The Fife ‘n Drum restaurant is celebrating 50 years of business in Kent

Restaurant KENT – Fife ‘n Drum has served several generations of families during the half century that it has been in business. The late Dolph Traymon, a professional musician, opened the restaurant on January 20, 1973. Traymon’s daughter, Elissa Potts, has since taken over the restaurant, which features live music several times a week.

On January 19, from 3 to 7 p.m., the Fife ‘n Drum restaurant is hosting an open day on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

Given how the restaurant has “grown over time,” Potts said it’s interesting to look back on its 50 years in business, from the customers who came to the restaurant in the early days to the families and grandchildren of the original customers who frequent the restaurant. today.

“It’s really heartwarming to know how many people we’ve taken care of over the years,” she said.

Early years

Before opening Fife ‘n Drum, Potts said her father ran Caro’s Restaurant in Manhasset, N.Y., for five years while her family lived on Long Island. Along with running Caro’s with two partners, Traymon has played piano throughout Long Island, New York and Connecticut, and traveled the world to perform.

In 1972, Traymon purchased the property where Fife ‘n Drum is located on Main St. 53 and opened the restaurant on January 20, 1973.

Potts said the restaurant faced challenges in its early years as a result of the energy crisis of the 1970s. Because the oil embargo made shipping difficult for the restaurant, she said her father would drive to New York for groceries, meat and other items, while her mother would pick up fish from Manhasset.

“It was really tough in the beginning, but he persevered and we always just hung in there,” Potts said. “When the restaurant turned 25, it was as if we had survived a generation. We actually succeeded and it felt really good – you became part of the community. The community certainly changed with us coming here… More people moved here and it was easier to make a living here… more businesses opened up, so it was easier to stay in business as well.”

In addition to the food and service at the restaurant, Potts said music has always been the glue in the building, and her father’s music has become “an integral part of coming to this building.” Calling the piano his “absolute joy,” Potts said Traymon loved playing the piano in the restaurant, had an “incredible repertoire” of songs he would play for customers at their request and would memorize favorite songs of regular customers.

Dolph Traymon died on Christmas Eve 2016; Potts said he was still playing the piano six weeks before his death. Audrey Traymon died in 2018.

As for what her father would have said about his restaurant reaching such a milestone, Potts said, “He would be bursting with pride — he was so passionate about this business and everything about it.”

Looking ahead, Potts said she’d like to stay on top of “what’s out there, food-wise,” continue to expose people to music and “just be the face of Kent.”

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