Rocher Pub owners revamp Maeystown tavern - Republic-Times | News

Rocher Pub owners revamp Maeystown tavern

By on November 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

Joe Mollet and Natasha Hooten are the new owners of the Maeystown tavern, now known as Mason’s Restaurant and Bar. (Sean McGowan photo)

Natasha Hooten and Joe Mollet will go the extra mile to stand out as entrepreneurs taking an active role in the community.

When business starts taking off with their newest venture — Mason’s Restaurant and Bar located in the historic Maeystown tavern at 1026 Main Street — they hope to make that community-oriented approach shine. These business partners from Prairie du Rocher already serve drinks from Stumpy’s Spirits in Columbia and beer from Stubborn German Brewing Co. in Waterloo.

“As a small community, you have to work together,” said Mollet, who is also a Prairie du Rocher firefighter. “We were talking about maybe serving (Lil’ Red Roaster’s) coffee.”

“The locals have supported us, so we need to do our part to help them,” Hooten concurred.

Mollet said they opened Rocher Pub in Prairie du Rocher six years ago and decided to expand their business by opening a new bar in Maeystown. Mollet said much of the food served at Rocher Pub includes fresh ingredients, such as hand-pattied burgers, and they plan to keep that format in Maeystown.

“We want to bring back some of the old family style cooking,” Hooten added, saying fried chicken dinners will become a staple on Sundays.

Other cuisine to look forward to includes fish on Fridays, steak on Saturdays and breakfast on the weekends. Chicken and dumplings will serve as part of the main fare.

As of this writing, the goal was to open the kitchen Nov. 3. Hooten and Mollet said they also plan to get the hall ready in the back portion of the tavern for parties and dining.

“We’ve done a lot already. A lot of cleaning,” Mollet said. “The bathrooms were really in bad shape.”

The Maeystown tavern has been around since the late 1800s, and it has switched hands several times throughout the years. Tracey Morris, owner of Fourth Street Bar & Grill in Waterloo, most recently operated the tavern.

For more information on Mason’s, call 458-0801 or go to “Mason’s Restaurant and Bar” on Facebook. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The bar managed to open in time for Maeystown Oktoberfest, and Mollet shared on Facebook recently that they are enjoying early success.

“Wow is all I can say. The people and other businesses here in town have been great to us,” the post reads. “They have made me and Natasha feel like we have lived in this small town all of our lives.”

“Very supportive of us and very helpful … We can’t wait to work with the other businesses and other organizations to help them out like they have helped us out. Thank you again everyone.”

Additionally, Mollet told the Republic-Times that there seem to be more people coming in every day, even though the kitchen isn’t ready.

“It seems they’ve been very patient,” Hooten said.

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.