Business: Ice Chest Bar and Grille
Owner: Drew Tillett
Location: Fairhaven, MA
Open Since: July 2007
Why did you decide to get into the bar business?
I’ve spent an awful lot of time in and around bars. I figured I should start investing in myself and maybe I could get a few of my friends to join me along the way.
What did you do before owning your business?
I owned a commercial construction company.
What is your favorite part about running your own business?
The parties…no really, the parties are great but it is very gratifying to implement your ideas and see how people react. So far it’s been very positive. The challenge is to maintain a standard, to keep things interesting and to always have some fun.
How would you describe your bar/restaurant’s dining experience?
The Ice Chest is a casual bar scene with great food and the occasional spontaneous party. What more does one need?
What is the meaning behind your business’s name?
It’s all about the CHEST!
What sets you apart from other similar businesses?
We are a legitimate dining establishment but we’re 21 and over only, so no loud children, just loud adults. That fact both throws and thrills a lot of people. We have a truly diverse crowd: At any given time we’ll have people in here from 21 to 81, and that’s no exaggeration. It makes for a very interesting atmosphere. The cougars love it!
What is your best selling food?
That’s a hard question. I can’t really name just one. Our best sellers include Portuguese Egg Rolls, Clam Chowder, and the Reuben. It depends on which axis you’re measuring.
What kind of regular specials do you have each week?
We have several specials on the blackboard every day. Some recent specials include French Meat Pie, American Chop Suey, and Haddock & Chourico Cakes. We try to change it up every week.
What big events do you have coming up?
We are starting a Second Sunday Blues Brunch Series with live blues featuring Neal McCarthy. As you might imagine, we will have this on the Second Sunday of every month, starting on November 14th. We also throw one helluva New Year’s Eve Party with The Relics. It is reserved seating only and we definitely sell out early. And then there is Chest Fest but you’ll have to wait until next year for that incredible party.