The recently closed Gemma Ristorante in Arlington Center might become “Cooper’s Tavern.”
The change will be requested Monday night at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, according to the meeting’s agenda.
Cooper’s Tavern will be the second new historically named tavern to come before the board in less than a month. In late August, the board unanimously approved plans for Menotomy Grill and Tavern, which is slated for the old Hollywood Video site in East Arlington.
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If approved, Cooper’s Tavern will be just steps away from the original Cooper’s Tavern, where, on April 19, 1775, “the old men of Menotomy” planned an ambush on a British supply wagon. Later that historic day, British troops stormed the tavern, killing Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship, both of whom were unarmed. The troops also pillaged the tavern, according to a guide by the Menotomy Minuteman Historical Trail.
Today, the Cooper’s Tavern monument (pictured) in front of Starbucks marks the old site. “Here stood Cooper’s Tavern, in which Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship were killed by the British, April 19, 1775,” it reads.
Arlington was named Menotomy from its founding in 1635 until 1867.
Cooper’s Tavern, which would go in at Gemma’s old digs at 319 Broadway, looks like it’s being proposed by Gemma’s same owners, but little information was available Thursday evening.
Even though Menotomy Grill and Tavern has about a three-week head start, if approved, Cooper’s Tavern could be up and running first, as the space already has a kitchen and restaurant setting.
Check back with Arlington Patch for updates as they become available.