New Owners Take Reins at The Black Horse Tavern

GIRARD, Ohio – The Black Horse Tavern has new owners but will continue as a warm and welcoming gathering spot for the community.

Lifelong friends Greg Spagnoletta and Jeff Marling, both Girard High School graduates, purchased the tavern-restaurant from Randy Emery for an undisclosed amount. A ribbon-cutting took place Wednesday afternoon to mark the transition.

Spagnoletta is the owner of Tight Seal Glass Block of Girard. Although he has 28 years of experience as a business owner, he has never owned a bar or restaurant until now.

In 1929, the tavern moved to a building on the corner of West Liberty Street and North Market Street.

The decision to buy it came about when Marling, who has restaurant experience, approached Spagnoletta with the idea.

“My childhood friend came to me with a business proposal and who better to go into business with than my best friends” Spagnoletta said.

The bar has been a fixture in downtown Girard for many years and Spagnoletta wants to see its role as a gathering spot continue.

“I grew up in Girard and what a great way to bring family and friends together within our community,” he said.

Before its rebirth as The Black Horse in 2016, the bar was known as Wonderbar.

Located in a two-story brick building at 100 W. Liberty St. that dates to 1836, the tavern and dining room’s wooden floor speaks to its history. Photos from the distant past of both the bar and its surroundings are part of the décor, as are works from local artists.

Spagnoletta said the goal is for The Black Horse to become the place that its patrons desire. “We plan to listen to our customers and let their feedback drive our business to be the best it can be,” he said.

Kayla Spagnoletta, the co-owner’s niece, is the new Black Horse Tavern manager, while Raven Cooper is the kitchen manager.

The updated menu is heavy on burgers but also features fish, chicken, prime rib and shrimp entrees. There are also wings, sandwiches and wraps, soups and salads, tavern appetizers and a children’s menu.

Kayla said The Black Horse will continue to schedule acoustic music artists from 8-11 p.m. on Saturdays. Paul Sheehan is slated to perform July 2, and Shane McGee will play on July 9.

Pictured at top: Kayla Spagnoletta, manager of The Black Horse Tavern in Girard, stands behind the bar.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.