North End Tavern is getting a new life – in Ruston
Two years after he started work on the new home for his North End Tavern, Ron Kerns is still at it.
The name is now North End on Pearl and when it’s done, it’ll be significantly larger than its original perch in the Proctor neighborhood.
The transformation has been remarkable at 5037 North Pearl St., which was the most recent home to the restaurant and catering company, Mitchell’s. Long timers will recall when it was the Point Defiance Cafe & Casino and a number of bars before that.
The peach flamingo color is gone, replaced by a wood-and-stone exterior and siding painted grey and blue. Those faux cantina arches also are gone. The only resemblance of the building’s former life is the arch at the entrance. Otherwise, the building has received a complete facelift.
Construction materials outside hint at the level of gut-and-replace going on inside.
“Still moving forward,” said Kerns this month when I reached out. “We had some delays with construction due to COVID-19 and the fact that they couldn’t work onsite for a while, but we are back at it again. Unsure on an opening date, due to all that is going on, but things are progressing.”
The North End on Pearl was born in the Proctor neighborhood.
Owner Ron Kerns, and his wife Maurie, purchased the North End more than a decade ago from Greg Callahan. As Kerns tells it, the tavern had stood since 1937.
Lease negotiations with the landlord stalled in 2017 over a rent increase Kerns said he couldn’t afford. In November 2017, he left that space and started looking for a new home, which he found two years ago in Ruston and has been working on since.
I’ll keep you posted on an opening timeline when one has been established.
NORTH END ON PEARL
Where: 5037 N. Pearl St., Ruston
WESTGATE: YOU HAVE A NEW RESTAURANT
Did you catch my story about Cooper’s Food & Drink opening in the Westgate neighborhood, near Ruston? Check out the beef on weck sandwich (it’s a New York thing), the killer cocktail list and outdoor patio for socially distant dining. Read my article for the full details, menu photos, interior photos and more.