Owner and Executive Chef of The Roosevelt Tavern, Byron Kehr, is committed to sourcing locally grown, farm-raised ingredients that highlight seasonal flavors and regional favorites for the restaurant’s farm-to-table menu.
Byron grew up in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and remembers The Roosevelt Tavern as a landmark restaurant in York since he was a kid. Though the property has changed owners and uses in the last 162 years, from cigar stores and speakeasies in the prohibition era to the local’s favorite Annie Tique’s bar in the ‘70s and later Archie’s Inn Towne in the ‘80’s, it has remained a place of gathering among friends.
When Byron and his wife purchased the restaurant in 2011, they recreated the menus to adapt to the farm-to-table mentality with the intention of utilizing the plethora of top-quality meats, cheeses, and seasonal produce available locally.
“That’s when we tried to use all the local farmers that we could,” Byron explains about the genesis of the farm-to-table approach.
“Sourcing ingredients locally keeps the local economy stimulated,” Kehr says on the importance of supporting local farmers, “and people know where their meals are coming from and what the animals are being fed. It follows through in the quality of the meat.”
Meats, like pork and beef, are purchased from local farms that specialize in humane practices, vegetables and fruits are bought at York County markets and roadside stands based on what is needed for featured dishes, and cheeses are sourced from a York County goat farm. Even the desserts get in on the local action, with treats incorporating Beck’s Ice Cream and Wilbur’s Chocolate. Within walking distance from The Roosevelt Tavern is Penn Market, York County’s oldest farmer’s market, where Byron will also purchase fresh meats and cheeses from the market’s longest-standing vendor, Charles Ilyes Family Inc.
The Kehr’s commitment to celebrating fresh, local ingredients from nearby farms and family-owned businesses in the area is made apparent in The Roosevelt Tavern’s ever-evolving menu based on availability and season.