If you have ever visited Stone Harbor, you have likely seen more than one of the locals bumming around town in a “Fred’s Tavern” T-shirt. The shirt, like the bar itself, is something of a classic. And once you visit Fred’s, it’s not hard to see why.
What to expect:
In a lot of ways, Fred’s Tavern is precisely what you would expect from an establishment with such a simple, unassuming moniker. It’s your basic, local watering hole that has proven its worth by being in business for more than 80 years. What you may NOT expect is that the quality of the food is a sincere step above most pub grub, and the crowd is friendlier and more welcoming than the typical “locals only” vibe that is implied. Fear not newbies (and shoobies), no needles will rip off records as you walk in the door.
Food and drink:
The brews here are cold and the bartenders friendly. And while the draft selection at Fred’s may disappoint a few long-bearded beer geeks, we have to remember that this is Stone Harbor and not Portland, Ore.
To their credit, Fred’s has added quite a few taps over the years and even manages to throw in a few craft beers among the broader selection of macro brews such as Bud and Coors.
Wing lovers will rejoice at the selection of beautifully crisp chicken wing varieties available here. Many bars do wings, but not many bars do great wings like Fred’s.
For those who may be hungry and a bit light on cash, we suggest you wait until Friday afternoon and then make a beeline to Fred’s, as they serve a free buffet starting at 5 p.m.
Back in the ’70s and ’80s Fred’s was the place to see big name acts of the day such as Foghat and The Outlaws. These days things are a bit mellower with acoustic acts featured on Fridays and Saturdays (starting mid-March) and live bands playing five nights a week during the summer.
On Saturday, March 14, the annual “Stone Harbor Shiver” will take place, when thousands of folks descend onto the beach to masochistically launch themselves into the frigid waters of the Atlantic. Fred’s Tavern will host a pre-plunge event called “Kegs and Eggs” at 9:30 a.m. as well as an “After Shiver” party. Activities under the big tented parking lot include games, DJs and dancing. (See more on Page 6.)