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New bar and restaurant to open next to Hagerstown Speedway

A luncheon and ribbon-cutting ceremony were held at Thunder Road Bar and Grille

April 30, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Restaurant owner Jason Provard is joined by Washington County Commissioners, members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau for lunch at Thunder Road Bar and Grille just after the official ribbon cutting in Hagerstown Tuesday.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

A nearly 240-year-old building next to Hagerstown Speedway east of Clear Spring is housing a new bar and restaurant that is scheduled to open Saturday.

A luncheon and ribbon-cutting ceremony were held at Thunder Road Bar and Grille, at 15124 National Pike on Tuesday. The Washington County Commissioners and other county officials attended.

The restaurant is in a building that opened in 1778 as a hotel for people traveling by horseback and has since served as a hospital, nursing home, and various other restaurants, said Jim Mills, director of marketing and events for the restaurant. It sits on a hill in front of the speedway overlooking Conococheague Creek.

“There’s just a lot of history here,” Mills said. “This is one of the oldest buildings in Washington County, and it’s very structurally sound.”

With 14 employees, the restaurant, which includes a bar and an outdoor deck, will serve food such as specialty burgers and fries, owner Jason Provard said.

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“We incorporate a lot of our own local meats and produce and are able to use that in everything that we serve,” Provard said. “We have no frozen foods, everything’s fresh.”

Provard, who is also an antique dealer at Antique Crossroads, said that he wants the restaurant to relate to its surroundings, including the history and the speedway.

“We’re trying to really play off the racing theme in here and kind of tie it into what we do here,” he said.

The restaurant and bar will seat 137 people, and the deck outside will seat another 120, Mills said. The deck will be well-lighted at night, Provard said.

There is also a juke box inside as well as an open area for bands to perform. The restaurant has acts booked every Saturday beginning May 18 through the end of August, according to its website at www.thunderroadbarandgrille.com.

At the ceremony Tuesday, Terry L. Baker, president of the county commissioners, presented a certificate of appreciation to the restaurant. He talked about his memories of the building, including its time as a nursing home.

“My grandmother was actually in the nursing home here,” he said. “When I was a young man living in Pinesburg, I used to come to the Hagerstown raceway all the time, and I’ve seen a lot of things evolve within this facility over the years.”

Thomas B. Riford, president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, talked about the building’s history and what the new restaurant means for the area.

“This is wonderful for Washington County to be able to open up a new business, especially a great restaurant that’s right next door to the speedway with the thousands of people that they get every weekend here in Washington County,” he said.

A grand opening for the restaurant is scheduled for the public beginning at noon Saturday and will feature the band Crush Theory.

The restaurant will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from noon to 1 a.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m., Provard said.

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