Stone Fleet Tavern: Home of the Cod Cakes
By Brittany Bousquet, New London Main Street Intern
June 26, 2012
Meet Mark Sebastianelli. A Groton native who graduated from Fitch Senior High School, Mark attended Johnson and Wales and graduated with two management degrees. He managed Skippers Dock for eight years and spent another year managing the New London Outback Steakhouse. As of May 28, 2012, Mark Sebastianelli is the owner of Stone Fleet Tavern.
Mark explained to me that he has spent the past five years looking for a location for his own restaurant, and finally found the right one last fall. He felt that the landlord cared and wanted to better New London rather than just make money. Added bonuses were a good lease and an ideal location.
Mark says that opening Stone Fleet Tavern and settling into New London has been great. Opening was an easy endeavor with everyone being helpful and meeting deadlines. The Mayors office and the New London Fire Department were mentioned as being especially helpful, and Mark feels that New London is very business friendly. He has also found the community of New London to be welcoming. Mark says, It wasnt until the restaurant opened that I realized just how many people live in downtown New London. Residents and other downtown business owners are all glad to have Stone Fleet Tavern in New London, especially since the building is ideally located across the street from Union Station and Parade Plaza.
Stone Fleet Tavern is unique to New London, because the food is simple American cuisine. Although described as a restaurant for the average man, Stone Fleet Tavern hopes to attract everyone, especially the locals. Its not fancy food, but instead food that is fresh and reasonably priced. Chef Mike Dunt describes the food as simple rustic food, a cross between bar food and restaurant food, with an emphasis on comfort bar food. All items on the menu are homemade, complimented by specialty sauces and hand-cut fries. Dunt tries to avoid frozen food and brings in as much fresh food as possible. The cheese steak poutine and New England Cod Cakes are both phenomenal and are two of the signature dishes on the menu. I had an opportunity to sample them both, and I found them to be delicious.
Stone Fleet Tavern has had steady business since opening. They have a Facebook page, and a website is in the works. When it is up and running, the website address will be easy to remember: www.stonefleettavern.com. Monday through Saturday Stone Fleet Tavern opens at 11:30am and closes at midnight. On Sundays they open at 1:00pm and close at 10:00pm.
And in case you were wondering where the name Stone Fleet Tavern comes from, it originates from the Civil War. In January of 1862 an effort was made by the North to blockade ports in Charleston and Savannah. Two groups of ships were brought from Mystic and New Bedford to New London where they were filled with fieldstones. They were then sailed to Charleston and Savannah as an attempt to blockade supply routes. Unfortunately the attempt was unsuccessful, and within a year all evidence of the attempt was gone. Although theyve only been open three and a half weeks, I have every confidence that Stone Fleet Tavern will be around for many years to come.
Stone Fleet Tavern, 2 State Street, New London