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J.J.’s Tavern to replace Silk City Tavern in Florence

J.J.’s Tavern will take over the space that housed the Silk City Tap Room in Florence center, ideally in time for Saturday’s game, said new owner Jonathan Neumann. Silk City closed at the end of business Tuesday.

Neumann said he and the staff are working hard to get J.J.’s open even if they have to resort to a “soft” opening before everything is complete.

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will play for the Stanley Cup in a seven-game series that begins Wednesday night. Game 2 is at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Neumann, 33, has been working at Silk City as its manager since it opened in 2004, and is taking over the restaurant from departing owner Constantine Sierros.

“I really want to thank the Sierros family for this opportunity,” Neumann said. “I’ve learned so much from them.”

Sierros also owns Paisanos Restaurant & Pizzeria in Southampton, Florence Pizza and A-1 Pizza House in Northampton.

Neumann said he and Sierros have been talking for “a good couple of years” about transferring the business, and he and the staff have been working for about a month to get everything ready.

The biggest change will be the addition of a full kitchen, Neumann said, which will provide a new menu including bar fare such as chicken wings as well as grilled sandwiches, salads, burgers and fish.

Neumann said Brian Smith, kitchen manager at Mount Holyoke College, will be hired to run the kitchen at J.J.’s.

Neumann said with a new owner comes a new name. J.J.’s was chosen using the first initial of his name and that of his wife Jennifer.

Music will still be featured at the venue, but it will be moved upstairs to keep the downstairs as a dining area.

The upstairs area also will be available for functions, and Neumann said he hopes to be able to provide space for charity events as well.

Seven HD television screens downstairs, a few more upstairs and one on the outdoor deck will keep patrons abreast of sports action while enjoying their food an drink. “We want to bring a fun, family atmosphere to the center of Florence,” Neumann said.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

I really hope the atmosphere will change under the new ownership! I'd love to have a place in Florence to get a drink and chat--especially now that Side Street Cafe is no longer open at night--but Silk City was too loud and rowdy for us. Here's hoping!

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