaurant in October 1986, serving full breakfast and sandwiches at lunchtime. In 1995, they moved next door, into the space the restaurant now occupies, and added dinner, accumulating awards along the way for their bountiful breakfasts featuring homemade maple sausage, wide range of lunch choices and their seafood, delivered fresh each day.
This year, Anthony and Sara bought the historic shopping center that is anchored by the restaurant and country store (operated by Anthony's sister) from his parents, and set about making some changes they's been contemplating for quite a while.
“I grew up in the candy store here,” Anthony said. It remains a family operation, with son Sean joining his parents in the business. Another son, Zachery, is still in school, and the newest addition, 15-month-old Angelina, is also growing up in the candy store and restaurant.
“We are the fifth owners of this location since Henry Ford. He made the people who purchased it from him write an essay about their plans,” Sara said. “Anthony's parents were ready to retire and glad to keep the center in the family. We are making some changes to bring the center back to what Henry Ford intended.”
The center's Country Store was moved from Sudbury center to the Boston Post Road location by Ford in 1929 as part of his development vision for the Wayside Inn area. The large building dates back to the 1800s. There's a small building next to it that was a cobbler shop and was built in the late 1700s, and the Scerras are restoring that.
A wishing well in front of this shop will be the focal point for a new garden, and a patio between the market and the restaurant will provide an outdoor seating area in nice weather.
Devoted customers of Stephen Anthony's restaurant will be pleased to know the changes will not affect its popular menu.
“We will continue to offer dishes geared to the season,” with fresh ingredients from local sources when possible, Anthony said. Breakfast remains a strong attraction, featuring homemade sausage. The dinner menu focuses on seafood and steaks and such comfort foods as meatloaf, roast chicken and macaroni and cheese, with daily specials at lunch and dinner.
“We get a seafood delivery six days a week. If it were any fresher, it would still be swimming,” he said. “People know when they come here there's nothing frozen.”
Asked about recent reports of restaurants substituting varieties of fish, Anthony emphasized the fish on the plate is the same as the fish on the menu.
“It's my name on that fish, and I will not jeopardize my name.”
With the opening of the adjacent function hall, the Scerras will be able to handle parties and events they previously had to turn down because of a lack of space.
The new facility is between the country store and the equally new market, and a state-of-the-art kitchen serves both of those operations. The function hall was an antiques store and has been renovated down to the studs, with new lighting, carpeting and restrooms.
The hall can accommodate parties up to 100 people and features huge windows across the back overlooking Hager Pond. In the spring, the Scerras will have the gazebo at the pond available for outdoor wedding ceremonies. Already a December wedding is scheduled for the hall with the ceremony in front of the windows.
The hall can also be configured to accommodate business meetings and training sessions, birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvahs, showers and other celebrations. The hall opened with a dinner theater event featuring the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens performing excerpts from “A Christmas Carol” last weekend.
The hall can be set up for full-service or buffet serving, with or without a bar. A portable dance floor is also available.
“We will work with clients to customize the menu to their needs,” Sara said.
Stephen Anthony's is located at 999 Boston Post Rd. (Route 20) and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday for breakfast only. For more information, call 508-460-9618 or visit www.stephenanthonys.com.
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